By Rochelle Joseph
The public was pretty excited to see the Pink House getting a little bit of paint last week. The post about it on our two Facebook pages, Save the Pink House Discussion Group and Save the Pink House, went viral, with close to 300 shares from our pages alone, some of which went to other "watering hole" places and got further shared from there!
Some of those were: Newburyport.com (with 113 further shares), Amesbury Squawks (with extra kudos going to Amesbury Industrial who supplied the paint), Newburyport Commons (19 more shares), PI Surfcasters, The Coastal Lifestyle, Re/MAX Realtors, The Plum Island life, The Cunningham Farmhouse and Joppa Newburport MA.
So wonderful to see all this love and interest!! If you want to stay up on the progress of the Pink House or help in some way when the time comes, please join our two FB pages Support The Pink House and Save The Pink House Discussion Group. You can also sign up to volunteer when we need help right here on this website under the CONTACT tab.
Here's that Facebook Post!
The Pink House is getting some love today, thanks to the OK by the Refuge to Support The Pink House's requests. MANY thanks go to Bill Peterson, Refuge Manager, PH Board Advisor Bill Barrett and his crew from Plum Island Management for doing the work, and to PH Board Advisor Greg Jardis and his company Amesbury Industrial Supply for donating the paint!! No, we are not allowed to paint the whole house - it is federally owned and not ours to do that. But we do work WITH the Refuge, and have been since 2015, as part of the incalculable daily hours committed from our personal time pursuing solutions behind the scenes -- solutions we just can't expound upon at this time. But this is just one visible sign of the fruit of that work.
In fact, several times a year, STPH asks for certain things to keep the house secure through Nor'Easters and winter months, spring greening and summer tourist season. As part of her pre-winter upkeep we asked that the skirt running around the front 3/4 of TPH (most of which is actually an external, but enclosed porch) be replaced or repaired and painted. We asked that the front porch windows be painted as well and that they fix the half-up, half down shades to be consistent. We hope this will spruce her up a little - and that big vine that in 2017 we requested be cut at the base (to die rather than rip it off her clapboard) is dry enough to come off without doing damage.
This fall, we discussed a variety of items to be done both internally and externally by the Refuge - and it IS being done. We're thrilled to have increased maintenance and upkeep on behalf of the community, and this progress is accomplished at our closed meetings with the Refuge + local, state and federal officials and organizations. Read more on our blog at SupportthePinkHouse.com.
Each year Barrett and Peterson do a walk through from the tip of the cupola to the basement floor and amazingly, no matter how faded she looks from outside, her bones remain strong. No leaks from the roof, no cracks in the foundation, all windows even and walls balanced. And no, her basement did not flood when the PI Pike did in the spring trifecta of Nor'Easters. Apparently, they knew how to build 'em in the 1920's!
Each year since the fall of 2015, when Support the Pink House was beginning to form, we have worked with the Refuge to protect her from the elements through the year, shoring her up for storms and winter in particular.
In February 2016, we had our first walk through of the house with Pink House Advisor and volunteer, Bill Barrett, a local, trusted and very experienced HIC/CSL licensed builder. From the tip of the cupola roof to her basement floor, we were pleasantly surprised to find The Pink House envelope was in great shape. There were no leaks from the roof, no cracks in the foundation, all the windows were completely aligned and she was not riddled with mold or asbestos as rumored.
However, the windows, broken by time or pranksters while uninhabited, needed to be properly sealed, not just partially boarded up, and the basement had a low opening or two where animals could get in. We appealed to the Refuge Manager, Bill Peterson, to take care of these most basic things, and he did.
That was how our work to secure the house while we looked for a solution began. Since then, regular walk throughs have taken place. Each time a little more gets done, and each winter The Pink House weathers the storms.
In the Spring of 2017 we asked that as soon as the first greening came, that the scrub within about 3 ft of the house be cut away, to allow the house to breathe, and for the sun to warm formerly covered places. With windows sealed, a house does need doors to be open and shut from time to time. The Pink House has USF&W Security and other personnel going in and out of her enough that we hope that aspect is somewhat offset. We know clearing brush made the house's need of new paint more evident, but it was determined it was healthier for her.
Remember the 3 Nor'Easters we had in a row earlier this year? The ones that came during a full moon, unusually high astronomical tides and with one storm moving so slowly that the tides did not have a chance to recede for three cycles while it poured? The entire PI Pike flooded over -- and as the Beachcoma's heavy trash bins floated toward the PI Grille and water lapped at every structures' foundation from PITA Hall to the dozen or so houses across from the Pink House in Plum Bush Downs, we wondered how much of the Pink House's basement may have filled up. Bill Barrett went in to check after the water cleared and was happy to find only a water mark of only another inch or so on the wall above the normally damp basement floor.
We write at high tide's peak and today's Nor Easter whips at 60 mph (and yes, the moon was nearly full last night..), yet we have confidence that things will endure this storm and the coming winter, as she has in each of the last 90 some years. Why? Because after our meeting in mid-September, the Refuge is kindly doing more extensive preventative work, which includes:
The Pink House was built in the mid twenties and they apparently knew how to make 'em back then. So while all would love to see her with a fresh paint job, or thriving berry bushes growing around the perimeter, which would vastly improve the look of the house - keep in mind that her bones are good, and the basics of continually securing the envelope is being done. And that is much appreciated by the community.
By Alison Odle
Sandy first started volunteering for Support The Pink House in 2016 on the morning of our first day ever at our Yankee Homecoming booth. Sandy jumped right in with enthusiasm and positive energy, and helped make our booth a success throughout our two year stint at the local festival.
Sandy’s love of the natural world, for the area’s coastal landscapes & wildlife, and for unique and idiosyncratic scenery are evident in her photography which she has become well-known for in the area. A regular poster on our social media pages, Sandy’s memorable images of The Pink House in all seasons demonstrate her versatility. Her dream-like photo of the pink house in the rain has become a pink house fan favorite.
Sandy is also well known for her work on the local Storm Surge group that works on protecting & planning for the area’s community’s affected by rising ocean levels & other environmental factors. In fact, her work on documenting erosion on the island played a role in her getting involved with the efforts to save & preserve the Pink House, as she would often pass the house and make observations. When she learned the house was facing uncertainty, she felt she needed to help out; to “preserve a piece of our local history that is held so tightly in so many people’s hearts.”
One thing people might not know about Sandy is that she is also a skilled historical researcher. When we put out a call to action searching for people to help investigate the elusive history of The Pink House, Sandy again dug right in and went to work, often spending countless hours poring over historical documents in local libraries and online.
In addition to all this, Sandy has also helped out on our Holiday Art Auction, our Flatbread Pizza Fundraiser & Silent Auction, and has continually helped with our outreach efforts through sharing her fantastic Pink House photos, writings, and helping us get the word out.
Why she decided to get involved
Growing up in Ipswich, Sandy has fond memories of spending time on Plum Island.
“..like so many others, passing by The Pink House on Plum Island Turnpike, always raised my curiosity.” She also fantasized about living there and the house became a harbinger for her on her travels to the island,“…seeing it along the way signaled the start of an awesome day, seeing it along the way home, signaled the end of an awesome day....anticipation & reflection, both wonderful!”
Where you can see Sandy’s work
Currently: Riverview Artisan’s Gallery, Bristol NH
By Rochelle Joseph
Several weeks ago, if you drove past Bob Lobster on the way to or from Plum Island, you saw a film shoot. As someone who spent the better part of my career on just such a set (before moving to the area), I wistfully slowed down and smiled. I even posted on my Facebook wall that a shoot was taking place, and wondered what it was for.
Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago - Support The Pink House got an email from Full Contact Advertising Agency, stating that they made a commercial for New England Honda and wanted us to know that The Pink House was in the commercial. We asked for a link so we could post it on our social media -- though we waited until their air date (Monday, July 16).
I'd barely opened my eyes that morning before it was posted in several places - and I was tagged. And it was posted on our wall at both Pink House Facebook pages: Support the Pink House and Save the Pink House Discussion Group. News gets around fast. It's wonderful for all involved.
Both Bob Lobster and The Pink House are icons to our neck of the woods, and the area would not be the same charming, unique place without them. That's why so many have joined to Support The Pink House, from coast to coast.... to keep the Pink House in the community. Read our blog right here regularly for details on our progress.
Below is the commercial in it's entirety.
Congratulations to our friends Bob Lobster, whose new owners have done a terrific job restoring and newly decorating the legendary eatery!! We all hope to see The Pink House looking beautiful again too. The Pink House Steering Committee have been working behind the scenes vigilantly, along with several area and federal agencies, and elected officials to accomplish just that.
To help, you can fill out the form here on our website under the CONTACT tab.
Something quick and easy is to LIKE our TWO Facebook pages and Follow us on Twitter and IG! It HELPS! And write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our General FB page is SupportThePinkHouse, for news about TPH - and on Save The Pink House Discussion Group, you'll see tons of photos and paintings posted by passers by every day. The beauty and variety everyone captures of TPH is truly astounding.
The Pink House herself Tweets in her own voice @SupporthePinkH, and she's on Instagram as supportthepinkhouse.
By Rochelle Joseph
The Pink House Steering Committee met with Jon D'Angelo and Farrah Ridore at Flatbread Amesbury to discuss the issues facing the Pink House in advance of our May 4 meeting with the State, Federal and local elected officials the Parker River Wildlife Refuge (who currently own the PH) and interested area organizations. We were impressed that Jon and Farrah drove out to the Pink House to see her first hand before the meeting, and it was clear they had done their research on it before we sat down.
The meeting went for 90 minutes and their time and interest was greatly appreciated. Since then, Jon and Farrah have been a great help to us in key moments when we needed to call upon them.
Not long after the meeting, Pink House Chair and Spokesperson Rochelle Joseph, got to thank Senator Warren in person on behalf of the public STPH represents, for her pivotal role at a critical time. It may not be widely known, but the Federal delegation, comprised of Senator Warren's office, along with Congressman Moulton and Senator Markey's office, were instrumental in keeping the Pink House from being demolished in 2016.
Support The Pink House has repeatedly extended our thanks on behalf of the community we represent to Jon d'Angelo from Senator Warren's office, Morgan Bell, Congressman Moultons' regional rep, and Kate Machet from Senator Markey's office for their role in keeping the house standing, so that we may work to keep her as an iconic landmark for the entire North Shore and New England area and it's visitors to enjoy.
In the last few years, The Pink House on the Plum Island Turnpike in Newbury, MA has only increased in recognition as a local icon... which then only fuels the grass roots effort by Support The Pink House to keep her in the area, find new ownership and get her refurbished.
There has been a clothing line based on Ron Emmerling's painting of her, which was prominently featured in a sold-out fashion show at the Newburyport Art Association, created by and for sale at the Elephant's Trunk on Inn Street in Newburyport. The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank put a wonderful drawing of her on their calendar. You will find her in some form on everything from drink koozies, to bumper stickers to tee shirts and dog bandanas, featured in coloring books,and as holiday ornaments to name a few,
This week, students from both Newburyport and Pentucket High Schools came together to paint the book donation bins in Cushing Park... and lo and behold: The Pink House was featured, along with the PI lighthouse, adorning the marshland - all things that make our area definable!
The Daily News covered the story, written by Jack Shea, on June 21, 2018 (Click on Daily News to read. Support the Pink House, and all in the community it formed to represent, really appreciates seeing The Pink House chosen of all that exists in the area, to define it.
We also noticed that when you plug in The Pink House on Google Maps, she comes up as a landmark. And it has our website listed. We did not do this, and she is not historically registered (though we have looked into it) but it's interesting to see.
We know there is a Wikipedia page pending approval; we'll report on that when we learn more. In the mean time, thank you to all who keep the Pink House in the minds and hearts of all in the area, and for visitors from far and near who drive past to paint her, photograph her, write about her, talk her up, share her posts on social media, and donate!
If you'd like to get involved, just fill out the CONTACT form here on our website. Or write us at info@SupportthePinkHouse.com!
March came in like a Lion indeed, with two back to back Nor'easters hitting the seacoast, followed by a third storm in a matter of two weeks. As the first storm threatened to flood over Plum Island Turnpike at hight tide, many citizens wrote in with concern as to how this was effecting the beloved Pink House.
In fact, the several homes across the street in Plumbush Downs and the house just east of the Pink House were all in the same boat... so to speak! The waters came close for four tide cycles in the first storm, which was slow moving and hovered for approximately 36 hours, but they did recede during low tides making the PI Pike passable, giving homes along it a bit of a break. The second and third storms were less severe for our area respectively. There was flooding in several of the establishments along the PI Pike, including the Beachcoma, PI Provisions and PITA Hall (all of whom support the Pink House, with the hall generously donating the space for Pink House meetings).
Barrett reported that the Pink House was just fine!! However much we'd love to replace the roof, there have been no leaks. And windy as it is out there, the Cupola holds up and is weather tight as well.
She sits on a full basement, that due to the fact that she's abandoned, can have a little water on the floor itself - and while we were expecting that the entire basement filled when the PI Pike flooded over, apparently that was far from the case. Barrett noted a clear new water-line of the storms in evidence - but it showed no more than approximately an inch of storm water came into the basement!
Support The Pink House regularly checks and asks the Parker River WIldlife Refuge to repair any broken windows. This house, built in the mid 1920's clearly has shown she was built to last!
Sandy Tilton, Pink House Volunteer/Photographer/Researcher said, "The Pink House has withstood an awful lot in her lifespan. I'm sure there have been worse storms." adding that now so many more people notice and care. And it's true. The number of people who follow pink house news, steadily progresses in their efforts to find a way to preserve, restore and keep her in the community.
Donor Peg Maluphy of Maine said it best when she commented on Facebook: "Nevertheless... she persisted! Rock On, Pink House! "
The Pink House Steering Committee got back to work after the holiday break, meeting on February 6, 2018.
Two of the things determined from that meeting have already been accomplished: The first was to do our annual walk through of the house to be sure she remained secure through the winter. We started this protective action in February/March of both 2016, and did it again in 2017. This year the third annual check up happened on Tuesday March 20.
Pink House Volunteer and Plum Island Resident Bill Barrett, our trusted, HIC/CSL builder, performed the assessment, accompanied by Parker River Wildlife Refuge Manager Bill Peterson. They cover from the cupola on top through the second floor, down the main staircase to the ground floor and through to the basement. They also walk around the house outside, looking for any leaks, foundation cracks, bowed windows, etc..., checking brick and cinder block integrity and making note of any exposed areas. Then we ask the Refuge to please do the basic things on our list to keep her sound as possible as we work to shepherd her through this very long process to secure her for the community.
We believe the success of her holding regardless of what it looks like on the outside is due not only to the strength of her bones, but because Support the Pink House has kept a daily eye on the house. #PinkHouse Volunteers, as well as Bill Barrett and David Dempsey, Steering Committee Building and Land Chairman, report if a window breaks or comes loose, vegetation is encroaching, or people trespass. Support the Pink House immediately asks the Refuge to act and we very much appreciate when they do.
Folks ask us all the time why she isn't able to be refurbished. The Pink House is federally owned, so while we wish we could do more, there are current limits by which we must abide. We would greatly appreciate your help in spreading the good word that her bones are quite sound and she is being regularly checked on and cared for to the extent of our limits, on behalf of the community, as we work behind the scenes.
The second item was for Support the Pink House to call another meeting, as we did last Valentines Day 2017, gathering all the people who are invested in finding a solution around one table to discuss the considerable progress we've made and paths to move further forward. That meeting is set for early May and will include The Pink House Steering Committee, Bill Peterson, Bill Barrett, State Senator and Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, State Senator Kathleen Ives, Morgan Bell, a representative for our district from Congressman Moulton's office, representatives from the Town of Newbury, the Greenbelt, and others.
We'll report on all the developments right here!
Please keep coming to this blog for up to date information, or the public meetings we announce on our Facebook pages Save The Pink House Discussion Group and Support the Pink House.
PLEASE DO NOT TRESPASS!! We appreciate that you are interested, and want to photograph and paint the PinkHouse, but do so without going beyond the side of the road. The Pink House is owned by the Parker River Wildlife Refuge and we respect their property. Thank you!
Support The Pink House just wrapped up another year of fun in the sun and community outreach as part of Yankee Homecoming 2017!
It was another truly rewarding experience for us, as steering committee members & volunteers manned our Pink House tent as part of the 10 day Artisan’s Revival at Newburyport’s Annual Yankee Homecoming Festival.
We are so proud to be a part of this festival, as well as a part of the Revival, which aims to return the festival to its roots by including (exclusively) local artisans, vendors, and community groups like us. The Inn St Artisan’s Revival was founded by local photographer & visionary John Brown, and this year it included some wonderful additions such as a night of Greek music & dancing in the square by the Greek Food Festival tent, new local food vendor additions including Metzy’s Taqueria, and dozens of fantastic local artisans & live music performances
We also formed a special partnership with The Elephant’s Trunk this year, who graciously invited us to set up our tent right outside their shop, where they were featuring the whimsical & sophisticated Pink House clothing line, designed by artist Ron Emmerling.
Highlights of the week included an impromptu lemonade stand created by two young Pink House supporters and their grandmother, the new additions to our clothing & merchandise line including the fabulous dog bandanas, the newly designed t-shirts, the stories we were able to tell booth visitors about the history of the house, and most importantly connecting with visitors and telling them all about the progress we’ve made.
But the thing that puts a smile on our faces more than anything is hearing the stories about The Pink House from visitors to our booth, who just light up telling us what it means to them! It’s what reminds us why we do all this, and just how special and memorable this iconic house is to fans of all ages.
We hope to see you all again next year!