By Rochelle Joseph
From Day 1, Support The Pink House members have spoken to so many generous, community minded people who have gone out of their way on their own time to help The Pink House. They have looked over contracts and documents, referred us to important organizations, delivered research, confirmed facts, set us straight, given us the benefit of their expertise at key moments and generally cheered us on. We're incredibly grateful to them -- and the many many other people who have advised us. Because some of these people went beyond that, and took an active role on a regular basis to help the efforts to save the Pink House, they graciously agreed to be on our formal Advisory Board.
All of these folks have taken time out to help save the iconic Pink House because it's simply the right thing to do.
Paul Ayoub Esq. – Partner, Nutter McClellan and Fish, a real estate and philanthropy specialist, Chairman of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, former Chair of the Board of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
John Krawchuck - Executive Director of The Historic House Trust of New York City, in partnership with the Parks Department. Manages capital preservation initiatives and advocates for preservation of 23 publicly owned historic sites in the city's five boroughs. Registered Landscape Architect and architectural preservationist.
Phyllis Craine - Global Strategic Procurement at Rolls-Royce. Negotiating and drafting of Federal contracts, mergers & acquisitions, regulatory and administrative law.
Greg Jardis – Philanthropist, owner of Amesbury Industrial, Founder of the Jardis Center for Our Neighbors Table.
Stephanie Niketic - Board Member, Newburyport Preservation Trust, heads the Trust's advocacy program, and owns a house listed in the Newburyport National Register Historic District.
William Barrett – HIC/CSL builder, owner of Plum Island Construction, Plum island Property Management.
Will Gerstmyer – Principal, Will Gerstmyer Architects. Past AIA and LEED AP BD+C. Nationally recognized design experience of projects from the Olympic Games to The Pink House.
by Rochelle Joseph
Each year, the Pink House grows in its iconic status, as proven by the steady rise in Pink House themed items that you see for sale at the various festivals and bazaars all year. Tables and booths at RiverFest, Yankee Homecoming, Witches Night Out, First Night, and the many holiday bazaars, as well as galleries like the Newburyport Art Association, Paula Esty Gallery, and countless others all alone the Northern Seaboard, across several states. There are Pink House ornaments, and even Pink House clothing, designed in part by Claudia Harris at The Elephant Trunk in Newburyport, MA.
Below is Andi Ross, Plum Island resident and horticulturist, who is inspired by nature but also the Pink House! She is holding one of several of those paintings.
Kathy Culbert is a Plum Island Resident who is a self taught artist and does lovely work, in several mediums. Please visit her website at PlumIslandArtist.com to see the beautiful ocean themed gifts - painted wallets, bottles, driftwood, pillows and more!
And who was front and center when you walked in but these two lovely ladies, Sandy Tilton and Elaine Checchinelli! They are always the first to say "How can I help?" when the Pink House has any needs and it is much appreciated.
Sandy, a known nature photographer, was selling nice sized prints of her work, and several cards of her Pink House portraits. Elaine had her trademark and much sought after Mermaid hoodies and tanks which were selling like hotcakes. Both have many talents and have devoted them to helping the Pink House since Support the Pink House began.
Between them were three beautiful wood burns, created by talented woodworking artist Bill Comeau from Riverview Artisans of Bristol, NH. He generously donated them to be sold, with ALL proceeds going to Support the Pink House. Bill used three different photographs of Sandy's for these unique, one of a kind treasures. And I walked off with one!
The Pink House was even incorporated into one of the trees featured at the Sea of Trees Festival at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, MA. It was done by Debbie Fournier and her sister to honor their mother, who loved the Pink House. This is a screen shot from the Pink House Instagram account, run by artist and PH volunteer Kelly Page.
If you do Pink House art of any kind, and would like to donate a piece to an upcoming fundraiser, please write us at email@example.com or fill out the Contact form on the website in our menu above!
Pink House Listed on Trip Advisor
By Rochelle Joseph
It's official! The Pink House is now listed on Trip Advisor as a Place of Interest in Newbury/Newburyport, MA!!
This very exciting development happened just last week -- and she already has five 5-Star reviews, and a few photos added!
It's likely that you use or at least have heard of Trip Advisor, which is the go-to site for anywhere you want to travel and what you will see and do once there. People can put up their own photos and reviews of any hotel, restaurant, and point of interest to help others make decisions about their own visits.
With The Pink House listed as a Place of Interest, it encourages people who would be visiting our area to learn that she exists, and why she is something they would want to check out in their travels.
If you are so moved, The Pink House herself would really appreciate your taking a few minutes to do a little volunteering for the cause and write the house you love a nice review saying why she means so much to the community, what about her captures your imagination, inspires you or has made you want to drive out to visit.... so those looking at Trip Advisor when coming to the area will too!
You can CLICK HERE ON TRIP ADVISOR to go right to her listing. Thank you!
And many thanks to Ben Drew at Trip Advisor, who made his own pilgrimage to see the pink lady and captured some truly stunning photos of her - the above being one, but our screen shot here hardly does it justice. Please click on the link to see them on the site!
**We'd appreciate if you do not post articles about The Pink House as The Spite House as we've been researching her origins and there's a good chance that is urban legend**.
Pink House Perk Up Goes VIRAL!
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 was shared further!
Some of those were: Newburyport.com (+113 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 need arises, please join our two FB pages Support The Pink House and Save The Pink House Discussion Group. You can also sign up to volunteer right here on our 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 request. Appreciation goes to Bill Peterson, Parker River National Wildlife 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 therefore 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 that work.
In fact, several times a year, STPH asks for basic things to keep the house secure through Nor'Easters and winter months, and vegetation overgrowth. This year, part of its 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 so the wood can hang in there a little longer - and that they simply make the half-up, half down shades consistent. We hope this will spruce the house up just a little.
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. This progress is accomplished at our closed meetings with the Refuge + local, state and federal officials and stakeholders. Read more on our blog at SupportthePinkHouse.com.
Did you know: 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!
We know the public is hoping to have iconic The Pink House fully restored well before it's 100th birthday!
In the fall of 2015, concerned citizens began to express how meaningful The Pink House was to the community to its owners the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Many of those people went on to form Support The Pink House (STPH) to work with the FWS to find solutions to restore it. In the interim, the Parker River Wildlife Refuge Manager worked with STPH to protect it from the elements through each year, shoring it up for storms and winter in particular.
In the first week of February 2016, STPH had our first house walk through with Pink House Advisor Bill Barrett, a local, trusted, and very experienced HIC/CSL licensed builder. From the tip of the cupola to the basement floor, we were pleasantly surprised to learn 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 it was not riddled with mold.
However, the windows, broken by time or pranksters while uninhabited, needed to be properly sealed and the basement had a low opening or two where animals could get in. We appealed to Refuge Manager Bill Peterson, to take care of these most basic things, and he did.
Since then, regular house health checks have been performed. Each time a little more gets done, and each winter The Pink House weathers our famously wild New England storms. With windows sealed, a house needs doors to be regularly open and shut. Fish and Wildlife Security goes in from time to time and we hope it helps.
In the Spring of 2017, we asked that the vegetation within about 3 ft of the house be cut away to allow the house to breathe, and for sun to dry formerly covered places. We know clearing brush made the house's need of new paint more evident, but it was much healthier for it overall.
KEEPING TPH RESILIENT
Remember the three 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 the foundation of every building 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 with water. Not only was some dry ground visible around the house's edges, Barrett inspected the house once the storms passed and was happy to find evidence of only about an additional inch or tow in the form of a water mark on the basement wall, above the normally damp floor.
The was built in 1925, and its clear they knew how to make 'em back then. But without inhabitants to care for it daily, The Pink House depends on this critical help by the Refuge while we work together on solutions.
It's high tide's peak as today another Nor Easter whips 60 mph winds across the marsh, yet we have confidence the Pink House will endure this storm and the coming winter, as it 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:
While all would love to see her with a fresh paint job, a new roof and with flowers and thriving berry bushes around the perimeter. We're working on it - and until then, keep in mind that her bones are good, and the basics of continually securing the envelope is being done.
Please let the Refuge know how much you and the community appreciates it!
Volunteer Spotlight: Sandy Tilton
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
Film by Alison Odle
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!