BETHEL — There’s no shortage of fairy housing in Bethel now.

Twelve students in grades five through eight from The Eddy School in Newry put their imaginations and nature construction skills to work early Friday afternoon. They built a fairy home village in a stand of mixed hardwoods and white pine near the Mahoousuc Land Trust office off Route 2.

“The trust has a thriving fairy population,” Bonnie Pooley of Bethel and the trust said.

On Saturday, the competition will be opened to people of all ages from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., when entries will be judged, Pooley said.

“The kids are building fairy houses to help the Mahoosuc Land Trust publicize their wonderful organization and 25th anniversary as part ot the Great Maine Outdoors Weekend,” Deb Webster, Eddy School owner and teacher, said.

“And so my students came over to show off their artistic creativity with Sara Hemeon, our art teacher, and they have built some amazing fairy houses so that other people can come and look at them and get inspired to build their own,” Webster said.


The Eddy School is a small, private middle school in Newry. Students range in age from 9 to 13. They do hands-on work.

“We’re very academic based, but at the same time, we do a lot of this outdoor excursion, as well,” Webster said. “We’re very intense academically when we’re at school and when we’re not at school, we’re very intense in our play and our fun and our creativity, as well.”

Prior to undertaking Friday afternoon’s project, Hemeon said her students studied Andy Goldsworthy, a very talented nature artist who also builds elaborate fairy homes.

Pooley said the rule of fairy home construction is to only use natural materials.

“If you were to knock down a fairy house, the fairies would be very upset and you would pay,” she said. Then she worried aloud that the trust’s resident chipmunk population might pilfer the acorn decorations Friday night during their fairy home invasions.

Nine-year-olds Briar Huard of Bryant Pond village and EB Hoff of Bethel collaborated to create what they dubbed, “Fairy Haven.” It is a sprawling complex and playground built around and on a tree. It features a long twine zip line that traverses the copse and attaches to the backside of another fairy house.


“Of course, at the end of that zip line, it’s going to be ugly,” Pooley said. Fairy riders are “going to crash into the back of that house.”

Fairy Haven also sports a family swing, a smaller zip line, a rope swing, a pulley system, and several fairy bungalows of varying comfort.

“These are great!” Bud Kulik, Webster’s dad, said. The children call him grandpa. “It makes me want to be a fairy and live here, but if it rains, I’m out of here.”

Kulik helped Huard create a twine foundation for a flooring of ferns and flowers for the arboreal subdivision.

“Are there any acorns?” was a frequent question from the young interior decorators.

Lily Weafer, 13, of Waterford, brought her own flowers from The Eddy School, and then painstakingly wove their stems through her fairy home’s tree-bark walls.


She built the duplex atop a rustic downed birch log that snaked along the forest floor. Front steps made with fungi lead the homeowner into the two-story building where there is a table made with acorns. She also added a chicken feather to one wall, eliciting several oohs and ahs from adults marveling at the work of art.

“I used to build fairy houses when I was little,” Weafer said.

Maya Taylor, 10, of Newry, and Myles Lilly, 11, of Bethel used a hollow tree stump as the base for their ‘Fairyland’ complex. They added wood and ‘carpeted’ floors, built a fire pit outside for roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, and created a rope swing.

They surrounded the home with a wall of pine needles, then Lilly rebuilt the front steps, which he called the best part of building the house.

Myles Barrett, 12, of Albany Township, and Tristen Lilly, 13, of Bethel, built a bark house with a stone walkway and added an old Frappuchino bottle they found for a lawn decoration. No, it’s not a septic tank required by the planning board, they said.

Pooley said Gould Academy will bring their apple cider press to the event on Saturday at the trust office and demonstrate how cider is made.

The land trust’s 25th anniversary Art Show will also open at 11 a.m. It features a display of work by local photographers, artists and writers that celebrates the unique beauty of the trust area. It’s also a competition.

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