By Eric Bourque
Call it a case of being down but not out.
The Maudified house at Cape Forchu was hit hard last month by Arthur, but the powerful storm didn’t have the last say on the house’s fate. Thanks to the efforts of some community-minded people, the house was rebuilt and, on a foggy Thursday morning – a month and two days after the storm – the restored shell house was officially unveiled.
Wendy Majestic, the Maudified house project coordinator, cited the work of those who rescued the shell house and helped bring it back to life, including Ed and Roanne Collier, who went out on the night of the storm and picked up the pieces of the fallen structure, and Ann Durkee and David MacIsaac, who also were involved in the house’s restoration.
Given that the house is standing again, the people behind the Maudified project decided to dedicate it to survivors, not just survivors of Arthur but survivors of any storm or problem or challenge.
“We all have things that happen in our life that we are able to overcome,” Majestic said during the Aug. 7 ceremony on Water Street, near the Milton clock, the shell house’s new temporary home. The house will be among those auctioned off next month.
The shell house got its name from the way it was decorated by artist Maggie Mandell, who created it.
An initiative of Friends of Yarmouth Art Gallery, the Maudified house project consists of 11 small houses painted in the style of Maud Lewis, the renowned folk artist from Yarmouth County.
Ten of the houses are to be auctioned off Sept. 14 at Th’YARC. One of them will be awarded by raffle.
Proceeds from the sale of the shell house will go towards a new art scholarship fund for students studying art at university or community college.
Rev. Helen Chandler, rector of the Anglican parish of Yarmouth and Tusket, offered a blessing for the rebuilt shell house and spoke about the legacy of the Maudified house project.
“We don’t know where these houses will end up when they go to auction,” she said, “but we know that they will continue to be this inspiration for us, for art, for creation.”
Getting a close-up look at the "shell" house on the morning of its dedication Thursday, Aug. 7, in Yarmouth.
ERIC BOURQUE PHOTO