Our 1840s barn-turned-home, prior to paint job!

During the current remodel of our own house, an old 1840s barn, we needed some plastering work done and as a result had the pleasure of meeting Craig Moore, a plasterer.  Over the last month, Craig has been working to marry the plaster of new walls with the house’s existing rough plaster surfaces. It takes an artist’s eye and a craftsman’s hand to do it.

In the course of his work on our house, he told me of his work at Howlets years ago and his friendship with Bill Wertenbaker, the last of the Hales to own Howlets before its stewardship was recently passed to David Rabin and Heather Atwood.

He recently posted a comment on this blog recalling his association with Howlets.  I didn’t want readers to miss it, so am featuring it in this week’s post:

Congratulations to you Heather and, your family.

I am pleased to know that a well deserved curator has taken the reigns of nothing less than a true thoroughbred of a house.

I believe Bill will be happy to know that the property will be well cared for. I know Bill personally and, have spent truly, some wonderful days at the Estate while plastering many of the rooms that he tried to save from days of old, as well as the addition built out back.

For me it was a honor to have worked for someone who not only appreciated your craft but, wanted more importantly to know the man behind the craft.

We spent a good amount of time getting to know each other while looking out over the beautiful rocky coast beyond the well cared for sloping grounds.

My wife and I had the chance to become reacquainted with Bill, as we were invited by him to his farewell party.

We discussed with Bill how we all hoped that the house would go to the “right person”, as he was very proud and humble that the “Studio/House” was built for his family and, in his family only, for all these years.

There is something extra ordinary about the house, the land, the views, it all seems to encompass and hold to it’s own, the raw organic simpler ways of life that feel, well, ordinary.

Maybe that’s why it feels so extra ordinary, because we have seemed to think that we can recreate something better than what once was.

I think not.
Like a dear old friend, may that house forever be.

Thanks, Craig, for your poetic description of your memories of Bill and Howlets.

Craig Moore