Recently, we discovered a different sort of nest among the birds in the Marshes of Indiana exhibit at the Joseph Moore Museum. A tiny door on the side of the exhibit leads into a well-furnished, one-room house fashioned from a portable snake cage. The apparently tiny residents of this mysterious abode have impressed us with their creative use of objects found around the museum, such as sea shells for beds and table settings and a piece of turtle shell for a door knocker. After doing some research, we came across pictures and stories of similar doors and abodes in business throughout Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ann Arborite Jonathan B. Wright calls the residents of the tiny dwellings “Urban Fairies”. Curious individuals and families have developed a map of the fairy doors in Ann Arbor and marveled as the number of residences—and their fan base—have grown.
Just as people in Ann Arbor observed, where there is one house full of fairies, more are bound to start appearing. We'll be on the lookout for more fairy houses here in Richmond, and you should too! If you find any, send us a picture (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll post it. If you have questions about how the Fairies chose the Joseph Moore Museum, we'll be happy to answer your questions at the same email address.
If you want to find out more about the Urban Fairies, check out this YouTube video interview with one of the Fairies' main chroniclers, and this one about the philosophical implications of fairy doors and local pride, an NPR article, and check out the Urban Fairies Operations homepage!
Don't forget to leave the fairies a little housewarming gift-they appreciate a little art, a nice knick-knack, or anything miniature!
Update April 18, 2013:
The fairies are really taking off here in Richmond! Two more business have discovered fairy doors inside their establishments.
The fairies at the The Olde North Chapel took the inspiration for their front door from the stained-glass double doors of the chapel.
This tall townhouse must give the faires a work out! (Maybe it has an elevator?) Stop by Veach's Toy Station to peek inside and see for yourself!
Fairies love visitors (and the little presents, like beads and tiny erasers, left behind). What would you leave?
With so many fairies moving in around Richmond, the Richmond-Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau is making a map of all their homes to help them feel welcome. Keep an eye out for it in June!