Spruce Forrest Artisan Village felt like a long era of folk craftsmanship was lost.
Organizers of the Handicraft village in the spruce forest, adjacent to the Penn Alps restaurant in Grantsville, Md., felt like a long era of folk craft was lost, when a devastating windstorm struck on April 8, 2020.
After: Spruce forest lost stoic forest trees
The downward wind knocked down 50 of the spruce trees that defined the name of the village. Until then, the trees offered protection, shade and calm to the historic cabins inside. But with the crushing of the trees, three of the huts were destroyed, in addition to damaging the village church and other buildings.
The pandemic adds to the difficult situation.
Reform and reinvent
After a bit of mourning, all those who are striving to maintain the spruce forest have pulled themselves together and formed a plan to rebuild and reinvent, for giving up is not the nature of the people of this region and certainly not nature. from the person who started Penn Alps and imagined Spruce Forrest – Alta Schrock.
As the Spruce Forest Facebook page recently said: “When God closes one door, he opens another”.
After: Genealogy preserves heritage for future generations
After a long cleaning, the destroyed buildings and the felled trees were removed. Most of the damaged buildings were repaired, paths were put in place, volunteers collected sticks and planted flowers.
It is therefore through the new door that God provided, that the craft village of Spruce Forrest opened for the season on May 1st.
The opening hours of the village are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, closed on Sunday, except for certain guest artists. Two restaurants are open for dinner. Masks are compulsory in buildings. Check out their Facebook page for news and events.
New this year is the Casselmead House, so named by Alta Schrock, a white house opposite the village car park, to the left of the church. Formerly offering offices, artist quarters and classrooms, it has now been transformed into a studio and gallery for guest artists and artists who have lost their spaces due to the storm.
Doug Salmon, a professional silversmith who makes custom jewelry and has lost his cabin, now has his studio in the Riverside Studio under Lynn Lais’ pottery studio. The entrance faces the Casselman Bridge. This space is larger than his old cabin and leaves him more room for lessons.
On Fridays in the village there will be a docent (volunteer teacher) who will provide information on the historic school of Compton.
Musical and entertaining presentations will take place on weekends during the summer with the Mountain City Center of the Arts in Frostburg, Maryland. In addition, other performers will demonstrate in tents outside the spruce forest and cornucopia.
For more information on Spruce Forest, visit https://www.rebuildspruceforest.com.