It’s been a slow process, but we can see the possibilities ahead. After a two year hiatus, the Spider Web Farm is coming back to life. It’s been so hard not only without our barn, but moistly without our Will. He was our leader.
He would be happy to see that we captured and transferred spider eggs this year and that they are growing in their little racks. We’ve given them time to get bigger and hope to start collecting soon. Hopefully we will have webs available in mid-July.
Because the fire destroyed all our inventory, we’re starting from scratch and are limiting our hours considerably. We’ll be available Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5PM. While we may not have much to sell at the start, I’ll be glad to fill you in on the collecting process, spiders and of course Will.
Please drop by to see our progress and share your memories of Will.
Although the Spider Web Farm is but a shadow of its former “glory” it’s coming along slowly but surely. As usual nothing is as simple as it sounds and after a long summer filled with delays and problems we have our new shop, a section of which will hold out future displays of our lovely Spider Web Plaques.
Our racks are up and if you stop by you’ll probably see some spiders at work, but because of electrical delays we were unable to collect this summer. Since our inventory of webs was destroyed by the fire, we won’t have webs available until spring.
Meanwhile our spiders are busy on our front porch and we expect to find some good spider eggs ready to hatch come spring.
It’s been a sad year without Will and the flurry of activity with visitors enjoying our little operation. If you happen to be in the area please feel free to stop, take a photo of the racks and, if we’re around, say hello. We don’t have webs to sell, we’d be happy to talk about the good old days with Will and explain our plans to continue our Spider Web Farm.
Our new shop is rapidly coming along. Sometimes I wake up and it’s as though elves have been working on it overnight! But it’s really our dedicated builder and his crew that have made this happen. And all this happened this week! Will would have been so pleased to see it come together this way.
I’ll post another picture update on our progress next week. I guess we’d better start getting some plaques ready for the grand opening – hope to see you here.
As promised here is a look at the progress of our shop rebuilding. The excavation is complete and we have the base for the new building. Now we’re just waiting for the concrete.
Possibly sensing that something is different this year, our spiders haven’t been as productive as usual. It could also be due to the wet spring and early summer we’ve had. As the building progresses we hope to start collecting webs, making plaques and generally getting ready to greet you in the fall. Stay tuned.
How do you fill the big hole in your life? Whether it’s a building or a loved one, when you’ve loved something for most of your lifetime the hole will never truly be filled. What to do?
Will loved his Spider Web Farm almost as much as he loved his family. So it seemed only natural to rebuild a building; not with a replica but with a place to carry on with his work. That’s easier said than done but we will do it.
Replacing Will will never happen; he was one of a kind. He did teach Will Jr. well though and did leave materials sufficient to carry on in his name. I will continue to talk our way through with my knowledge of spiders and stories galore.
Please watch our website. We thought we would be open by summer but costs have slowed the project. (To help see our GoFundMe page.) We’re working towards mid August or September and will keep you posted.
The web frames are up and the caution sign is out.
Spring has sprung, or so they tell us since it has been cooler and wetter than normal. Will has set out the web collecting frames to get our little workers thinking about spinning.
Plans are underway for a new shop; it won’t be as big as the old barn but we hope it will have close to the same display space. Will has been thinking about what is really needed in the wood working shop.
It may be a while before we have some of signature web plaques for sale. Even when the spiders start spinning and we have some plaques to put them on we’ll need some for display to start out with. So we are asking that you call ahead to check on what we have or watch the site for the announcement that we have the first batch.
We’ve already had old friends and customers show up to see for themselves what the fire did and to offer support. Since we don’t have regular hours right now we appreciate a call in advance of your visit.
We will be posting pictures here as the construction starts and we have those first webs. Thank you for your interest and support and don’t forget that our GoFundMe page is still active.
The students from Williamstown Elementary School with Will. This shows the card they made (top) as well as the check and delicious apple pie with a spider design crust.
Our recent fire has made for a tough couple of weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day. But our neighbors and friends have really gone the extra mile in helping us. We especially appreciated a group of students from the elementary school who came by to give us money they collected as well as a special gift.
The students chose us as their community project this holiday season. It turns out that many of them have visited the farm in the past for tours I give for school kids. I focus on how amazing spiders are and how beneficial they are to us in so many ways.
The students had held a coin drop to help us with the clean-up and rebuilding. They also made a very nice spider card for the presentation and a tasty apple pie with a spider design crust. (see below).
The sight of them trooping up the hill to the farm, the thoughtfulness of the presentation and just that they chose us brought tears to my eyes. It was all captured by our local news team and you can see the report on their site. (http://bit.ly/2gf8xzq)
This all happened just days after a fundraiser dinner/dance put on by some of our friends. That was also a touching moment when they presented us with the check. I got choked up that night also.
In this time of thanksgiving Mother and I are thankful that no one was hurt in the fire (including our cat) and for the thoughtfulness of our neighbors and visitors. We are truly thankful and blessed.
This has been a tough couple of weeks for mother and me. First, to watch helplessly as flames consumed the shop and store. Then standing by as the pile of rubble was loaded up and hauled away. I’d much rather have been getting the store ready for the next customers.
But I just can’t sit still. I’ve already started planning what the new shop will have and look like. People have been stopping in to inquire about us and see if it’s really true. I understand, sometimes you just have to see something with your own eyes. I tell them, I did see it with my own eyes – and it wasn’t pretty.
A lot of the visitors, and some callers, have asked if they can help us rebuild. Well our daughter has started a fund raising page on a site I never heard of, called GoFundMe. We really appreciate her doing this. Even if you don’t want to donate, you should check out the nice way she wrote everything up. You can go directly to the page by following this link to GoFundMe.
Don’t forget to check back with us in the spring for an update on our plans. Thanks for your concern and support.
On October 25th the Spider Web Farm was destroyed by fire. It was devastating. Fortunately no one was hurt but all machinery, equipment and raw materials were destroyed. Our 40th year was so rewarding. Although webs were scarce we met so many people from all over the world who enjoyed their visit.
All is not lost! We have our web collecting sheds, our “Spiders At Work” sign and, with the encouragement of family and friends, are planning to begin again.
Look for posts on the website as we work our way through this winter and we’ll share future plans. We’ve posted pictures of the cleanup below
You all have brought us so very much pleasure over the years and we’re hopeful we’ll be making a comeback. We love you all and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a may we meet again.
Will and Terry
This is what was left after the firemen hosed it down to prevent a restart.
The cleanup begins.
Having celebrated my 90th birthday this winter it takes me longer to get moving these days. While the going is slow, we’re looking forward to collecting spider webs this summer. Folks stopping by have been great even though the spiders are scarce
and not yet producing.
The weather looks promising, but so far no really warm and humid days to bring out the bugs and the spiders. Stay in touch and email if you have questions. We look forward to getting our 40th year of collecting back on track.