On March 24, a local landmark was damaged when the head of the well-known Mother Goose House fell from the building. Since then, several local businesses and community organizations have come together to raise money for the rebuilding of the building’s head.
The Mother Goose is owned by the family of George and Ollie Stacy, and is currently being leased as the Mother Goose Inn and Gift Shop run by Sherry Spradlin. Over the years, Spradlin said, the Mother Goose House has sustained damage from weather and age, and a fundraising effort recently began in an effort to repair the building and prevent that kind of damage.
“Most of it, it had problems but the damage that was done and what caused it to fall off has been the recent storm damage. When we had the ice storm it was completely covered which made it weakened and caused it to leak. Then the snow laid on it which was heavy and made it even worse, and then the wind damage (came),” said Spradlin. “It has been braced on the inside numerous times since we had damage (last) Easter weekend.”
She said there have been several attempts to keep the structure steady.
The Mother Goose House turned 80 years old in August, but still had many features based on the 1940s. Some of those were damaged when the head fell, said Spradlin. “The way it came down, the beak fell down first and it shattered the front door. The front door was probably six to eight inches of solid cedar,” said Spradlin. “It is in pieces, it will have to be completely redone.”
The door, said Alice McIntosh, the current owner of the Mother Goose House, and the niece of George and Ollie Stacy, was very important to her family, as was the entire head.
“My uncle, he did it when he was 17 years old before he went to the Army. The door was really important.”
The roof and door were damaged, but the interior was not, she said.
“We’re grateful for that,” said McIntosh.
Spradlin said she and the family are also glad that nobody was present or injured during the incident.
“We are very blessed that nobody was there,” she said.
Seeing the damage of the fall was upsetting, said McIntosh.
“I was devastated. It was just awful to get out there and see it just toppled off,” she said. McIntosh said the family welcomed representatives from historical preservation groups in Frankfort who came to assess the Mother Goose House on March 29. McIntosh said she hopes they will help fund and rebuild the Mother Goose House, but if not, the family will work on it their selves.
“If we have to, we’ll do it ourselves. Some way we’ll do it,” she said, stating they are looking into beginning the process as early as this week. “We’re going to salvage everything we can.”
The family had recently set up a GoFundMe account for donations to repair the neck before the head fell, but now the original goal amount will be increased, said Spradlin.
“Now it’s a whole different story to reconstruct and put everything back. I imagine it will be double that (amount),” she said. The family has since opened up a bank account at First Trust Bank in Hazard so people can use PayPal or stop by to donate.
In the days following the incident, several local businesses and community organizations have come together to raise money for the rebuilding of the building’s head. As of Tuesday, the GoFundMe account had received more than $10,000 in donations.
“Every dime will go back into the building because it’s going to take that much to get it fixed,” said McIntosh. “It’s awesome to see the community want to see her back up. It kind of belongs to the community.”
She said the Mother Goose House has been around so long it is like it’s part of everyone’s lives. “
I’m glad they want to be part of it, I’m tickled to death,” she said.
“We appreciate all the love and support we’ve been given. It’s been wonderful,” said Spradlin. “It’s just been overwhelming but very much appreciated.”
Spradlin said she will be able to continue operating the gift shop, but the inn will temporarily be closed and she will have to cancel the Easter bookings. To donate to the family’s rebuilding funds, visit the First Trust Bank in Hazard or contact the family.