As the RAL staff, member artists, and volunteers work to create our own mystical setting for the Enchanted Forest Gala on Saturday, June 27th, we thought we would share….. a magical story about an artist and her husband who created an Enchanted Forest of their own in Revelstoke, Canada…….
with over 350 fairy folk figurines, as well as many other whimsical surprises, hidden amongst 800 year-old cedars!
Boasting the tallest treehouse in British Columbia, plus many other imaginative creations, the Enchanted Forest in Revelstoke began as a retirement idea.
Artist Doris Needham and her husband Ernest needed a place to put her hand-sculpted cement creations. Their solution? They bought a forest and filled it with enchanted figures from fairy-tales and nursery rhymes.
During the 1950s, the couple cleared trails and built rock walls throughout eight acres of forest, using nothing but hand tools. Ernest also built them a small, gingerbread-like home, and installed a gravity water system using the waterfall across the highway, which is still in use today.
In the 1960s, the Needhams decided to open their Enchanted Forest to the public. The magical site became irresistible to sightseers who enjoyed exploring the forest to find whimsy and imagination living in every nook and cranny.
Dragons and pirates lurk on boulders and behind trees, dwarves and fairies relax by pools at the foot of waterfalls, small cottages appear around each bend with lush ferns growing on their roofs, nursery characters rest on rock walls, and the tallest treehouse in British Columbia reaches for the sky.
By the 1970s, their retirement project had become a full-time job with millions of visitors and so the Needhams sold their Enchanted Forest to the Ehler family who loved it, and have continued to care for it and keep it available to visitors.
Without all the artistic additions, the forest is quite beautiful in its own right, complete with beaver ponds for boating, 800 year-old cedars, salmon spawning, and moose and caribou sightings.
Excerpted from: AtlasObscura.com Contributor: elinar
Read the article & see more Enchanted Forest photos.
Don’t forget to grab your tickets now to the RAL’s Enchanted Forest Gala – this Saturday, June 27th! MORE INFO.