Dear Friends of the House,
We hope this finds you well and healthy. A lot of great things have been happening since we last touched base in spring, and we wanted to catch you up!
The biggest news is that after four amazing years in the hi-desert of Southern California, we just bought a beautiful acre of waterfront land in the Tidewater Region of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula. The lot is located in the town of Port Haywood, in Mathews County, an area rich in American as well as maritime history. It’s also close to the charming town of Mathews, which boasts wonderful art studios, antique stores, and restaurants.
Tim Daniel, a skilled and knowledgable real estate agent from the firm of IsaBell K. Horsley found the acre for us and helped us negotiate a reasonable price. Tim knew we needed to find the right place for our purposes, that every dollar had to count, and that we were looking for a spot with a higher purpose. It’s Tim that found us the acre, and we’re grateful he did. For more info about Tim, check out: https://www.horsleyrealestate.com/agents/tim-daniel/.
Now begins the adventure of developing the lot from the ground up. We always had in mind that we would take this process in stages, only moving forward when we could afford it, one step at a time. And, since my day job is that of a playwright, we decided to break the process up into 3 “acts” as it were.
ACT 1: “THE SEARCH" Find a beautiful (and affordable) parcel of land on the waterfront in Virginia. (Check!)
See left: Acre lot, Evered House Virginia ACT 2: DEVELOP WITH CARE Develop the land (by "developing it" as little as possible.) Starting with the process of wetland delineation via the Army Corps of Engineers, we’ll update the survey of the lot, finding the safest and most appropriate spot for the house. We’ll start to lightly clear a few trees and some of the brush, creating a small unobtrusive driveway and parking area with a couple spaces —as well as a footpath to the actual house site. (Doing all this, while striving to keep as many of the original trees and retaining as much of the natural landscape as possible.) Other tasks? Entrance fencing, septic determination, water well determination, electrical tie in, raise a couple of American flags, one at the entrance to the driveway, one at water’s edge, small pier determination, and place a sturdy mailbox right out front. ACT 3: THE BUILD Build a small and sustainable house with a brilliant view of the waterways and boats leading out to the Chesapeake Bay.
While we’ll always appreciate our California beginnings, the advantages of our moving to Virginia are many. Among them, the Commonwealth is incredibly veteran-friendly. It’s also more affordable, and we can operate year-round, (rather than having to close down during those scorching desert summers.) Our target date is to open the house for the first resident in the Fall of 2025, understanding that regardless of the best-laid plans, in land development and construction, delays happen. Still, however, we’ll continue to move forward one stage at a time in order to build a beautiful place for those who serve to create for many years to come.
In the meantime, while we develop the new residency, we continue to actively serve those who serve. On October 1st, we awarded the first of two “Evered House Grants” of $1000 to Shaniyah Bernabela, a talented up-and-coming film director from New Jersey. Shaniyah is a recent graduate of Rutgers as well as a member of the Army National Guard. We'll present the second grant in January to John Kiernan. In March, we'll present the first of many “Evered House Awards,” to Citlali Patterson.
A third grant for $200 was presented to Jared LaSalle in May. In addition to grant giving, we’ll be sponsoring writing contests, hosting readings and initiating other varied events in the Mathews County area that will help support and amplify the voices of artists who serve. How can you help? Please continue to spread the word about our mission. And if you haven’t already, join our "200 Campaign," signing up to commit $10 a month to support our efforts. It’s easy to join up, just go to: www.EveredHouse.org and hit “Donate.” If you have any questions, hit us back at this email address and someone will reach out and help you. And finally, we’d like to extend a thank you and shout out to Richard Gonzalez, who worked with us for a short time and joined our 200 Campaign. Also, a special thank you to the remarkable Margaret Evered, who is working hard for her family’s non-profit while at the same time, navigating a brand new full-time job and preparing for an impending move to Washington DC in the new year. We couldn’t be more thankful and proud of you Margaret! Until the next newsletter, stay safe everyone, and thank you for your continued support! Charles Evered, President/Founder