The Pink House is located on Plum Island Turnpike.
The house's notoriety is in part due to a popular local urban legend about its creation. The story suggests the house's location was a result of a divorce in which the wife demanded an exact replica of their Newburyport house, but failed to specify the location, resulting in the spiteful husband building it on the edge of town, in the Great Marsh with saltwater plumbing. For this reason, the building is often listed as an example of a spite house.
The organization of the Support the Pink House is astounding. The press, the outreach, the knowledgeable people involved is incredible. It boggles the mind that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) who owns the property has not gotten the message, “Turn the property over to the community now,” really. What more does it take to persuade a bureaucratic institution to respond appropriately.
I moved here in 1981 and was always haunted by the Pink House, but I never created an image of it until it was threatened. And I’ve been thinking what is the subliminal message, the allure of the Pink House. There is an emotional and psychological pull that causes a visceral response in people. It intrigues and inspires.
It feels like an abandoned and abused woman who proudly holds her head high, visually available to everyone who can see her from every side, and fights to retain her dignity. And that she is threatened with extinction is the ultimate insult.
That is a perception that is not so far from both the history and the legend which are explained at length on the Support the Pink House website. There is the legend of the Pink House and there is the history. The history is interesting. The legend, however, sparks a visceral reaction and speaks of a universal experience, for anyone who has some life experience. Looking at the Pink House one can imagine how it could be true. The legend grew up around the Pink House, and in my mind is as valuable as the actual facts. It is not a lie, it is not misinformation, it speaks to the power of myth and a larger shared human understanding. It is part of what makes the Pink House so compelling.