The goal was to keep the integrity of the house intact. “We wanted to make sure these houses always carried the stories of the families who lived here,” he said.
“That way when you visit these houses, it doesn’t feel like just another historical home — you feel the lives of the people who called it home. Otherwise, they are just a bunch of wooden structures,” he continued. “They are meaningless without the families and the stories that are tied to them.”
House 12 is dedicated to Amandie Lynn, known as Mandy. She was born in 1897 and eventually would work at the mill as a winder, making $1 an hour in 1960. She was well known in the village for her quilts, kindness, and baking.
To honor Mandy and her family, the house is decorated with buttons, quilts, large wooden spools that she would have used at the mill, and other items. “The house is full of Easter eggs (clues to the home’s history),” Reyes said. “If you stay in here long enough, you’ll start to see more and more details. Everything in this house was chosen for a specific reason.”
Reyes’ mother and wife, Elaine Namour and Melissa Reyes respectively, refurbished and repurposed items found in the Company Store and around the property to decorate House 12 with. A few of these projects include repurposing a sewing table into a sink and making a lampshade out of wooden spools.