The Story Behind the “Mulberry House”

If you’ve walked the path bordering the woods at Silverwood Park to the west of the farmstead, you might have noticed the Mulberry House. Maybe you even wondered how it came to be a part of the scenery here!

Artist Rae Hoehn by the Birdhouse sculpture

Volunteer Rita Fox rests by the Mulberry House

Rae Hoen is an Edgerton-area artist and a friend of Rita Fox, Volunteer Woods Restoration Manager with Friends of Silverwood Park. Amazed at Rae’s ability to capture different scenes on canvas and oak cuts. Rita invited Rae to work with her  in 2020 on the White Mulberry Treehouse.

Near the entrance to the woods, a huge mulberry tree had to be cut down, as it was not appropriate to the Oak Savanna being restored at the park. Rita stopped the foresters from cutting it totally down. Instead, she brought in her friend Rae to design a “home” on the remaining stump for various woodland creatures, displayed on oak cuts. They topped it off with a roof created by Rita’s son-in-law, Jamey Siegert.  Hikers can enjoy looking for animals like raccoons, chipmunks, frogs, and even a bird perched on the roof. Hikers can rest on the natural seat.

Elsewhere in the woods, a 2021 addition was created—a smaller Birdhouse sculpture. This time Rae featured Wisconsin birds in paintings on the oak cuts.  Again, the remains of a mulberry tree were used.

Rae’s life suffered a set-back in August of 2021 when she contracted Lymes Disease. We hope she is soon able to return to her regular activities and love of creating artworks.  Rae advises you to WATCH OUT FOR TICKS!

Rae is an artist, but also a teacher, a photographer, a poet, a mother, a grandmother,  bike rider, and a person who loves to be out in nature.  On her website, she describes her approach: “As an artist, I  paint from the Inner Reflections of the feelings and visions that come to me from the places I am and the moments in time that take my breath away.  Colors and patterns in nature are a theme that runs through my artwork. I use all painting media and a variety of sizes depending on the subject.  Though I can paint photorealism, my work now tends toward adding ‘air or magic or feelings’ …. I am painting the feeling of the location and not the vista available at any one moment in time.” Learn more about Rae’s classes and custom artwork at her website: