It's better than a word-of-the-day calendar!


For five years now, a couple in Richmond has been expanding the vocabulary of those passing by their 'house with the word'. According to the Portland Press Herald, this all started 5 years ago when Ruthanne Harrison and her husband, Doug Chess, came home after grabbing coffee, to their driveway plowed!

They had no idea who did it, so they stuck a sign on their lawn that said, 'Thank You'. Everyone around town started saying, 'You're welcome!' That sparked the idea of putting up random words to see if they could get a response. For instance, right now the word is Cahokia. (It means wild geese, it's the name of an Illinois Indian tribe)


They are both artists and sometimes don't want to change the word - but they egg each other on to keep the words coming. They haven't run out of words yet! They sometimes change the word weekly or every other week. Whatever they have the energy for. It takes a lot to change out the plywood and paint it.

The interest from the public is a huge motivating factor. Everyone has been super positive about 'the house with the word'...except for one person. That one person thought all the random words together told a story - it doesn't. They are just random words. If you are ever on Front Street in Richmond, bring your dictionary!



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