A Little History of the 30 Ash Street Building
This folk Victorian house was built by Caleb Farley for the Russell family in 1881. The in-town house was then bought by George Patch when he left his family farm, eventually handing it down to his son Henry Patch. Subsequent owners included Samuel Bascom and Edson Hurd. In the 40s and 50s the house was owned by the Lund family.
The house was bought by the Whitty family in 1966 and in 1970 Arthur and Lucie Whitty opened their “Natural Light Photography Studio”, which was a well known local establishment for over 30 years. In an age of flash/indoor photography, Arthur was a pioneer for his natural light portraits and was known also for his scenic local photography. He served for many years on the Hollis volunteer rescue squad – often being the first to arrive due to his home’s proximity to the fire station.
Wild Salamander founder KC Morgan felt the creative energy of 30 Ash Street when she walked into Art Whitty’s gallery in the late 1980s. She sent Arthur’s photography cards back to her family in Ohio and would sometimes just stop to see what was new. After the Whitty family left the area in 1999, the Ash Street location held several different businesses, among them, “Uniquely New England”, “Mindful Body and Spa” and “Bodies Defined Fitness Studio”.
A simple conversation with a friend led the Morgans back to the Whitty house, when it was up for sale. The property was purchased by the Morgans in December 2011, and extensive renovations followed. Wild Salamander opened in May 2012 with a few classes and workshops and summer camps soon to follow. KC and Charlie Morgan have done subsequent renovations, expanding the “Whitty Gallery” and “Wild Little Art Shop”, and also doing new outdoor landscaping work in the front to make the building ADA accessible in 2017.
The house in the 1950s when it was owned by they Lund family.
© Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center