By Lisa Hughes

WILMINGTON (CBS) – Tiny fairy houses have delighted kids in Wilmington for the last year, but now they’re gone, victims of vandalism. That’s leaving a lot of disappointed people.

The man behind the whimsical designs has always wanted to be anonymous. But now he’s going public with his disappointment and appreciation for all the support he’s receiving. And young and old are united, hoping he’ll build again.

“I have remnants here of what was left from a number of houses that I put around Rotary Park and the pond,” says 75-year-old Bob Boyce showing us damaged goods in his garage woodshop.

Bob Boyce is the artist behind the fairy houses in Wilmington (WBZ-TV)

Bob’s artist name is Grumpy, something he’s definitely not. In fact he has an uplifting spirit, creating fairy houses all for the delight of Wilmington’s children.

“Somebody asked me do you get paid to do this and I said nope. I said I just do it for the love of it,” he says. He knows the kids love it, too, because they often leave drawings and notes for him in the fairy house mailboxes.

For the last year, he’s been secretly placing the fairy houses here, at Rotary Park in Wilmington. So you can imagine his hurt when he found them destroyed. “I was devastated. I couldn’t believe that somebody would do this,” he says.

Fairy house at Rotary Park in Wilmington (WBZ-TV)

Yesterday someone smashed his hard work and dumped the pieces in the pond. You can still see a few floating. He pulled another piece out while we were with him.

“The kids really enjoyed them. I really enjoyed them,” says Wilmington resident Alison Hirst. She and her 5-year-old son Andrew come to the park a lot. The fairy houses were special to them. “It feels like, I was happy,” Andrew says.


“I can tell so much time and energy went into them, and it made me really sad that somebody would do that,” Alison says.

One positive, Andrew got to meet Grumpy Tuesday. “Kids today need something like this. They need that fantasy land, a nice fantasy land,” Bob says.

At first Grumpy told us he was undecided about building again, but after meeting Andrew and his mom and hearing how much the fairy houses mean to them, he’s going to repair the ones that were damaged and get them back out there.

Lisa Hughes