Place Category: Visitor Center Artisans
Born in Syracuse, NY, Richard Rouse spent his early years with his siblings playing in the cabbage barns and truck farm fields of peas and potatoes near Preble, NY. His father joined the work of rebuilding a nation after the Great Depression finally settling the family in farm in northern New York state.
Always engrossed in a project to build or study while still in high school, young Rouse built a boat, a garden for the family, telescopes, radios, model airplanes, sculpted with iron and wood, and flew light aircraft at the local airport. He later built an astronomy observatory attached to his house.
He became a journeyman carpenter working summers and after school with his father’s growing construction business. Following his father into the field of industrial construction and structural steel fabrication, Rouse successfully rose through the ranks and led the company for a number of years to record achievements.
After adventures exploring the west, rockhounding, living on the sea, and in New Orleans, he dreamed of settling in a location where he could renew his childhood interest in honey bees, natural food systems and self-sufficiency.
A child of the Depression, he found entertainment in the natural world, inspiration from overcoming hardship, and humor from the human condition. Tales of home, adventure and delight began to form into creative writing in his seventh decade. As a lifelong and avid reader, lover of Gilbert and Sullivan music, and keen observer of people, at the age of 88 these tales coalesced to his first volume in print, The Welcome Home Door and Other Stories.
His travels eventually led him to settle in rural Southern Appalachia where he resides with his wife, writing, gardening, and growing woodland mushrooms and tinkering with the renewable energy systems.