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Man makes houses cheep

July 28, 2000

Man makes houses cheep



By JOSH POLTILOVE / Staff Writer


CAVETOWN - Harry Swope began building birdhouses to stay active. In the past 18 months, he has built 2,297.

Swope, 81, and his wife sell the birdhouses on their front porch from early morning to nighttime, and have a courtesy box for people who show up when the Swopes aren't out.

He said he doesn't make much profit, considering the cost to make the houses, but it gives him something to do. The work also gives him a chance to work with wood, something he did for the 30 years he owned a sawmill.

Swope is not building the houses while he recovers from stomach surgery. Still, his business has continued.

He's got about 275 houses on hand. His favorite is a church with a bell on top.

"This is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever gotten into," said Swope, who lives at 11844 Mapleville Road. "My birdhouses are in houses from Florida to Maine, from the East Coast to the West Coast. There's even one in England."

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When people buy the birdhouses now, many deal with Swope's wife, Faye. After selling a birdhouse, she often takes the buyer into her garden and gives them some flowers.

"Anytime anybody wants flowers, I tell them, 'Don't you go to a greenhouse or a nursery, I'll give them to you,' " said Faye Swope.

Harry Swope said once he gets back on his feet, he'll resume building the birdhouses.

"I get so much enjoyment out of this," he said. "It just feels great to accomplish something."

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