Deep in the woods of Kansas, there is something strange and magical happening along a deceptively normal trail. In 2013, the Fisher family found that out firsthand. Not only is the landscape of this forest park beautiful, but the Tomahawk Creek Trail has a secret. As you walk along the trail, you enter “The Firefly Forest,” in which a few of the trees are designed to look like little fairy houses. The family was about to find something behind those doors that was more captivating than they could have imagined and it changed their lives in a way you won’t believe.
#12 Strange Dwellings
The city where this magical place can be found is Overland Park in Kansas. It seemed like almost overnight, small little doors were being found on trees in the forest on the outskirts of town. Once the doors were opened, they often led to exciting and detailed little homes on the inside of the trees.
#11 The Firefly Forest
Since these little homes began popping up in the forest a few years ago, they collectively have been dubbed the “Firefly Forest.” This has become a popular destination as people wanted to check out the colorful, creative, and cool little homes. But people began to wonder, where did they come from?
#10 Meet Robyn Frampton
No, unfortunately these little creations weren’t the work of magic. Instead, new Overland Park resident Robyn Frampton is behind them. After a stressful divorce, the single mother decided to start building these little houses to help her sons cope with the separation and give them a momentary escape into a fantasy world.
#9 Her Secret Was Out
However, soon it wasn’t only Frampton and her children enjoying the small dwellings. Other families and children began to find out about these creations. These gave neighbors something to bond over and helped many people “escape” reality for a time, just like she had intended when she first built them for her children.
#8 All In The Details
While people loved the little doors, they flocked for the details. Inside the trees, she often put tiny little beds, kitchens, and other household additions. She would also periodically change the decor in specific houses, as if to say a new fairy had moved in. She even had a home where people could leave notes for the fairies.
#7 The Fisher Family
One of the families that left a note was the Fisher family. Kelly Fisher and her husband often took walks along the trail to check out the homes. They visited the forest to reminisce about their daughter, Allie, who passed away at the age of three due to brain cancer. She loved the outdoors and her parents often called her “little owl” and the note they left was in memory of her.
#6 The Note Touched Frampton
As you could expect, Frampton receives quite a few notes in the mailbox. But the note that the Fisher family left stuck out in her head. She really empathized with the family and knew what she had to do. She decided that she had to create a door for the family and their lost daughter, Allie.
#5 Allie’s Own Door
She did just that. Frampton decided to hollow out a tree stump and created a little door for Allie and her family. The door was painted green and featured a little owl on the front. Her family was so happy and thankful for this and they now have somewhere to go and remember her. But it wouldn’t last …
#4 Shut It Down
When the houses became uber popular, the Director of Park Services (Greg Ruether) became concerned. He was worried about who would maintain the many different homes. As a result, it was ruled they all had to be taken down. Thankfully, the story of these little houses wasn’t quite over yet.
#3 Bittersweet End
Despite the fact she had just helped the Fishers in a tremendous way, Frampton had to pack up all of her houses. Not only did she pack them all up, she actually moved to a different state. She took her two boys and her tiny little doors and headed off to Utah.
#2 The Single Door
While she took most of the little doors down, she just so happened to leave one behind in the forest. This was the door she created for the Fisher family to celebrate their daughter. You can tell she really empathized with the family on a personal level and really felt for them.
#1 The Future
There has since been a documentary on this story, called “The Gnomist.” With that being a success, Frampton has had a ton of support from around the globe. She is now busy working on a large-scale project for the Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are also rumblings that tiny doors have begun to appear in the woods in Utah.
The kind of selflessness and empathy that Frampton showed throughout this story is magical. She never wanted money or fame as a result of her crafts, just to put smiles on people’s faces who needed it most. In what began as a tiny project for her sons, she eventually helped hundreds through hard times. While the story could have crashed to a halt after being told to take down the houses back in Kansas, that was a blessing in disguise. Now, Frampton is working on a much bigger scale and will help a ton of children in the process.