PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- Author J.R.R. Tolkien introduced the world to hobbits, a fictional human-like race about half the height of people. For fans wanting to see a hobbit house for themselves, they don’t need a trip to Middle Earth. They just need to plan a trip to The Brothers Greenhouses in Port Orchard.
Owners Cheryl Pelkey and Marilyn Davis first met as greenhouse employees long before going into business together. In 1996, the two bought the company and started to make it their own. They built the Hobbit House over a six-month period and opened it to the public in 2015.
Over the years, they’ve welcomed thousands of visitors from around the world. Fans have filled four journals with well wishes and notes of admiration, they think.
“They write in a different language, and I don’t know exactly where it comes from or what they said,” Pelkey explains with a laugh.
There is no language barrier between the owners and John Antonetti, who’s visiting from Arkansas.
“So I’ve seen it online and I was coming up to the area for business, and I thought, ‘Well I’m just going to make a side trip and come see this spectacular piece,’” said Antonetti.
His plans include building a similar hobbit house for his grandson, and Pelkey gladly answers all of his curious questions.
The Brothers Greenhouses offers a flat free to anyone wanting to visit: Free! The women credit their community for allowing them to keep their doors open.
“Our business really is, despite people coming from wherever to visit the Hobbit House, it’s our local customers and our Port Orchard people,” says Davis. “It is our local community that supports this place, and they’ve been very kind to us, really.”