Meet the Gordon Family

Merina, Beverly, John

Here we are. Merina and Beverly in back with John in the chair.

Hi, we are Beverly and John owners of Castlemoyle Books and the publishers of Spelling Power and other individualized educational materials. We would like to share our journey with you so you can get to know us better.

When we began home schooling in 1987, the first year it was legal in Washington State, finding the books and materials we needed was much harder than it is today. The materials that were available, even those by the two main Christian publishers, were not at all created for use by home schoolers. Quite by accident, Beverly discovered school district auctions and started going to them to purchase maps, desks, science equipment, text books and library books for our girls. After a few auctions, we were overwhelmed by the blessing we had discovered. John suggested we sell the extra books at a yard sale. Through this sale, we met many other families who were also beginning the home school journey. Before long, we were running a permanent sale out of our garage and Family Educational Resources was born.

From the beginning, our goal was to help home schooling families be good stewards of their budgets while providing them excellent resources. We were one of the first new and used curriculum stores in the United States. Our entire family was involved in sorting, inventorying, and selling the used textbooks and library books we bought from public and Christian school surplus sales. After a 1990 move to a place with a bigger shop, we began expanding our services and offerings. Beverly began offering home school supervising, tutoring, achievement testing, and home school classes and workshops in the classroom space in our shop. We gradually added new and consigned books specifically for home schoolers to our offerings. We also updated our business name to Family Educational Resources’ Learning Garden.

As Home Schoolers, We Understand Your Needs

We actively home educated our daughters for over 28 years straight! The Lord blessed us with three beautiful and talented daughters – Amelia, Angelia, and Merina. Like many of you, we know the struggles of providing for a family on one income. We know the challenges of selecting just the right curriculum for each child’s needs and the need to balance individual needs and the economy of group teaching. Like some of you, we have experienced the other side of this challenge too -- home educating an only child. We know the frustration of working with a child who has learning issues and the joys of working with a child with special gifts and talents. Finally, like you, we have experienced the exhilaration of our children growing and succeeding in what Our Lord has called them to do with their lives.

About our Daughters

Our oldest daughter, Amelia (a.k.a. Amy), was graduated from home schooling in 1992. After graduating she attended culinary arts school. She has worked for a number of restaurants in management. She is currently the dietary manager/head cook at a prestigious care center. She is the mother of four beautiful children. Michael (24), like his mother, is in hospitality at an upscale hotel and Christopher (20) is in a carpentry apprenticeship program. Her two youngest children are still in school: Thomas (15) is a sophomore honors student and Victoria (13) is an excellent student in 8th grade and loves being active in sports, cooking, and sewing and crafting with her Grandma Beverly.

Angelia (aka Angie), our next in line, attended community college through an early entrance program during her last two years of high school, graduating in 1994. At the community college, she majored in criminal justice. She later attended the Police Academy and graduated the top in her class. Angie married a young sailor named Sam Cavanaugh in November, 1996. Sam recently retired from the U.S. Navy as a Master Chief and took a position with the U.S. Border Patrol. Angie is a process server for the county in which she resides. They have one daughter, Caitlynn, who was home educated up to 3rd grade. She attended an Arts High school magnet program and was graduated in 2017. She is currently attending a community college in Texas.

Our youngest daughter, Merina is over 17 years younger than are her sisters. She began kindergarten at home in 1999 and was graduated in 2012. Merina attended the Running Start program during her senior year of home schooling. Merina is a musician: playing piano, pipe organ, harp, guitar and singing. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in English Composition in May 2018. She works full time for Washington State University and plans to continue her studies in music towards her Masters and possibly a PhD. She composes classical and EDM pieces, serves as a substitute organist, and sings in her church choir and solos. She is also well into writing her first young-adult fantasy novel.

Spelling Power Launches Us into Publishing Business

As our two older children became more and more independent, Beverly found she had more free time than she had enjoyed in 20 years. This gave her time to finally sit down and document the research and methods she used to solve our Angie’s spelling problems. Just before the first edition of Spelling Power rolled off the presses our youngest, Merina, arrived. Merina crawled across the room two weeks after we exhibited Spelling Power for the first time. Well, so much for hours and hours of uninterrupted writing!

With the addition of Spelling Power and the explosion of companies with similar names, we decided to change our company name to reflect the new publishing aspect of our business. So, in 1993, our name went from Family Educational Resources’ Learning Garden to the name of our little place in Tukwila, WA. After visiting relatives in Ireland, we decided to name our little farm "Castlemoyle bally Eireann," which translates to “the dilapidated castle belonging to an Irish man.” For obvious reasons, we shortened the name to Castlemoyle Books.

It is hard to believe it has been 25 years since publishing the first edition of Spelling Power. Since then, we have published a variety of educational titles. We specialize in educational books and resources that are well-researched and are consistent with the philosophy of multi-aged, multi-sensory, multi-learning-style, and individualized educational materials.

We Open Castlemoyle Books & Buster House Tea Room in Pomeroy

The growth of our business and the deterioration of Beverly’s health sent us looking for a larger place with a drier climate than Seattle offered. We found the perfect place in October, 1998, when we happened upon Pomeroy, Washington, and the historic Hotel Revere. Pomeroy is a friendly, little town (pop. 1,500) in the extreme southeast corner of Washington State. Pomeroy is the only town in Garfield County. Farming and tourism are its claim to fame. U.S. Highway 12 follows the path of 1805 Lewis and Clark Trail of Discovery and is Pomeroy’s Main Street. The Historic Hotel Revere is located at the corner of 7th and Main in downtown Pomeroy. If you are ever in the area, please stop by and visit us.

Built in 1886, the hotel is on the National Historic Register and once offered 45 guest rooms with the main floor devoted to retail, office space for the local newspaper, and the hotel’s lobby and restaurant. Having been vacant since 1978, it is an understatement to say the hotel needed lots of work. Beverly’s parents moved to Pomeroy along with us to help with the renovations. The first space we restored was the former newspaper office for Castlemoyle Books’ offices. Next, we renovated the former space devoted to Koenig’s Dry Goods into Castlemoyle’s book and gift store. We have also completed Buster House Tea Room & Shop in the space once occupied by the wet grocer or butcher. The former hotel lobby and restaurant serve as our warehouse space. We proudly re-opened the store and tearoom in 2006. The upstairs 45 hotel rooms have become our multi-generational home. Our home is on the second floor, which is finished, except the finishes in the formal entertaining rooms. On the third floor, we built a "mother-in-law suite" for Beverly's mom, a nice guest suite, and exercise rooms are completed. We still plan to finish additional guest suites and the "ballroom" in the back half of the third floor. Progress on the hotel is slow since we work on it and live debt-free. Someday, we hope to offer hospitality to home school families that visit our scenic, historic area.

And beyond...

Today, over 30 years since our adventure began, we are still a small family run business. We find the opportunity of sharing devotions, meals and work as a multi-generational family to be a very rewarding lifestyle. We also still feel the call to serve the needs of home and classroom educators. We sincerely hope you will give us the opportunity to serve you and your family too!

Copyright 2006-2019 by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon

Castlemoyle Books
P.O. Box 520, Pomeroy WA 99347
Tel: 509-843-5009
Fax: 509-843-3183

Celebrating 25 years of Spelling Success

© 2019, Beverly L. Adams-Gordon and Castlemoyle Books