One of the mysteries of the Hermitage that continues to draw interest is the tale of what happened to the lovely cottage we once had on the shoreline. If you are unfamiliar with this building there once was a rustic log cabin, that housed artists like Harriet Frishmuth and Helen Turner, on the banks of the then non polluted Lafayette river (swimmable, fishable sometime soon). It appears in numerous photographs in our archives and in our recent book.
It looks like this….
Well….that thing super burned down.
So what happened to this awesome little shack that would have been perfect for selling beers on a Saturday afternoon in 2015??? Children happened. Specifically an 8 and 10 year old.
Two lovely young ladies decided to have a marshmallow roast on September 4th decades ago and in the midst of their joy for burning sugar they managed to light fire to the cabin (possibly a flung mallow that was aflame). They were unscathed, thankfully, but the little cabin by the river was a goner. Now all that remains are the fragmented steps of what could have been. They are an ever present reminder of all of the cocktails we could have had together. Truly haunting…
Funny enough the Sloanes were reluctant to take children to juvenile court (because they are nice) and instead resolved the situation with some heated letters and I am guessing an exchange of checks.
There is an equation for this situation: c + f = D, which of course is shorthand for children plus fire equals devastation.