Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Trail's End

Across the street from the park, is an old hotel built in the late 1890's to mimic the steamboats that used to come up the river this far before turning around. It was falling apart at one point until someone bought it, fixed it up and turned it into a bed and breakfast. I brought my wife here once for a weekend away and nine months later our first daughter was born. It may be a coincidence but the old hotel will always have me convinced that it played a part. This visit however, the old hotel looks like it has slipped back into non-usage and it is such a shame. But for a poor rural community like this, there just isn't the money to maintain such a place just for posterity.

The one thing that has remained over the years is the rocket ship seen below that I played on as a child. All the other pieces of playground equipment have long been deemed unsafe to play on by modern kids and have been replaced by plastic versions with rounded corners and no sharp edges. I'm not sure how this one escaped the wrecking ball but it warms my heart to see my kids playing on it thinking it is the coolest thing in the park. Perhaps one day, God willing, I will be able to see my grandkids play there as well.


Vince said...

Hotels off the beaten track can be very cyclical. In fact as a business, accommodation can be very prone to drop-off unless there are darn good reasons and darn good marketing to keep them going. And given the way business is structured in country areas with intense competition coupled with a degree of evenness of income any initiative needs to come from government. Put simply the English economic model is designed to empty the countryside, and if this isn't understood the nature of things will be for ever larger land units with less and less people meaning there's hardly any development of outside industry not involved with the prime industry.
A beautiful building. I really like those verandas. We never have them here, they tend to be a Spanish feature. But I've seen them on antebellum houses and in Westerns, usually housing the 'girls'.

sage said...

That is a nice building and it's a shame that they were unable to make a go of it... And it is a pleasure to share where you grew up with children and grandchildren.

Ed said...

Vince - You are definitely correct that economic models just don't support such a place out here anymore. On a side note, whenever you post a picture of a castle, this building is what comes to mind for what constitutes a "castle" in my area. There aren't too many buildings left that are much older than this hotel.

Sage - I never thought as I played on that rocket ship that someday I would be sitting there watching my kids play on it. Of course I never thought about grandkids either but now I hope that I am around to see my grandkids play on it as well. That would be a real treat.

Kelly said...

What a wonderful old building and I love the thought of it being a bed & breakfast. Hopefully someone will rescue it once again. If anything, just so you can point it out to your daughter in about five years and say "you were conceived there"! Trust me, around that age they don't want to hear anything along those lines. ;)

I love the rocket ship. Playgrounds have changed drastically since I was a kid.

Bob said...

I have this dream of owning a B&B and being a part-time fishing guide and brewer of craft beers. When sharing this with my spouse, she saw herself cooking meals and washing sheets and towels. Thus far we have kept our day jobs.

Playground equipment today is, no doubt, safer and more eco-friendly but I defy you to find anything on a playground today as cool as that space ship. I played on one much like it as a child.

Ed said...

Kelly - At at this age, I'm not ready to explain the birds and the bees yet. But the time is drawing near quickly.

Bob - One more thing that makes me think perhaps we are closely related because I could see myself doing the same. However, such a big building in this location just isn't feasible. If I had an unlimited supply of money, then most definitely!

A month or so ago I went to a park with my kids that had one of those giant rolling barrels which one could run on the inside like a hamster. I have many found memories of playing on those things and wanted my daughters to experience the same. Unfortunately it turned out to be rusted/fixed in place. I'm guessing it was the latter.

karl o'melay said...

I played in one of those rocket ship slides as a kid. My imagination would go crazy.