I can remember the smells from the kitchen window…

melrose_mcrae3

Originally built in the 1880’s and updated in the 1920’s, this home would come to be called an Inn, although it was most known for the home cooked food that owner Elizabeth ‘Bess’ prepared for guests in her dining room. Locals who knew her tell stories of her waking up at 5:00am everyday to begin the days cooking. Everything from butter to whipped cream to dressings and ice creams were made from scratch in her kitchen. Her pies and mashed potatoes were legendary.

melrose_mcrae6

Visitors would come from out of town to visit the Inn and enjoy Bess’ cooking, but she only ever kept a few long-term boarders who were mostly elderly. As a Registered Nurse, Bess would care for them as they lived out their days in her home.

melrose_mcrae1

I had the opportunity to chat with a local woman who grew up just down the street from here. She recalled the smell of lima beans and ham coming from the windows and the porch lined with Bess’ guests after dinner when the weather was nice. Another local tells the story of walking passed the Inn often and Bess passing a slice of whatever pie she had left to him as a teenager.

melrose_mcrae2

But nowadays, all of the windows are boarded, the overgrowth is taking over much of the property and vandals have used the interior walls as a canvas for crude graffiti. The building is for sale but renovations would be costly. I’m glad Mrs. Bess doesn’t have to see it like this.

[Alachua County, FL]

old melrose inn photo

Advertisements

One response to “I can remember the smells from the kitchen window…”

  1. Lindy Moone says :

    Something bittersweet about a wooden house that’s been abandoned. There shouldn’t be, since we’re seeing nature take its course, but it’s a chilling reminder of our own mortality, that the things — and people — we love must fade away. When the house I grew up in decayed, like this one, and was finally torn down, I dreamt that I went back in time to renovate it. If the house stayed young, maybe I could…

    I still haunt its rooms in my dreams.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: