I see the look in guests eyes when I emerge through the funny shaped door in the hallway. Where do those secret steps lead in this bed and breakfast? A sly glance to try and see what or who is in this Harry-Potter-under-the-stairs-location. The boring simple answer is–the basement.
A more exciting answer is–a secret blocked-off tunnel going across to the other side of Main Street. I have heard about that tunnel from several locals, but as far as I know it is not confirmed. I have never taken down the drywall to look for signs of it.
This part of the Grape Arbor basement goes under the new part of 51 E Main St–underneath the library, which was added on after completion of the original building. That side of the house was supposedly a tavern, you can see the blocked off door on the outside right behind the sign here. And, by the way…see the front of the building–the wall that is flanked by the stairs?
When we originally bought the bed and breakfast there were two stone lions seated there. They weren’t favorites of mine, so I checked with the local mavens of the historical society. They assured me that the lions had no historic significance. Do you want to know where they ended up? First at the Spencer House in Erie, from which some rambunctious Gannon students removed them!
Besides the normal basement things (furnace, hot water heaters) we use the space for storage of soaps, shampoos, gift shop amenities, some decorations…and WINE!
Lots and lots of wine! During the past couple of weeks, when Liz and I have had some extra time, we organized all that wine. Some people buys books, some collect sports equipment, but apparently I accumulate WINE. Every time I visit a winery to check out what’s new, I buy wine. And I do try to go to all of the wineries once a year.
I must admit, I am a bit embarrassed at the riches in the basement. I don’t drink this wine, because it is meant for the bed and breakfast, and…you! So now that it is organized (by red/white, sweet/dry, sparkling/fruit) I cannot wait until everyone comes back and we share this wine–in tastings, recipes and giveaways. Any ideas?