History is personal and all around us

Those of you who have stayed in our Ewing Room or Rose Room, and certainly those of you who have the pleasure of being a Carlisle local, or Carlislian, will know that our B&B used to be the home of the Ewings, and that the twins, Seymour and Bill, grew up in our house.

We are reminded of this, and of them, often during the renovations and maintenance we are constantly performing, and yesterday as we were stripping old wallpaper we came across yet another Ewing Signature on the wall. Now, Seymour has been the most prolific writer, with comments on walls all over the property, but this one is by Bill, or William as he clearly liked to be called in his younger days. I said that Seymour did most of the writing but Bill made up for it with this one – it is almost 3 feet across!

For the first 5 years that we owned the Carlisle House, we often used to see Seymour and Bill drive into our parking lot and circle slowly around looking to see what changes we had made, and of course they were always available for open houses when Seymour would quietly sit in a chair in the Rose Room until he was noticed, then he’d say in a loud voice “It’s alright! You can come in, I’m not stuffed!”.

The next story about Bill and Seymour needs a little explanation. Our B&B was built in 1826 and has thick rock walls in the basement with enormous floor joists sitting on top of them, with the brick walls outside the joists, and on upward. Imagine, if you will, that between each joist is an open-fronted box with the rock as the bottom, two joists forming the walls, brick at the back, and the floor above is the top. Keep that in mind!

In the basement are the electrical breaker boxes, and we always keep a clear path between the basement steps and the electrical boxes so that we can reset breakers when needed. As we do a lot of maintenance, the path is used often and one day Mary went to the breaker box – maybe an hour or two after I had last been there – and in the middle of the path were scattered what looked at a quick glance like dollar bills. Mary picked them up, and noticed that on the back were typed Seymour and Bill’s names. She called me and we stood there mystified as to where they could possibly have come from. As we looked around we shone a flashlight into the “box” described above, and saw an old leather wallet stuffed with play money!

The problem is that the opening of the wallet was facing into the box, toward the bricks. We still don’t know how the money got out of the wallet and about 4 feet to the path to the breakers! Maybe it is the twins’ way of saying “Don’t forget us! We’re still going to be here for as long as people remember us!”.

We miss the twins, but are so glad to have known them. They truly were a part of Carlisle’s history.

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