Tuesday, October 12, 2010

loss of a cohocton landmark

It was a sad day yesterday when I found out that the Villa Serendip Bed and Breakfast in Cohocton had burned to the ground. Innkeepeer, Fran Ambroselli, had done some wonderful reconstruction after she salvaged the rundown mansion ten years ago. With her determination and ambition she had converted it to a successful bed and breakfast. Fortunately she was the only one in the house when the house went up in flames, and she got out safely thanks to the 911 dispatcher's insistance.
I celebrated a happy birthday with my all my out of town family staying there one snowy December, which I will never forget. It was a glorious reunion of sorts filled with food and talk.
I had visited many times during Fran's upgrades  to the structure to check out her progress, and I loved looking at the antiques that she had placed in the guest rooms that fit in so beautifully. She always was eager to show off her place, too, welcoming the community and even strangers passing by.
One time I was even considering writing a book on a couple of the friendly ghosts that inhabited the mansion based on historical records and Fran's retellings of pieces of information that she had collected. Fran would talk about the  Civil War soldier that would come whistling around the kitchen back door when she was baking pies. He was a member of the Woodworth family lineage. A crying baby girl would sometimes appear in the upstairs hallways, and Fran discovered a child that had died in infancy in the family records.
May we never forget....