Part II - The Pool & Bath Houses
Part III - The First Floor Interior, A
Part IV - The First Floor Interior, B
Part V - The 2nd Floor Foyer, Hall, and Exterior
Part VI - The 2nd Floor Interior
Part VII - In search of the Tatham Spring
The ascension up the winding staircase takes us to a foyer on the second level, directly over the front lobby. Its wallpaper and carpeting matched the staircase.
Given what we've learned about the layout of the first level, one can imagine what the rest of the second level will look like: guest rooms down in either direction and down the sides. But what about the middle branch over the dining room?
A rather large hall, probably used in the past for social events such as formal balls or live entertainment. At the rear of the hall is a doorway which at one point probably had a staircase leading down to the ground level. I would imagine it facilitated the transporting of food upstairs for such events from the kitchen just below it, in addition to providing convenient access to the pool area from the second level. Also at the rear of the hall is the chimeny which corresponds to the one we found in the kitchen in Part IV.
From this central vantage point, two things are easily accessible and will be the subject of this entry. Along with access to various rooms on my exploration of the second floor, a nice bird's eye view of the premises can be obtained through the windows here. Also, immediately outside the foyer lies the second level of the grand old porch which surrounds the building. These will be our subjects. I've selected an assortment of out-the-window photos overlooking the buildings and grounds. In addition, we will take a closer look at the porch.
As you may recall from Part IV, the middle branch of the "E" formed by the Hotel was the dining area. You could tell from the interior the lower level was wider than the level above it because of the presence of support beams inside the room and the absence of major support structure outside of a standard wall.
If you think about it a moment.... yeah... really cool opportunities on the second floor.
The extended width of the first floor's middle branch creates a second-story roof overlooking the two courtyards. Of course this wasn't meant to be accessible as part of the property design, but with the smashed-out windows, stepping onto it for photopgraphs was a cinch. In the following photograph we are on the roof to the left of the upstairs ballroom. The chimney seen here corresponds to the one on the interior at the back of the room.
Off to the left is the wing of the hotel which has the missing porch and flowing out toward the back is the wide-open hay field behind the building. Below, you can see the roof and rear of the second bath house, the one located furthest from the pool.
Naturally, on the other side you can see the other bathhouse.
You can also see the pool, mostly obscured by a tree.
Here's a couple of shots looking toward the front of the hotel from the same vantage point.
And finally, a longer shot looking toward the back from the front.
Walking around on the second floor yielded many interesting views from the windows of the building itself.
While on the first floor, I was so excited about being inside the Hotel that I didn't really take much time to photograph the porch at ground level, but this was not the case on the second floor. Having to utilize the porch to move throughout much of the second floor, I was more aware of it. The following photo is the view from the upstairs foyer, looking toward the wing of the Hotel where the porch vanishes at the corner of the building.
You can see how the center juts out from the rest of the building as mentioned previously. The porch was littered in debris; leaves, broken glass, and an occasional screen door.
As you move closer to the the river, the porch sweeps out and around the opposing corner. It's also starting to sag a bit there, and probably won't be there very much longer.
Just outside the windows of the corner room is a small pile of old lumber with a few sheets plywood and ab old section of the porch rail.
I'm guessing the rail comes from the gap to the left in the above photo. I decided to take a little break here, overlooking the river.
I began to imagine what it must've been like in the days it served as a hotel. I imagined refined gentlemen with their southern drawls discussing current events smoking pipes filled with local tobaccos in rocking chairs. I imagined pretty southern belles gracing the bannisters gossiping and fanning themselves. I imagined what it must've been like to sit on that porch overlooking the river on a rainy day, the drops finding their ways through the foliage above to resound loudly on the tin roof overhead and making round ripples in the slow moving stream below. While sitting on the plywood I noticed three pennies scattered along its surface.
In my heightened sense of imagination I checked the dates of the coins, half expecting them to be imprinted with long-ago dates. The newest of the three was minted in the year 2000. It was an abrupt yank back to reality. From my current vantage point, I also had a nice view of the final section of the porch, looking toward the back where it has collapsed.
I got up and completed my tour of the porch. The exterior staircase leading back down the the first floor was here.
Through the open doorways and broken windows of the guest rooms lining the wall, you get a glimpse of brightly colored wallpaper in some of the rooms.
The way the porch has fallen, yet largely remains intact, gives it the appearance of a wooden rollercoaster going over a hill and banking around a curve.
Of course, it banks and descends to nowhere but the ground below......
....twisting the peeling, cobweb covered bannister along the way.
In Part VI we we will take a tour of the interior of the second floor of the Hotel and in Part VII we will walk the grounds in search of the springs which brought people from all over America and Europe to this Hotel in the latter part of the 19th century. We will also take a look at the outdoor shelter on the property which was probably used during its life as a summer camp. I know this has been a long series but you all seem to be enjoying it. Bear with me, we're almost finished.