Monday, October 18, 2010
New Experience in the Ambiance of the Past
I recently attended an eight course Italian dinner with a different wine served with each course in an ice house built in the late 1890's. The room was about 12' x 16' with walls of two feet thick rock. Huge beams over low doorways gave the feel of a building to be reckoned with.
Sitting in the room for three hours through this meal, feeling the confines of the room, the solidness of the walls, and the squeak of the floorboards, I could see this building being used to keep a cattle thief or bank robber on hold until the circuit judge came to town. Or a drunk thrown in the building overnight to sober up.
The town of Diamond, Oregon at its peak had fifty residents. It was a hub in the area for cattle ranches and shepherds to get supplies and catch up on the news. To this day they have five residents and the Diamond Hotel where we had the eight course meal.
The history in this thinly populated area of Oregon is ripe for many stories. And as usual they are spinning in my head. One of the tales is how a certain meadow was the favorite summer vacation spot for prostitutes. They would set up shop in the meadow for the sheepherders and cowboys in the area because they were too busy to get to town. I'm using this scenario for a short story I'm working on.
When you learn or see a part of history does it start your minding wandering? Have you visited somewhere and started wondering about he people who once lived there?
*The stone room off to the side of the top photo is the ice house.