Writing Nook #4: Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, Wisconsin

“Well, this is certainly a change, my dear.” Nasal tone keening particularly sharp on the disagreeable wordage (‘change’ being something with which only lesser classed people contend), the woman leans slightly on her left hip. She’s wandered in with the first group of followers, a ragtag mix of eager, loyal and thoroughly bored.

Unfortunately she is merely the third. Aunt Wilhelmina (emphasis on the ‘hell’) wears her state of boredom like a mink stole (out of touch with the times and snooty up the wazoo.)

“I thought we had settled on the South for your wanderings. Wisconsin is..,” here she makes a most disturbing noise in her cockles, “the Midwest. There are cows and corn, not to mention the quaint fascination with cheese. What on earth would lead you there, child?”

I take a few deep breaths, releasing them measuredly through my nose. Then, after a proper tamping down of my own cockles has been had, I reply quite calmly, “Have you ever been to Wisconsin?”

Aunt Wilhelmina’s face screws up into something wholly unpleasant. “Oh, dear, no. I would never.”

“And there’s your answer,” I quip and carry on with my day.

People are rather cliquey about their regions of birth and breeding. Rarely is it mean-spirited. Mostly it’s simply about pride of place… and their place in it, of course.

As you may remember, I am a proud Southerner. However my bloodline is birthed from much varied stock. German, Scots-Irish, Native American and… jaunty drumroll, if you please… Midwestern.

Wisconsin, to be exact.

And while I have been lucky enough to visit the state several times as a child, the lasting impressions I have of the region are rather, um, limited. (The Dells, Army DUCKS and cemeteries. Not much to hang a heritage on.) So it is off to Wisconsin, the land of my grandfather, that I will “travel” next.

With pen and paper at the ready, this is the nook into which I’d settle for a literary spell…

Old Rittenhouse Inn

Bayfield, Wisconsin

(Room II)

I’d have to pinch pennies for this one. Perhaps slip a new scandalous novella or two into my repertoire to make this nook happen. Oh, but it would be so worth the heartless betrayal and base acts of sex to pull this one off. *winks*

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The Old Rittenhouse Inn: a Victorian beauty.

 View (from Room II): Lake Superior. There’s almost something spiritual about a lake. Cocooned in place though not above rocking its fast shores, unlike a sea, a soul can almost wrap her mind around a lake’s mysteries. Almost, but never quite… Plus, it’s very pretty.

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Room II… A nook in which to ride out a spectacular thunderstorm, an eternal winter’s night, or spring’s first fragile breath. The windows, the chairs, the soft chatter of floral on the walls… Yes, please. Twice over, if I may.

Quirkiness of Place: Roaming the halls of a Victorian mansion at any time day or night is a bit of a literary turn-on, don’t you think?

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A warm welcome to a storyteller.

Environs Exploreability: A town of under 800, Bayfield, Wisconsin is a gem of a place whose most every angle could be learned in a lengthy, writer nook-ly stay.

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Bayfield, Wisconsin… A murder mystery, perhaps? A May-December romance? An unexpected spy thriller? Who knows what storylines await discovery here?

And there you have it, dear Aunt Wilhelmina, why this little crook of Wisconsin calls so charmingly to me.

As per custom, all the images are linked to the Inn’s website, but here’s the website in case you’ve missed it.

http://www.rittenhouseinn.com/bayfield-wi-bed-and-breakfast.html

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Would anyone mind too terribly if the odd writer in Room II camped out on the porch one crackling autumn’s night? There’s a lovely ghost story needing to be told.

Comments are cherished like gifts under the tree. I look forward to yours.

Until our next nook…

Chloe Stowe

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