Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures www.wendiedonabie.com

Moving On – A New Exhibit Space


In late October I learned that the Bohemian Café and Gallery would close its doors in November. The Café/Gallery has provided affordable exhibit space, as well a venue for art workshops and intimate performances by musicians. To accompany the art, Artist/Owner, Tammy Gravina, and crew produced great coffee and a menu of tasty home-made  items. Unfortunately, the overhead expenses could no longer be met. This meant I needed to look for a new venue to exhibit and sell my work.

Inn at the Falls

Inn at the Falls

Coincidentally, just two weeks earlier, the group of 4 Painters (Lynda Lynn, Janice Feist, Glenys McAlpine and I) received an invitation from the Inn at the Falls in Bracebridge to display our art on their walls. After a successful meeting with Kris Sturgeon, Food and Beverage Manager, we agreed to hang our art in the Lobby, Parlour, Dining Room and in the Fox and Hound Pub. The previous artwork at the Inn had an old world feel and Kris wanted to create a more contemporary atmosphere in the public areas by introducing the work of local artists.

3 of the 4 Painters

Lynda, Janice, Wendie

November 30, Lynda, Janice and I spent the entire day  placing our work throughout the Inn. Unfortunately, Glenys could not be with us; she and her husband are on route to their winter home in Florida. Great excuse Glenys :)!

Our new exhibit space comes with an interesting background. Here is an excerpt from the Inn at the Falls website to tell you a bit about this local historic building.

The “Main Inn” was originally a Victorian private residence built by English

Dining Room with view of Bracebridge Falls

stonemasons in the mid 1870’s. William C. Mahaffy, a land surveyor, purchased the property some 10 years later. In 1888 he was appointed the first District Judge of the area and his home and family became an integral part of the social and economic history of Muskoka.

The Parlor

Many distinguishing features of the old structure have been preserved including the century old fireplace in the Parlor, with its distinctive “Egg and Dart” design, and the carved wooden bannister in the main entrance. The foundation walls of the main inn are over three feet thick.

In 1943, the home was converted to an Inn and underwent extensive renovations and mechanical upgrades.

The Inn is home to numerous ghosts, three of whom are

Judge Mahaffy

affectionately known as Charlie, Sarah and Bob. They are friendly spirits and tend to keep mostly to themselves. Bob inhabits the kitchen [and has been known to hurl pots across the room]. Charlie is seen in the upstairs corridors and Sarah can be heard rustling through the “Carriage Room”.[And Judge Mahaffy himself, has surprised guests with appearances in the Fox and Hound Pub.]

While we worked away at the Inn, the spirits remained quiet. We’ll see how they respond over the next few months. Will they like what they see or will we find our paintings moved about the building? And how will visitors react to the new look at the Inn? We expect good feedback to the changes and hopefully sales for all of us. I will report back in a future post with photos of the changes we made to the historic site.

©Wendie Donabie 2012

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