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Friday, March 1, 2013

The Sherburne Inn: A Spirit Alive

Her lights have been dark for almost a decade now.  Still, when you step inside, you can almost feel the souls who have passed through her doors since 1917 when those doors opened for the first time. For eighty-plus years people of this community -- and indeed, those from well beyond -- have celebrated life's moments within the walls of The Sherburne Inn. Our sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, grandparents and children, aunts and uncles and friends have crossed the threshold of this building to gather and make merry, whether at dinner or for a glass of wine, or for weddings, reunions, and milestone birthdays. The Inn's two fireplaces, cold now for years, once warmed the hands of those huddled inside away from our town's legendary snow. And on brilliant summer days in June, when Sherburne's Pageant of Bands brought streets to bursting, glasses were raised on Sherburne Inn porches to hail a village known for its generosity and love of rural sensibilities.

There have been many since the turn of the new century who believed the Inn's doors had closed for good. Our lady has endured much: rain and snow, falling bricks, a gathering of not people, but pigeons. Those who have owned the Inn in recent years had good intentions that, sadly and through no fault of their own, did not come to fruition. They are to be commended for keeping the bulldozers at bay. People become tired, or discouraged, when a project seems too big and when others are not stepping forward to help. But that day is behind us. Help has arrived in the form of individuals who care enough to say no: we will not let the bulldozers win, we will not let our community become another on a long list whose historic buildings have fallen in the name of "progress."

Save The Sherburne Inn Restoration Project has taken a giant step. We have raised the funds to purchase the Inn and will proceed to closing on the property. By spring, barring unforeseen circumstances, the building will be ours, at which point we will reach out to any and all possible sources to bring our dream to fruition. And "our" dream is not only that of SSIRP, but of the entire community of people who remember the Inn in her days of glory, when on our corner was fine dining and guest accommodations, a place to wed or meet, a pub where friends gather at fireside, away from blinking screens, to talk and laugh and fall in love; a spot for church ladies to lunch and service organizations to plan and school children to prom. The Inn will open its doors to seniors, to corporations, to out-of-town guests, and to all who know that a village is made of -- and thrives because of -- its people, and that the memory heart of a community is not in place to buy lotto and gas. Our memory heart is in our history, and in the knowledge that above all our job during this brief time on earth is to preserve that history for those who come along after we are gone. 

Join us in reopening the doors of The Sherburne Inn. Help us turn on her lights. The spirit of the Inn is reflected most brilliantly in the spirit of our wonderful, hopeful, and caring people. 

We are on a remarkable journey. 

To donate to Saving The Inn, make checks payable to Save The Sherburne Inn Restoration Project and mail to PO Box 1102, Sherburne, NY 13460.
Visit our website (http://thesherburneinn.wordpress.com/contribute/) to pay securely by credit card.

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About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum