June 14, 2008

The wind shifted and we returned home. We decided to bypass Old Salem and hit Korner's Folly instead. You know that moment when you tell the kids you are all going to "visit a really interesting house" for a tour? You can see the polite glaze fall into their eyes. "Oh? A tour? Gee Mom, I LOVE tours!" (not)

Korner's Folly was as interesting to the kids as it was to me. It is difficult to photograph because the rooms are tight and dark and weird. It has 21 rooms, three floors, but seven different levels. One of the best features of the tour is that you are met in the front room, signs are explained so you don't get lost, and then they just let you go. You are free to wander and linger as much as you like. Oh how I loath being shuffled and prodded along The Biltmore and Old Salem. I need absorption time. I have to get the vibe of the place, commune with the spirits.

Korner's Folly has a Witches Corner built on the front porch. Its a working mini fireplace complete with chimney, in brick, by the front door. There is a cast iron pot full of coins on the hearth. Since evil spirits are obsessed with shiny things (and isn't greed one of the evilest spirits?) one would toss a handful of coins in the pot, distracting bad humours, and slip into the front door unnoticed. And apparently it works very well. Because that house is drenched in good vibes. Its a happy spooky place.

Is that because of the energy and creativity of the man who built it? Is that because of the children who lived there. Is it because some Quakers bought the slave Clara her freedom and then paid her well to live and work there, where she died of old age "Aunt Dealie." Named by a baby who couldn't pronounce it, but picked up on Clara's habit of calling all the children Deary? Is it because angles are painted into almost every room? Is it all the carved lions and faces, each unique, found in most of the rooms? I don't know. But the house and the man who built it are an inspiration.


MOM #1 said...

I'm glad you were able to get back home. I saw a show about Korner's Folly. I would love to see it in person. Thanks for the photos!

Heather said...

Oh, how wonderful! I LOVE touring old and interesting houses, especially when they are kept like this one. I get lost in thought about the people who lived there. I think, "someone sat in that very chair, probably darning socks or knitting or something," and I think, "Oh look, someone slept in this very bed, 100 years ago, and covered up with this very quilt." I drift off in thoughts about what might have gone on in the servants' quarters, what things might have been whispered about in the dark. What it must have been like for the children living there, able to squeeze into this tiny little corner or cupboard or crawlspace. How cool!

I'm glad the kids were able to enjoy it as much as you did.