Letter from the Innkeepers Winter 2008

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Dear Friends of Anne Hathaway’s,

As 2008 commences, we pause now to celebrate our good health, our amazing and wonderful family and a veritable battalion of good friends. In the latter category, we count many of you whom we have come to know during our six seasons as the innkeepers here at Anne Hathaway’s, as well as many others in our adopted community of Ashland.

The new year brings – a blare of the trumpets, please – the 100th anniversary of the building we all know as Anne Hathaway’s Cottage at 586 East Main Street. Since beginning its life as a boarding house for railroad and lumber workers, it’s had many iterations. At one time it was even the temporary home of the Ashland Community Hospital, replacing a facility destroyed by fire. Our guest Linda Bean Wood’s family lived in the house just after World War II; she stayed in the same room to which she was brought home from Ashland Community Hospital.

To celebrate the house’s anniversary, we’ll be holding weekly drawings beginning in June – please don’t let the Oregon Lottery know about this – for rooms at the rate of $19.08 per night. This is how it will work: Sunday mornings we’ll put the names in a hat of everyone who has stayed at the inn the previous week. A helpful guest will draw one of the slips and the lucky winner will get one night at $19.08. If the winner has already paid, he or she will have several options: 1. A refund; 2. Application of the winning amount to next year; or 3. A contribution to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival or any other charity in the winner’s name for the amount of one night’s stay less $19.08.

We have other news. For those of you who will be returning, we have a number of improvement projects underway this winter. New stairs and a distinctly beautiful fence enhance the rear of 586, replacing their ramshackle forerunners. Also, the overgrown junipers are gone, replaced by those arbutus plants that had been crowding the side garden and other plants.

Inside the house, the entrance hallway, the upstairs hallway and the second floor rooms have been freshened up with new colors. “Peace” is the color of the hallway and we hope it gives you just that feeling when you step inside.

For those staying in the cottages at 637 and 649 East Main Street, working, energy efficient windows will be installed early in the new year. Not only will these improve ventilation, but when closed they will block out noise from the street. Marigold guests will have expanded deck space overlooking the garden and French doors opening on to it.

The biggest and best change will be the remodeled lounge, with additional space for eating and watching TV for those of you so inclined. Your continental breakfast will await you on a beautiful new bar and counter. A refrigerator with ice maker will keep things cold. And a powder room for guests and staff (who are pleased that they will no longer have to work with their legs crossed!) has replaced David’s old office.

There’s a real buzz around town about all the changes being wrought under new artistic director Bill Rauch. Like you, we look forward to our discussions of just what happened on the stage while you were here and what may be in the wings. We’re guaranteed to have a lot to talk about. OSF’s Paul Nicholson told us the other night that “Clay Cart” and “Our Town” were the top sellers in the first rush, to their surprise. Catherine Coulsen told us the cast of Clay Cart has been given their “practice saris” to wear throughout rehearsals. What did you decide on? As soon as we see the previews in February, we’ll post our impressions on the web, in case you’re interested in getting an early taste of what’s in store during your visit.

This comes with our fond wishes for all of you a glorious new year filled with good cheer and the promise of peace,

Deedie and David Runkel