There are a number of wonderful stories coming from Vermont inns and B&Bs who’ve struggled yet prevailed after Hurricane Irene. One of the hardest hit states, stalwart Vermonters have tenaciously gone to work to rebuild roads and rebuild the lives of those who lost homes and businesses to the rushing waters from torrential rains. In the little town of Jamaica, VT a story of unmatched generosity unfolded and was first outlined in this story on knotmove.com. After the hurricane, Ed Dorta-Duque and his wife, Jennifer, co-owners of the Three Mountain Inn were relieved that their property escaped damage. Yet, relief was short lived as they realized that more than 40 homes along nearby Pikes Falls Road in West Jamaica had to be evacuated by ATV. Ed and Jennifer sprang into action, closing the inn to guests to become recovery-central for the area. For the next three weeks, as many as 200 people came in and out of the Three Mountain Inn to help with hurricane clean up, rebuilding and recovery. Help came as far as the Ohio National Guard, and together the little town of Jamaica, VT turned into the little town that could with its base at the Three Mountain Inn. Help also came from a community of innkeepers throughout New England a little later on. Read on to learn how.
Fellow innkeeper, Dan Brown, co-owner of the Swift House Inn in nearby Middlebury, VT came to the Three Mountain Inn nn to lend a hand immediately following the hurricane. Dan shared some of his observations about the extent of the damage noting ” The Three Mountain Inn has been the center of all rescue and recovery efforts. Everyone in the town worked from the inn including housing three fire trucks which could not get back to the fire station due to a washed out bridges and the driveway entrance into the station. Not only were Ed and Jennifer serving as innkeepers, Ed as a volunteer firefighter and rescue coordinator was very actively involved in the rescue/recovery efforts.” Dan finished the story about his visit by adding, ” It was a privilege for me to be with them for a couple of days and I only hope if the call comes for me that I can stand up and be as generous, and selfless as Ed and Jennifer have been for their community”.
After the hurricane innkeepers throughout Vermont felt the effects of the storm not just in battered windows and road closures but in cancellations from travelers listening to newscasts that continued for weeks hyping washed out bridges and damage from the storm. Fearing the leaves had been blown off the trees and all of Vermont’s covered bridges had been washed away, innkeepers in areas untouched by damage still suffered cancellations during the all-important fall foliage season. Eventually the news stories turned to messages of hope, and now newscasters are explaining the need to support inns and B&Bs throughout New England by visiting this fall.
Today we heard another touching story from the Three Mountain Inn. We received an email from Ed who told us when he went to pick up his mail which had been held at the post office for three weeks after the storm he found the usual pile of bills and junk mail. Yet along with that was an equal sized stack of letters of support and donations from his fellow Select Registry and Passport to New England innkeepers, all rallied by Dan Brown to help Jennifer and Ed in their efforts. Ed and Jennifer were touched by this kindness, saying “Even facing uncertainty, since all of Vermont will be affected by the storm, these innkeepers showed incredible generosity and goodwill. This is why we love innkeeping and our fellow innkeepers”. They will be giving the money donated to the inn to the Stratton Foundation on behalf of Select Registry and Passport to New England.
Ed and Jennifer shared their story with me to help demonstrate that hospitality comes naturally to innkeepers who share their generosity with one another as well as with their guests. It’s yet another example that inns and B&Bs are simply the better way to stay.
Donations came from the following inns, all of which are in the located in parts of New England offering spectacular fall colors. Consider making a fall foliage trip to one of these inns:
Swift House Inn
The Inn at Round Barn Farm
Rabbit Hill Inn
The Inns at Blackberry Common
The Inn at Bay Ledge
The Maine Stay Inn
Notchland Inn (another inn suffering closures to roads leading to the property due to washed out bridges and roads which are now repaired and welcoming guests for spectacular foliage in Crawford Notch, NH)
Those who wish to support the ongoing community efforts in Southern Vermont may send donations to the Three Mountains Inn, 3732 Main Street, Jamaica Vermont 05343.
However support can also come in the form of visiting your favorite inn throughout foliage season. Gorgeous foliage, historic covered bridges and welcoming inns await leaf peepers throughout New England in September and October.