Many people have passed through Hyde Hall over the years---five generations of the Clarke family and their friends, servants, farm workers and tradesmen---each with their own history of love and loss. Some of them never left, so say the legends that have grown up over the last 150 years around the venerable pile of stone that took George Clarke almost 20 years to finish. The 2014 edition of The Haunting of Hyde Hall will raise the specters of three people who were close to Hyde Hall in their own ways.
Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, was a close personal friend of Mary Gale Carter, wife of the third George Clarke. Mary comforted Juliet (called "Crazy Daisy" as a child) through personal tragedies like deafness and a wayward husband, and no doubt "Daisy" comforted Mary Gale as she lost one after another of her parents and siblings to suicide.
Samuel F. B. Morse invented the telegraph to spare others the pain of losing his wife to a sudden illness before he even got word she was sick. But despite his great triumph, born of great personal tragedy, Morse was tormented by the failure of his greatest painting The Gallery of the Louvre. Rather than exhibit "the great panoply of Western art" to adoring masses, the painting languished while the crowds stayed away. His hopes for fame and fortune dashed, Morse abandoned art. Although his invention of the telegraph eventually made him wealthy and adored, he never got over the his heartbreak with The Gallery of the Louvre.
The final vignette in this year's The Haunting of Hyde Hall tells the story of Alice Lawless, second wife of Hyde Hall's coachman. She was young, comely, and, apparently, flirtatious. When the hops pickers come around---well, come to The Haunting to find out what happens!
Tours are limited in number, so reservations are required. The cost is $15 per person; call 607.547.5098 for reservations.