Staying at Dunbar House - April 27-30, 2000
(Posted May 19, 2000, © Herbert E. Lindberg)

Mary and I arrived at Dunbar House in mid afternoon and were greeted by Janet, a very pleasant young lady who tended to all our lodging needs during our stay. She guided us upstairs to the Pine Room where we stayed. The room was generous in size, with a queen-size bed and a living room at the foot of the bed. Continuing through the living room leads to a door to a private deck with two chairs, from which you can view some of the activities at the east end of downtown Murphys. Photographs of their other rooms, and much more, are found at their Dunbar House web site.

Queen-size bed in the Pine Room.

The above picture is stitched together from two hand-held portrait-orientation photographs in order to show the wallpaper and decorations up to the ceiling. You can see the stitch band running up the center of the picture, because I tilted the camera slightly between photographs. I've got to get a tripod that allows panning rotation when mounted in the portrait orientation!

The photograph below is a panorama of the main living room made from four hand-held portrait-orientation photographs. Here I did a much better job of holding the camera square throughout the sequence -- it's difficult to see any stitch bands. With this wide range of camera angles (total rotation was about 90 degrees) the stitched picture tends to flatten out the room. This flattening is removed by the PhotoVista viewer. With this viewer software (I need to inquire about making it available in my web pages) your head seems to turn as you scroll the panorama across the viewing frame. No doubt you'll have to scroll left and right to view the entire living room panorama below, which helps reduce the flattening effect.

Hand-held panorama of living room.

This room is very inviting and well stocked with books and newspapers. During our three-day stay I spent several hours here reading the morning newspaper while having a pre-breakfast cup of coffee, and, in the late evenings after our busy days, reading picture books of gold rush-era paintings and a collection and history of Currier and Ives lithographs. Their works were "painted" onto solenhofen limestone slabs (thus the name lithography), using tons of limestone imported from the quarry near Solenhofen, Germany, where the process was invented.

Their work was very popular because they were the first to make inexpensive copies of works of art available to the general public. They made their mark with pictures of news events to supplement newspapers (which printed only words and simple engravings at the time). As on TV today, Currier and Ives' early work focused on disasters like great fires. Only later did they solidify their position with pictures of Americana that decorated the walls in homes of working class Americans. These have now become material for billions of greeting cards.

Currier was a business man while Ives began mainly as the artist. Most later paintings were made by a stable of well-known artists hired by Currier and Ives. All this was interesting to me in itself, and also because I did several years of research on deformation of tunnels in rock using solenhofen limestone as one of our "well characterized" materials in laboratory models. The term is now used as an adjective meaning limestone with characteristics similar to those of limestone found near Solenhofen.

Dining Room.

We had our breakfasts in the dining room with the Watsons. Dunbar House didn't disappoint our expectations of gourmet breakfasts in B&B Inns. Not only were they delicious, each was a work of art that I would have photographed had I had a better macro lens (that will come soon: my Nikon Coolpix 990 is on order, followed by a better tripod). While substantial, the breakfasts were not overfilling because the art work featured a variety of fruits cut and arranged beautifully. All this was done by Anita, another pleasant young woman.

Lunch in the side yard.

While we're on eating, I have to say you'll never go hungry at Dunbar House. When we arrived, Janet opened the small refrigerator in our room to show us a bottle of wine and a dish of appetizers under a plastic wrap. Each morning after breakfast another bottle of wine and dish of appetizers appeared magically in our refrigerator, all included in the room rate. All the wines were local and of excellent quality. Normally we would have enjoyed the wine and snack in the early evening, before going out to diner (not knowing about the wine in the refrigerator, we had brought several bottles of wine from home for that purpose). But this trip it turned out that we were in Murphys when lunch time came around so we had the snacks and wine for lunch in the Dunbar House garden, as you see in the above picture.

Enclosed yard, looking toward Jones Street

Enclosed yard, looking away from Jones Street

The pictures above show two views of Dunbar House from the side yard where we had our lunches. The stairs closer to Jones Street lead to the deck off the Watson's room. Part of the challenge of eating lunch in this yard was that the sprinklers were timed to come on during this time. While we ate, these stairs were being sprinkled so we had to rush in and out with our food very quickly. Later, the opposite side of the yard was watered.

In the picture below I'm relaxing after lunch the second day. As I eased down into the chair, Mary warned me not to get too comfortable because the sprinklers were due to come on soon. There was purpose to this warning because this is a chair that one does not rise from easily -- it's well tilted back and the footrest completes the tilted entrapment. Val took the picture below and then handed the camera to me to see on the LCD display how it came out. Just as I grasped the camera the water came on. I was expecting a fine spray from which I could escape with minor moisture. Instead, there was a sprinkler head directly under the chair and another close-by on my right. Expecting mist, I tried to take my wine glass with me as I rose. With the glass in one hand and the camera in the other, I just couldn't grasp the hand rest to get out of the chair. In the few seconds it took me to realize I'd have to put the wine down and let it get wet, I was soaked through. I had to change clothes to continue with the day's activities.

Dunbar House management would do well to consider watering at another time, although it's hard to anticipate the best times not to disturb the guests.

Herb relaxes after lunch.

At a dryer moment, Val relaxed in the garden swing in this same yard area. He's reading the guide for the Walking Tour of Murphys that he and I took while Mary and Sandy shopped. Some of what we saw on that tour are included in the Murphys/Columbia Environs page.

Val relaxes with the Murphys Walking Tour brochure.

Just behind the table where we had our lunches is a stone tablet in the shape of an opened book, shown below. I took the picture because I thought you'd enjoy reading its humorous poem.

Stone tablet near table where we had lunch

There is a wide variety of flowers in the gardens that bloom at various times of the year. In parting I show a picture of a purple one I'd never seen before. Anyone know what it is?

Unknown purple flower

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