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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Inspiration can come from different places and can be expressed in so many different forms – a drawing, a poem and even a picture. For Innkeeper Beth Colt of the Woods Hole Inn, located in Woods Hole, MA, it was a red chair on a cold winter morning that sparked it.

Original picture of the Red Chair courtesy of Woods Hole InnnOriginal picture of the Red Chair courtesy of Woods Hole Inn

Beth was taking her sons out to ice skate on a nearby pond and had brought along a chair so they could sit down and lace up their skates. They were headed back inside when she decided to snap a picture of the gorgeous wooden chair with its cherry red finish, which she had picked up at a local swap shop, set against the grey backdrop of the New England winter. For some reason, the image resonated with her.

Innkeeper Ilja with the Red Chair courtesy of Adair Country Inn & RestaurantInnkeeper Ilja with the Red Chair courtesy of Adair Country Inn & Restaurant

After posting the picture on her Facebook page, it became a viral sensation and eventually made its way to Julie Ann Cromer, a photographer based in California who called wanting to visit the inn and the chair. During her visit she took even more magnificent pictures of the Red Chair including a shot on Noboska Beach that now hangs in Beth’s home. “I saw the chair as a metaphor for sharing,” said Beth. “And a theme for me that we don’t own anything, it just passes through us and by us.”

True to her word, she contacted innkeepers from across Cape Cod with the hopes of sending the Red Chair on a journey of inspiring others. As its popularity grew, so did the long list of places the chair has visited, including areas outside of Cape Cod such as the New Hampshire White Mountain Region where Adair Country Inn & Restaurant is located. In late October, it enjoyed some time on this New England estate where it took a seat at Innkeeper Brad’s breakfast table before spending a bit of quiet time in the White Garden. Innkeeper Ilja took the chair on a sight-seeing tour introducing it to different local businesses and, of course, photographed its morning adventures around town. After an enjoyable visit at the inn, the chair made its way to The Inn at Round Barn Farm located in the Central Region of Vermont along with other destinations around New England.

“It’s been a wonderful experience sharing the journey of the Red Chair because people have unique reactions to it,” said Beth, “What it means to me is not what it can mean to someone else.”

To see more of where the Red Chair has traveled, visit the Red Chair Travels website.

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