In a Place Like No Other

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More anecdotal evidence reinforces the belief that Rackliffe House was the brain child of the builder of Beauport or a close counterpart thereto. In 1930, the remains of a Philadelphia lawyer who'd gained fame in disassembling the empires of wealthy industrialists, were found slumped in the corner of the antechamber of a suite of rooms which, until this grim discovery, had never been opened to the public, or, in fact, known to the hotel's staff. Ossified, his hand clutched a spigot that drained a series of oaken channels ingeniously disguised as structural elements and decorative trim. The cache of bootleg whiskey found stored in those concealed trenches rivaled the volume confiscated and dumped by the Untouchables at the height of their activities in Chicago, Illinois. Oddly, the official report forwarded to the deceased's next of kin cited confusion as the cause of death. The coroner had deduced that the victim had somehow stumbled upon this room as a consequence of a wrong turn in the Gordian knot of the bowels of Rackliffe House and, as egress was provided only through a secret panel masterfully disguised as a book case, never left because he was too dissipated to read.

Unscathed by this scandal, Rackliffe House sailed on and again made headway when the Federal Government rescinded Prohibition in 1933. As her repute approached Olympian status, her coffers belched the magic elixir in such volume that many nearby residents avowed silver certificates insulated her walls and the down of the golden goose stuffed her pillows.

Encomium graced her from courts far flung and heads of state regularly bestowed extravagances to her inestimable collection of finery. Her crowning jewel, a 24" diameter, 24k gold plated aluminium ball, delivered by diplomatic pouch, capped her loftiest point, the lightning rod which topped her observation deck, a two story cupola, crowning the center most guest wing. An architectural oddity in itself, this cupola featured a roof design never before seen. The winged gables that curved slightly upward from the center, where the lightning rod roosted, traced a concave line to the outside peaks. At great distance, they tendered the bearing of the flukes of a whale. A cherished sea story tells of a senile Nantucket skipper in pursuit of his last great fortune, who entered the harbor one cold grey morning only to find himself coming about in hurried fashion to avoid rolling waves of granite.

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