If you’re a regular reader, you know that I’m helping my friend turn a Victorian house into a B&B and we’ve been having a blast. But things went from fabulous to un-freaking-believable when we uncovered something we never expected to find: a secret sauna.
On the third floor, there are two bedrooms and one large bath that both rooms share. It’s been closed up for a long time, as the third floor wasn’t used much when the house was a community center. I went in there armed with a bucket of Lysol and scrubbed down the tiles in the shower. As I cleaned, I noted a strange seam in the wall. At first I thought it was some sort of makeshift repair job. But then I looked and saw this little notch in the wall — one that was too small to be a soapdish. I reached down and gave it a little tug, and the section of wall slid open to reveal a dark wood paneled room.
I couldn’t believe it. A sauna? A secret sauna? I called my friend over and we stood there, slackjawed. See for yourself:
We put in an order for a new sauna stove (who knows what happened to the original one) and we’re debating whether to replace any of the cedar paneling. My friend also needs to figure out how guests can share it. She might just have to hang a sign on the door that people can flip over to signal to others than the sauna is in use.
A Secret Sauna — Why?
Saunas are a great feature to have, especially in a B&B. But I can’t figure out why you would want to hide one. But as an unapologetic fan of bodice rippers, I like to imagine that the sauna was built so that star-crossed lovers could have secret, illicit trysts away from the prying eyes of the rest of society.
Finally, a Name!
My friend has finally decided to give up on the “Astoria Community Inn” name for the B&B. Believe it or not, the sauna inspired her to pick a new one: Hidden Springs Inn.
Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?