by Sherry Glaser, Inn Coordinator
It’s been a busy spring! We recently had Living Light students planting strawberries, thyme, tomatoes, squash, arugula, chard, lettuce and cabbage in our new garden beds at Living Light Inn to get ready for our garden to table program. The Living Light Inn and The Grey Whale Inn are “sister inns” just five blocks from each other on Fir St. on the north end of town in Fort Bragg, and are owned and operated under the umbrella of Living Light International.
These two Inns inhabit two of the oldest structures on the Mendocino Coast, both over 100 years old! These buildings have lasted so long because they are constructed with old growth redwood that can endure for thousands of years. As the weather changes, redwood holds its moisture to ensure it doesn’t contort, shrink or bow like other kinds of wood. Redwood also has a natural resistance to insects and decay. And best of all, it smells divine.
The Living Light Inn, formerly the Colonial Inn, has an intimate, home-like feeling, with only eight rooms for rent and a commitment to a vegan kitchen which many tourists and students enjoy. The Grey Whale was once the Coast hospital, built to take care of the early settlers on the Mendocino Coast. It has fourteen spacious rooms, a lovely breakfast nook and welcomes omnivores and vegans alike.
Time and again I've heard people exclaim about The Grey Whale, "My mother was born here!" or "My grandfather was born there!" or "I was born there!" It is delightful to hear the history and really connects us with the original community. In fact, I recently had the pleasure of meeting the grandson of the man who built the Living Light Inn, Harry Shafsky. Now 77 years old, he had returned to the Inn (his childhood home) where he’d spent the first four years of his life to reminisce. He told me stories of the Inns beginnings, showing me photos, and pointing out his grandmother's room. The entire experience melted my heart.
As we move into the future with Living Light International – planting new gardens and remodeling rooms – we plan to include and honor the history of these precious places with care and respect. I invite you to come visit and experience the peace and quiet for yourself.
Sherry Glaser is the Living Light Inn Coordinator and long-time resident on the Mendocino Coast. When she’s not enchanting guests with her warmth and humor, she is performing her one-woman show for local audiences and teaching theater improvisation.
Photo credits: Sherry Glaser