If you drive around Raymond Hill today you might not notice this broken bit of river rock wall lining several of the streets. The quiet stretch of stone is all that remains of the world famous Raymond Hotel. At the turn of the last century wealthy patrons were shuttled to their grand hilltop accommodations via an elaborate underground subway tunnel and elevator — the only hotel entrance of its kind in America. After checking out the posh digs, the guests could admire the 19 foot ceilings of the dining room, play golf or hike around the Raymond’s extensive garden pathways. If they made it to the base of this stone wall they could survey the vast flower fields which grew around the base of the property. Those flowers added to the Raymond’s cachet. The hotel was hyped around the world as a floral “paradise on earth”, with fresh cut flowers placed daily around the hotel and in all the rooms — even during winter months.
I always look to see if there is an errant poppy or snapdragon blooming near the wall now — more subtle reminders of what was once there.
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