These are the flames people in Cambridge Springs can’t forget, the ones that turned the heart of a community into ashes.
“It left a great void. This community didn’t have anything else,” said Peter Mathews, a Cambridge Springs community member.
The Cambridge Springs Heritage Society made that history of the Riverside Inn something every generation can hang on to.
“After the fire I thought, “Gee, we should record the history somehow,” which we had most of it here. It was a matter of putting it together and putting it in a book,” said Rose Smith, the Cambridge Springs Heritage Society Vice President.
The book also serves as a way to share personal memories people have from spending time at the Riverside.
“We had people from the community that gave us memories of what went on when they were at the Riverside or maybe they worked there,” said Janet Beanland, a Cambridge Springs historian.
The stories date back to the Inn’s opening more than a century ago, all the way up until that devastating fire in May.
The book’s designer played a key role in capturing images from that night.
“I came out you know as quick as we could and so I grabbed the camera and started documenting through the night,” said Jesse Cornwell, the book designer.
Members of the Heritage Society said the book came out better than they imagined.
After just three days, they sold more than half of the inventory.
“It gives people an opportunity to know what the town used to be and how it got developed,” said Beanland.
With each book, they’re making sure the legacy of the Riverside lives on here in Cambridge Springs.
Books are selling at the Heritage Society Museum on 26 Federal Street. That’s open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
You can also get a copy at Hendrickson’s True Value Hardware on 129 Railroad Street. That’s open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Both locations are in Cambridge Springs.
The book is 20 dollars including tax.