I hear a lot of things about the Cross House which are not true.
Visitors to the house tell me that the dark, detailed wainscoting on much of the first floor is hand-tooled leather.
I explain that it is Lincrustra, basically sawdust and glue.
Vistors insist that it is hand-tooled leather and look at me as if I am a simpleton.
Other visitors have told me, with great relish, that the secondary staircase was installed so that the Harrison Cross (who built the house) could easily sneak his mistress into the house.
I explain that the secondary staircase is a servant’s stair, which was 100% normal for such a large house.
These visitors look at me as if I am naive.
One woman, with great excitement at long ago memories, told me how she loved to travel up/down the dumbwaiter from the basement all the way to the fourth level.
I explained that this was impossible for two reasons. First, the dumbwaiter was removed decades before she was born. And, two, the dumbwaiter could not have possibly gone past the first floor.
She insisted that I was wrong. “My memories are so vivid! I know they are true!
So, I took her to the second floor and showed how it was structurally impossible for the dumbwaiter to have ever gone past the first floor.
During a fraternity reunion several now elderly former residents breathlessly told me tales about crawling through the tunnel.
“What tunnel?” I asked.
“The one in the basement!”
“There is no evidence of a tunnel in the basement,” I replied.
They insisted they were right. “We remember it perfectly! We LOVED the tunnel!”
I asked them to show me the tunnel. So, a half-dozen of us went into the basement. No tunnel was found, and no evidence of a blocked-up tunnel could be found. And none of the visitors could even remember where the tunnel was.
And so on.
A while back somebody wrote in about the stone lattice. This wonderful feature covers two windows at the very bottom of the tower. The person stated that the stone had been removed, and that they were glad to see it back.
All the stone was, indeed, in place, and there was no physical evidence of it ever having gone missing. But, before I replied I checked out all the old images of the house. None showed any missing stone, so I discounted this as yet another myth about the house.
So, to whomever told me this tale a while back, I extend my apologies!
Now, I just need the stories about a large box of gold hidden in the house to prove true!
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