On September 1st 2019, Dorian swept over Elbow Cay around 10am making it's first landfall as a Monster Cat 5 (or 6) storm.
Dorian was unprecedented in The Bahamas or region due to its strength, wind speed and duration over The Bahamas.
One of the many destructive forces caused by Dorian sadly took out our beloved Hope Town Harbour Lodge.
I had driven by the Lodge since right after Dorian but never truly grasped the damage done to it, as "Hey it's still standing" (sort of), which many homes (like my own) were flattened. "So that has to be a good thing right?" Unfortunately, as the month's pass, the extent of damage is uncovered in many "standing" buildings. Many are deemed a total loss and are forced to demolish beautiful and historical buildings throughout Abaco. The Lodge was one of those.
I drive by the demolition project daily but never fully grasped it until yesterday. Yesterday, I drove the top road where one used to be nesstled between the Lodge's old Ray's Place Bar, Reception & Rooms and the Reef Bar & cottages around the pool. Now just one wide open space.
The view, post demolition and debris hauling, was shocking. Once a favorite wedding spot (including my own rehearsal dinner) was now a big empty lot. Still beautiful in it's own right with the views of the Harbour on one side and stunning beach on the Atlantic Ocean on the other. It still has some foliage and still overlooks one of the best beaches on island.
But 'The Lodge' was so much more than that. It was vacation memories, celebration memories and/or childhood memories, for many, with the Frog by the pool. Everyone will have their own personal memories to add, but The Frog is included in a majority of them. After it cracked many years ago they moved it from the pool to the steps, where it still sits today watching over the steps like a proud gargoyle.
Hope Town Harbour Lodge has been a hotel since the 60's and a highly popular location for weddings and numerous celebrations. It's sad to see it reduced to rubble. The pictures included may make some sad, but let's think of it as another chapter in it's history book.
Last I saw, it's still on the market, and hopefully whoever buys the Lodge will Rebuild it and bring back some of it's former glory!