Although this legend has not been authenticated, it has caused quite a stir among Victorian circles..

At the turn of the last century vast tracts of Brooklyn farmland were purchased by developers that would build beautiful estates to attract the industry moguls of the day. One such mogul, an owner of a vast shipping fleet, known as Captain Bartholomew Olmstead, purchased a small parcel of land and proceeded to build a house to honor his fiance whom it was rumored he had met abroad.

Captain Olmstead labored vigorously on his home and spared no expense for his bride-to-be. The one curiosity about the affair was that no one had ever met the woman and it was rumored she was still abroad waiting for the home to be completed. Not even her name was known to the locals until the captain placed his finishing touch on the house, a plaque dedicated to his bride; Loralei.

At last, the word had got out that Loralei was to meet the captain and her new home on a most auspicious occasion; the evening of the grand opening of Brooklyn's Luna Park. The owners of the surrounding estates were too well mannered to ask questions of Captain Olmstead, and he was too private to offer information. But that evening many souls were secretly crowded behind curtained windows to see the mysterious approach of the Captain's bride.

After much prolonged expectation, a tall and stately figure, heavily veiled and dressed in dark elegant finery, glided to the porch, and then to the parlor within. That evening, the neighbors had said, every window was ablaze with gas light and the sounds of piano music were heard. It was said that two dark silhouette shapes could be seen waltzing in a kind of rapture through the drapery. All those
who saw this were filled with longing and happiness that is said to be part of Historic Brooklyn to this day.

Because the evening unfolded as planned, it was all the more perplexing the next morning (and for a month of mornings afterward) to learn that the couple had completely vanished, leaving the home in a perfect state to itself. Although many explanations were offered, some say that their happiness was too great for this corporeal world and that they live somewhere nearby but unseen.

In October of 1993, the current owners acquired the house which was in the process of restoration. During the renovation process, a crude sketch of the Loralei plaque was found under a pile of old newspapers. It was assumed that the sketch was of the original plaque fashioned by Captain Bartholomew Olmstead. A new plaque, based on this design, adorns the house.

To this very day, guests at the Loralei often experience a kind of euphoria and tranquility. Perhaps the original couple are responsible but we like to think that it is partly our efforts too.


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The Loralei B & B - 667 Argyle Road - Brooklyn, N. Y. 11230 - 646-228-4656 - Email - info@loraleinyc.com

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