By Christy Carley
Longtime south-enders have a handful of stories about the lone standing fireplace at the head of Eagle Harbor. The house that once belonged to the fireplace has transcended into Bainbridge folklore as everything from a brothel to a World War II-era candle shop. Most agree that it hosted an antique shop at one point, and several recall shelves full of colorful glass bottles.
According to islander Leroy McNulty, the last resident of the house was a woman named Louise Jackson. McNulty’s mother was friends with Jackson and the two played cribbage in the front part of Jackson’s house, which doubled as an antique and art shop. As a kid in the 1950s and 1960s, McNulty tagged along. “They both believed in the paranormal,” said McNulty, of the two women. “So that’s how they became friends.”
In addition to the shop in the front of the house, McNulty remembers that Jackson performed palm readings in a back room—and after reading McNulty’s palm, she declared he would die at age 18. McNulty still recalls the “flamboyant” and “a little bit outrageous” hats she wore every day.
McNulty reckons that Jackson died sometime in the 1970s, and that the house sat vacant until it burned down. Luckily for Leroy McNulty, Jackson’s palm reading proved false and he’s still around to share her story.