In 1977, Chowchilla, California opened its own county library. The Chowchilla library continues to serve the local community to this day, with numerous book collections, periodicals and meeting rooms. But if the library didn’t open until 1977, what stood on site prior to construction?
The Chowchilla Tea House That Had No Name
Rumor has it that a small tea house once stood where the library does today, a long time ago before we kept very detailed records or had stricter rules for small businesses.
They say the small, nondescript tea house stood there decades before the library.
It’s not inconceivable that a place could pop up for a little while, do business, and then fade into obscurity. Nobody was carrying around cameras back then, so this tea house became nothing more than a whisper in history.
Unlike most establishments, the tea house failed to have an official name.
According to local legend, many people came to see a woman who worked at the tea house.
Locals would visit the tea house with no name to discover what their lives had in store for them.
But one day Rosemary made a horrible mistake.
She finished drinking a cup of Turmeric tea and decided to read her own future.
In her cup she saw her own death.
Angry and afraid, Rosemary refused to live the rest of her life waiting for her inevitable, gruesome end.
They say she climbed onto the roof of the tea house and flung herself to the ground, breaking her neck and taking control over her fate, but like most things about Rosemary’s life – there wasn’t any official records, no official documentation, just stories passed down from generation to generation. It was a different time.
Have you ever stopped to think about how many people, and their stories, have come and gone over the years? There is no shortage of forgotten souls with no legacy. These days, people go out of their way to live “off the grid”, but there was a time during which that was the norm.
Death in the Dregs
Many believe the spirit of Rosemary now haunts the Chowchilla library, and Anthony knows firsthand that its true.
“I am what many would call a ‘health nut’”, he began with a laugh.
“My Saturday morning routine consists of a ten mile jog around town, grabbing a cup of tea from a local coffee shop and sipping it as I read about new recipes from library cookbooks.
“I had just read about the health benefits of Turmeric tea the week prior, so on that particular Saturday I brought some to the library with me.
“I poured over a couple of new vegan books for a couple of hours, copying down new meals to try at home with my wife,” he nodded.
“To me, it just felt like an ordinary Saturday.
“As the morning progressed I realized I needed to head home because my wife and I were going to see a movie that afternoon.
“I had long forgotten about my tea, flipping through all of those books…
“So I grabbed my cup and drank until I got to the dregs.
“As I went to toss it into the trash can, I looked down in the cup and all of the lights in the library turned off,” he shrugged.
“I looked around for a librarian, but suddenly I realized that I was the only one in the room—no librarians, no patrons, nobody.
“’Hello?’ I called out to the empty room.
“Suddenly I heard faint footsteps in the row to my right.
“But a librarian didn’t appear—a woman in a Victorian style gown did.
“One side of her face was beautiful and youthful, but the other side…
“I could tell that she was a ghost,” Anthony said quietly.
“We made eye contact, and she said to me, ‘do not dare look into your cup, sir.’”
‘For Turmeric only shows death and despair.’
“And that’s when I heard the distant sounds of two women speaking over me,” he gestured vaguely.
“I opened my eyes and I was on the floor of the library, still holding my empty cup.
“The librarians helped me to my feet, and I threw my cup away without looking inside of it.”
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