Wednesday, February 18, 2009

JUNKYARD EXPLORER: Kiwanis Lake Tavern

Back in the early 90's, my brother rented a basement apartment in Kiwanis Lake, east of Newbury. Bubba's dwelling was on a hillside, surrounded by thickets of verdant green.

The settlement was originally a community of vacation cottages around the sprawling natural reserve of water. But eventually, it became a crowded borough of regular dwellings.

The roads in Kiwanis were narrow, twisty, and steep. Yet each hillside bungalow seemed to offer a different angle on the lake. It was a place of natural beauty and small-town social regimentation. I grew fond of it over time.

Entering the enclave on Elm Road, off of Route 87, I would pass an anonymous tavern that was dependably fronted by an assortment of rusty cars and trucks. No one seemed to know what the watering hole was called. And my brother had never been inside. But it seemed busy with local patrons.

Recently, I drove through Kiwanis to see if the old apartment was still there. Amazingly, it looked as if the past fifteen years had done little to change the neighborhood. Yet one development stood out in contrast... the tavern had succumbed to a fire.

What was this place? The secret remains buried under layers of ash and rubble. If only these ruined walls could speak aloud...


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