Upstairs from the public rooms at the Pittock Mansion are the private rooms. These include bedrooms, bathrooms, a sewing room, and playrooms for the children.
Mr. and Mrs. Pittock had separate bedrooms, as was the style of the time. His was more “masculine”, with darker colors, and had a more elaborate bathroom attached to it.
The guide who was telling us about the room, Guy, was a man of about forty, and had a personal story to tell about the room. He told us that when he was a child, his family came to visit the Mansion, which had been reopened to the public. Young Guy, his parents having wandered away, found himself alone in Mr. Pittock’s bathroom and was fascinated by the complicated brass shower. He stepped in and started flipping switches, and soon found himself being blasted with water from all sides!
Terrified and soaking wet, he burst out of the shower and ran to find his mother. Embarrassed by this obvious infraction, his mother pulled him by the ear out of the Mansion and into the car. His father thought the whole thing was very funny.
To make things worse, Guy had left the water running, and no one was aware that the shower had filled up and overflowed into the rest of the suite until quite a bit of damage was done.
Fast forward to a few years ago, when Guy had moved back to Portland and become a docent, or guide, at the very same Pittock Mansion. One evening, out with friends and fellow docents, Guy told his story of the shower, asking them not to tell their supervisor. No such luck.
A few days later the supervisor came to let Guy know she knew his past. She told him that the flooding caused by his shenanigans had made such a mess that the water in the house was no longer turned on, for fear of a repeat of the disaster. She also told him he had to continue being a docent, and telling this story, until the end of time. He agreed.
I do love a good story!