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The Big Picture

The Jacobi House

I don't mind moving.  I like change and what it brings--new places, new people, a new experience.
I confess, though, I wish I could take this house with me. From the view to the library to the platter cabinet in the sideboard, I love everything about it.  But especially the history. 
"Dr. Jacobi delivered me," a repairman told me when he came to fix my dishwasher.
"I remember that tree," said a new acquaintance who had come to pick me up for dinner when we first moved to Norwich.  "When I was a little girl and Dr. Jacobi turned on that tree, I knew the Christmas season had started," she said, nostalgia in her voice. 
I pointed.  "If you look close enough, you can still see lights dangling from the top branches."
"Dr. Jacobi delivered me," yet another repairman proclaimed.  "I was named after him."
Everywhere I go in Norwich, I meet people who were touched by the life of  Dr. Martin Jacobi.  Born in Germany, Jacobi could see what was coming with the rise of Hitler and fled to America after going to medical school.  He became an American citizen, then enlisted and served in World War II, helping to liberate prisoners from some of the most horrific concentration camps.
After the war, Dr. Jacobi was on his way to live in Oneonta when the train made a stop in Norwich.  "The streets were so crowded with people," his daughter, Nancy, told me, "that it reminded him of NYC and he immediately fell in love with the little town."  He never made it to Oneonta.
Those were the glory days of Norwich, when the pharmaceutical business was booming.  Pepto Bismol and Chloraseptic were both invented right here, in fact. (
He set up his practice and went on to deliver over 8,500 babies.  No wonder I regularly run into someone he brought into the world.
Every time I see his daughter, we hug. "I love the house," I tell her. 
"I love that you're in the house," she says. 
"The other night I was driving down the highway and I looked up on the hill-- it did my heart good to see the lights on," she told me not too long ago.  "You turned the lights on again in more ways than one."  That made me smile.
We have lived here for two years, and when we move this summer someone else will move in. But to me, this place will always be known as the Jacobi House. 
Thank you, Dr. Jacobi.  It has been an honor to be part of your history.

The Jacobi House link, if you're in the market or you just want to look.  Either way, you'll enjoy the view.

1 Comment to The Jacobi House:

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Debbie on Friday, May 20, 2011 12:02 PM
I truly wonder where you will make your mark next... You did the Jacobi house proud!
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