Swiss property seeks hermit

UPDATE: A hermit-caretaker has been hired!

An article in WorldCrunch highlights the dilemma of the owners of the St. Varena Hermitage in the Swiss city of Solothurn. The owners want to hire a hermit, but one who is sociable enough to greet visitors, arrange for marriages and social uses of the churches on the grounds, and generally promote the site. The owner, representing a property management firm, does not want to alter the job description. The previous hermit lasted 5 years before resigning to seek a place more hospitable to a hermit.


Alvah Dunning, Adirondack hermit

Alvah Dunning

Alvah Dunnning (1816-1902) was a Adirondacks Mountains (NY) guide skilled in tracking and hunting. He is unfortunately credited with exterminating the presence of wolves and moose in the Adirondacks.

Dunning was a fierce recluse, stereotypically cantankerous, temperamental, and hard to get along with, according to A History of the Adirondacks by Alfred L. Donaldson, published in 1921. Dunning disliked people, especially women and the wealthy urbanites who hired him as a guide and would not consume what they killed.

Dunning’s death is ironic: he stayed in a New York City home overnight while attending a trade show, and in his ignorance had blown out the bedroom gas lamp. He died of asphyxiation.