Born in a Ballroom
The night of Eleanor’s birth on March 29, 1917, the small log cabin her parents owned caught fire. Her mother ran to the plantation home nearby to give birth to little Eleanor on the ballroom floor. Entering this world with gusto, Eleanor often lamented, “I was born in a ballroom, and I’ve been dancing ever since.” Eleanor went on to teach, work for the Red Cross, travel the world, raise a family of five on her own, and co-found an internationally recognized restaurant, The Hütte, which reflects her unique legacy to this day. As we explore this exceptional Swiss-Appalachian woman and place, we discover, now forty years later, how one woman embraced a West Virginia community through food and perhaps a dance or two. Eleanor passed away on March 9, 2011 just twenty days shy of her 94th birthday. Director and granddaughter, Clara Lehmann promised she’d tell Eleanor’s story. In “Born in a Ballroom,” we find that person and place are often one and the same.Through entrepreneurship, creativity, and sheer grit, Eleanor inspired an Appalachian village to aspire to more.
Starring Eleanor Fahrner Mailloux
Director Jonathan Lacocque, Clara Lehmann