HEARN’S CONNECTION TO TRAMORE
Patrick Lafcadio Hearn was born on the Greek island of Lefkada in 1850, to an Irish father, Charles Bush Hearn, and a Greek mother, Rosa Cassimati. At the age of two, Patrick and his mother came to Dublin. Two years later, Rosa returned home in poor health and Patrick was taken into the care of his father’s aunt, Sarah Brenane. From the mid 1850s, Patrick spent much of his childhood summers in Tramore with his guardian Sarah, who retired to Tramore in 1867 and was buried there in 1871.
The last time Patrick saw his father was in 1857, on the beach in Tramore, when he was seven years old. The young Patrick learned to swim in Tramore and passed many happy hours listening to fishermen’s stories of storms and shipwrecks. His biographer, Nina Kennard, attributed Hearn’s life long love of the sea to his days in Tramore. She described Tramore Bay as “presenting scenes striking and grand enough to stamp themselves forever on a mind such as Lafcadio Hearn’s”.
Another biographer, Vera McWilliams, wrote that his times by the ocean were “the happiest moments of his Tramore days, and his Tramore days were the happiest of his youth”. The formal Victorian Garden represents the gardening style of Patrick’s boyhood.