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Summer in the Country

June 6th, 2007


I love it here. You people who live in the city are missing it.


I’ve been looking for the history of this: a monolithic, ruinous stonework running alongside the horse trail through Chesterfield Gorge. USGS topographical maps surveyed in 1886 (see here, try the SW quadrant) shows an unpaved road following most of the length of the Westfield River, with even a couple of houses scattered along it. None of which are there now. Google Earth barely shows the road. So who knows what this thing is. It’s not a mill foundation, unless the river has been dammed and rerouted and the mill abandoned long enough to rot away utterly, leaving not even loam. Stranger things have happened, of course. It’s not the remains of a bridge either, because there’s no matching stonework on the far side. The best I can judge, this little linteled passageway was constructed purely for its future aesthetics as an overgrown ruin. Of course if I really cared, I could go digging through deeds at the hall of records and find the real answer. Note that I do not.


I hereby adopt the stonecut square as a personal seal of a par with the mossy skull, ouroboros, the stunted pine and the beat-up cane. I’m going to make a rubber cast of it and turn it into a stamp.

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3 Comments »

  • pantlessjohnny says:

    Bah…

    Dude, I spent two days last week looking at blueprints and city ordinances dealing with a building built in 1887. Even the fire department inspection sheet had the same font as a wanted poster.

    And you know there’s a theory in architecture where you build with the idea in mind of what sort of ruin your structure will leave behind? It’s called “Ruin Value”.

  • mjd says:

    I figured out what these ruins are!

    from Visit New England:

    “Visitors to Chesterfield Gorge will enjoy a half-mile trail along cliff tops that offer views of the seventy-foot-high walls of the gorge, the Westfield River, and the surrounding forest, home to bears, bobcats, and turkeys. Stone abutments of a ca.1770 bridge that spanned the river are all that remain of former post road between Boston and Albany, NY. During the Revolutionary War, redcoats marched over this bridge toward Boston following their defeat at Saratoga, NY.”

    Next time I go back there, I’m just going to have to cross the river and look for the rest of the bridge.

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