Sunday, June 01, 2008

My head is still in mini-vacationland, so I will post about John Kerry tomorrow.

I love history and oddity, so my affection for the work of my friend Joe Citro is deep and sincere. And Joe is one of the nicest guys I know. It's a pleasure to get together with him and mutual pal Steve Bissette for a magical mystery tour of Vermont, which we undertook on Saturday.

This is one of Joe's great books. Buy it!

The first stop was Springfield Vermont and the home of inventor and former Vermont Governor James hartness, which is now a handsome hotel.

Hartness was known for his inventions and innovations in the field of metal working, but he was also fascinated by astronomy had had his own observatory built on the grounds. The telescope was linked to his underground work rooms that are accessible through a long tunnel.

The current owner of the estate gave us a detailed and well informed tour of Hartness's "fortress of solitude," and I can admit an underground liar seemed quite appealing to me, if not to all three of us!

Here's Alex the owner explaining how the telescope works.

To learn more go here.

We went to Cavendish Vermont to view the memorial for Phineas Gage, a Vermont railroad worker who accridently set off a charge that drove an iron rod completely through his head. He lived, although his personality was changed, therefore providing 19th Century scientists with a valuable insight about how the brain works. Seven years after he was buried, his body was exhumed and his head was given to the Harvard medical museum along with the rod that pierced it! Apparently it's still on display.

Next up was Cuttingsville and the house an grave of John Bowman, a wealthy 19th century man who lost his wife and children and was so overcome by the grief he built this opulent grave with a stature of himself waiting outside. Joe said Bowman was convinced his wife and children would somehow return to him and had his servants prepare meals and keep the house as if they were about to arrive.

He was able to leave a trust fund to maintain his house and it is handsome to this day.

We then were on the trail of Moon's Arch, which Joe described as probably the most famous and biggest of Vermont's alleged Celtic sites in South Woodstock. As we went over a number of dirt roads we encountered some amazing estates and one house had a series of fairy statues mounted along the road.

We did find the arch but it was on posted private property. Being a good boy, I photographed it from the gate.

Dammit Blogger won't let me put up my final photo! I'll try tomorrow!

© 2008 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

No comments: