Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cemetery: Old Deerfield Burying Ground

It's not unusual for me to take a right at the brown Historic Deerfield sign on Routes 5 & 10 while heading south toward home from visiting family or friends in the northern reaches of this great Commonwealth, driving slow down Main Street, Old Deerfield, oohing and ahhing at the beautiful old homes and civic structures lining both sides of that quaint and cozy avenue in a village that seems to stand untouched by time. It's a nice ride, as Main Street forks right into Mill Village Road at its southern end (a left at the fork brings you right back out to 5 & 10), following the Deerfield River for a ways as the road takes you through abundant acres of vegetables and flowers, past farms and cows and wonderful smells that make you glad to live in New England. I always mourn the old drive-in theater as I pass the spot where it once stood, now houses and humans, right before Mill Village Road rejoins Routes 5 & 10.

Last Friday, I happened to be doing my drive-through living history tour, and decided to take advantage of the great weather - and the fact that the area is pretty mellow on a weekday right about now, especially with Deerfield Academy out for the summer - stopping off at the Old Burying Ground, at the end of Albany Road, which runs off the west side of Main near the Academy, to explore and take a few photos. It had been years since I had been there...indeed the memory is fuzzy...partying around Halloween...a bunch of us loaded into my sister-in-law's purple Gremlin...ach. Funny how a couple more decades along the road will bring out the reverence in someone.

This stone and tablet just inside the gate lists the names of the interred. It's a beautiful spot to rest, even for the living, with a couple of wooden benches overlooking the cemetery.

The restless stones seek their place in the earth. Where are those they mark?

Some families occupy large sections of the cemetery, a perpetual reunion. The small stones are most often children, the tears wept for them by pioneer mothers and fathers long since dry, the hearth that comforted them, centuries cold.

This mound covers the mass grave of the settlers killed in the February 29, 1704 attack on the village by 200 to 300 French soldiers and their Indian cohorts during Queen Anne's War. The marauders massacred 56 men, women and children before taking 112 villagers captive and forcing them on an unforgiving, 300-mile winter-march to Canada. 21 died on the tragic journey: 3 infants (out of 4), 4 children (out of 35), 4 men (out of 26) and 10 women (out of 26). The 21 teenagers captured in Deerfield survived the march to Canada.

The stones cast long shadows in the grass as the day begins drawing to a close. A beautiful late afternoon can be a melancholy thing, the light and sun and warmth finally just right and...fading fast, with nothing to keep it in place. Below and behind the shadows of the cemetery, the playing fields of Deerfield Academy bask in the glow of the uninterrupted sun, the bleachers empty, waiting for life.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Postcards: Duryea Motor Wagon Company

Heather Brandon and Bill Dusty over at Urban Compass are the bloggers to read if you want to know about the cool stuff that's going on in Springfield. I kind of rely on them to pull my head out of the dimly-lit corners of the past every so often and make me look around at what's happening real-time.

Bill's post from this past Thursday includes some great photos taken and a link to a video he shot while exploring Springfield's historic Maple Street, known in the 1600s as "the road on the brow of the hill." You can also find Bill over at the Springfield Intruder.

Heather wrote last Friday about a $15,000 tourism grant that the city received that it will use to emphasize Springfield's historical "firsts," which is just plain awesome. Check out Heather's column, which also includes a list of some of the firsts that will be highlighted. With some thought and research, the partial list could be undoubtedly be magnified ten-fold, I believe Springfield is that rich in manufacturing, educational and creative historical firsts. Milton Bradley alone - in the list credited with creating the first mass-produced board game, "The Checkered Game of Life" in 1860 - also invented and patented the first one-armed paper cutter in 1881, created the first children's jigsaw puzzle in 1880 and was instrumental in the publishing of the first kindergarten guide in the English language. He, his wife and father started and taught the first kindergarten in Springfield, and the first two students were, in fact, the Bradley's two daughters.

Before Milton Bradley set off on his own in commerce, he worked as a lithographer for the Wason Manufacturing Company, a maker of railway cars that is most likely responsible for many firsts of its own in the fabricating industry, the company being completely self-contained and able to make every part necessary for the creation of a train car in-house at its own sprawling facilities in Springfield's North-end. One "first" attributable to Wason that I cannot confirm as of yet, but have read somewhere and will try to source, is that it was the first railway car manufacturer in the United States to export its product overseas, the company's luxurious, made-to-order private cars coveted by sultans and royalty in far-away lands.

Here are a couple of postcards commemorating one of Springfield's most-famous "firsts," the creation and manufacture of the first American automobile by the Duryea Motor Wagon Company, established September 21, 1895. The gasoline-powered car had one of its first tests on April 19, 1892, at 47 Taylor Street, located at about the middle of the block bordered by Dwight and Main Streets. At the time, Taylor Street ended a block or two east of Chestnut Street. What is now "upper" Taylor - between Spring and Armory Streets - was known as "Summer Street." The area between Taylor and Summer Streets was occupied by buildings.

Learn more about the Duryea Motor Wagon Company with EWM post, In Defense of the Duryea or read my contribution at Masslive.com: The driving Duryea brothers, Springfield's automobile pioneers.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

'Springfield Present and Prospective, Art and Literature' (Pond & Campbell 1905)

The 1905 book 'Springfield Present and Prospective,' continued midway through the chapter 'Art and Literature,' at the section 'Springfield on the Side of Letters,' penned by Charles Goodrich Whiting.

Title/contents page

Art and Literature (previous segment)

Art and Literature (cont.)
Concerning Springfield on the side of letters, it may be said that a highly intelligent old society, growing less as time went on, had a certain old culture from the libraries, often small, but always choice, of books which had stood the test of trial in England. For a long time this culture gave a tone to the social gatherings, and it is but recently that this has markedly changed - before it had simply lingered, without development. We have now the culture of the great library, where everything can be obtained for reading, but where as a matter of fact it is not so much cultivation of the mind and exaltation of the soul that is the object of reading, as it is the acquirement of information. The Chautauqua idea is really dominant, and it develops a clear intelligence of facts without that old-fashioned training of thought which resulted from acquaintance with masterpieces of literature, such as came over here from England in the days when we had no writers or publishers of anything except political pamphlets and religious tracts, and all our literate furniture was of the greater and lesser periods from the Elizabethan classics to the Restoration production. Then our forefathers and foremothers thought with the noble English version of the Bible, with Milton, with Bacon and Shakespeare, or with Addison and Pope, with Dryden and Goldsmith and Dean Swift. Such are the books that are found in the ancient collections. Later we had Scott and Burns, Crabbe and Bloomfield, Young's "Night Thoughts" and Pollock's "Course of Time." Blair's "Grave," and the poems of James Montgomery; Cowper and Gray and the works of Flavius Josephus, "that learned Jew." It was really a slur to call Josephus so, as if Jews were not vastly more learned than all the rest. But not to go further, it was from such meaty food that the thought of New England was developed, and in the little Pynchon settlement of Springfield as elsewhere.

Now we have many a club, of women or of men, who are esteemed to have a literary outlook on life; and indeed their number is so great that it is impossible that some intellectual result should not come from all these admirable voluntary associations, the the rich treasures of the city library to draw from. But they read Browning and Tennyson, Walt Whitman and Emerson; or in prose still Emerson and also Thoreau; Herbert Spencer is read more than Kant or Hegel, sometimes Aristotle or even Plato is ventured on; and John Fiske or Edward Bellamy is endeavored. Thus we get more serious year by year. Still it cannot be said that Springfield has developed a true literary or philosophical society. It waits for the fusion of diverse elements.

It is well to turn from this general consideration to the history of letters in the city and its vicinity, which is necessarily the record of those individuals who have themselves formed or represented literature.

In letters, as in arts, the possession of Springfield is in the labors of those who have come here, rather than those who were born here. But that is the fact with relation to the great centers of literature. What was London in Elizabeth's day but a field that received Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson, and their peers? What has New York been, or Boston? though the Hub has had more native growths than most other cities, especially in the old days. Even Concord had few native authors, perhaps none beside Thoreau, for Emerson, Hawthorne, Sanborn, Alcott, the other famous men of Concord, were all born elsewhere - Emerson in Boston, Hawthorne in Maine, Sanborn in New Hampshire, Alcott in Connecticut. They were all immigrants so far as Concord was concerned. So why should Springfield differ? As Schiller expressed it in one of his parables:

It was the mountain springs that fed
The fair green plain's amenities.

Our first literary work was by the original immigrant, the pioneer and founder, William Pynchon; and it may be too much to class "The Meritorious Price of Man's Redemption" with real literature, for assuredly Charles Lamb would have put it among his "Biblia a biblia" - books which are no books. Yet it hit a psychologic moment, and was burned in Boston by the Puritan authorities, though its heresy was small in proportion to what has been thought since. It was Springfield's first distinction in the way of opinion, and it made the settlement of Agawam famous in England for a short time. The "Simple Cobbler of Aggawam," also famous in England, was not of this locality; he belonged to the Pennacook region, for "Agawam" was a common Algonquin word.

Literature in this community really began with the Springfield Republican, long the most famous institution of the town, which early devoted columns and pages to that phase of human life, and gradually enlisted the services of many a writer afterward noted, and some eminent. The first of Springfield's essentially literary figures was Josiah Gilbert Holland, who was born in Belchertown, but here entered upon his career as a moralist, novelist and poet. His local historical romance of the Puritan days, "The Bay Path" was written here; and here also he made that characteristic New England poem, "Bittersweet," centering on the Thanksgiving feast; and the idyl of "Kathrina," by "the winding and willow-fringed Connecticut." It was as an editor of the Republican that he began his essential calling as preacher, especially seen in his three series of "Timothy Titcomb" letters to young folks, which were rather of moral than literary merit; and for that paper he wrote his "History of Western Massachusetts," the first effort at the subject since Hubbard made his collections. Also he wrote "Letters to the Joneses" and "Gold Foil," - all advices as to the conduct of life which were wholesome, and did much good among the class of people for whom they were meant. Nor should it be forgotten that Dr. Holland wrote the first "Life of Abraham Lincoln," to appear after the great man's death, - a triumph of real newspaper enterprise and rushing labor, and notwithstanding errors from insufficient knowledge, still an interesting book. Holland's second novel, "Miss Gilbert's Career," deserves a place among novels truly illustrative of old Massachusetts life; it gave us one character, "Cheek" the stage driver; and one word, "jasm," which expresses the inexpressible personal force of the Yankee. The subsequent career of Doctor Holland, as editor of Scribner's Monthly (since become the Century), his addition of several novels to the list of fiction, "Sevenoaks" the best. his further poems, and his growth into an authoritative place; - in all these Springfield may take a just share of pride.

But while Holland first definitely brought to the Republican that literary flavor which became an irrefragable tradition, the determining force was Samuel Bowles, the master-mind that set the model for concise and pointed newspaper writing, with proportion, without waste, which other and metropolitan journals have followed in such a degree as they may. He also gave to the day's literature, at the time when they were needed, the first books about the great West, journeying to the Pacific coast by stage and producing "Across the Continent," "The Parks of Colorado," "Our New West" and "The Pacific Railroad - Open." But his calling was not that of letters, - he had his own work to do, and in the course of it introduced to their first public a good many notable persons, such as Bret Harte, who signed his California letters "F. B. H."; the humorist "John Paul," who under his proper name of Charles Henry Webb wrote two choice volumes of lyrics - the last, "With Lead and Line," containing several stirring verses which first appeared in the Republican; Rose Terry Cooke, a writer of New England general stories worthy to rank with Mrs. Stowe's, and far better than Miss Wilkins ever wrote; Julia D. Whiting, in the same class and level; "Octave Thanet" (Miss French), an excellent story-teller; Katherine Lee Bates, professor in Wellesley college; Edwin Morton, a remarkable but too reticent poet; the scholarly essayist, A. W. Stevens; and so many more that the list would become tedious.

One of the most remarkable men of letters who began his career on the Republican staff was Edward King, the Parisian, who was born in Middlefield, the son of a Methodist minister of the same name. He came to Springfield a youth of seventeen, went to Paris as correspondent of the Republican, at the exposition of 1867, and wrote that brilliant book of sketches of life called "My Paris." He made the journey of the southern states for Scribner's Monthly, and his articles were gathered into "The New South." His novels include "Helen Bell," "A Gentle Savage," "Kentucky's Love" and "Joseph Zalmonah," and his poems "Echoes from the Orient" and "A Venetian Lover" - and he wrote the interesting book, "Europe in Storm and Calm," which Charles A. Nichols published twenty years ago. Because for so many years King was a well-known figure here, and for the fact that his early life was of the contributive countryside, it is well to recall so much of the life of the brilliant and too early vanishing man of real talent. He died in New York in 1896.

Next installment: Springfield on the Side of Letters (cont.)

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Crossing Into the Future: The Great River Bridge Project Progresses

The landscape is indelibly altered. Trees gone. Yellow tape and foreboding Danger! signs wrap and adorn, warning of progress on the march...dangerous and dirty. Dust rises from scars in the earth as men and machine plow into the future. Nature transformed.

In the end: A building or a bridge, a steeple or a shed. And the years pass...and no one remembers the tearing of the soil, the callouses on solid men's hands. The object just is. A thing...there to be seen, and ne'er often to wonder how it's come to been.

The Great River Bridge in Westfield, Massachusetts from the southeast, the Westfield river flowing beneath on its never-ending journey to the Connecticut river and, ultimately, Long Island Sound and the Atlantic. The bridge, built over the years 1938 - 1939, following the terrible flood of 1938, will be eased of its heavy traffic burden following its restoration after the completion of its downstream twin, underway and expected to take all of three years. The new bridge will be built in the same truss-style construction and comes with a price tag of $60,000,000. Many a summer day of my youth were whiled away sitting on the flat rocks under the bridge, fishing for small mouth bass in the pools below.

The buildings and businesses that lined the northeast riverbank are no longer, taken by the wrecking ball and the claw, and the promise of a better way. Humans mold the planet to their advantage, constant nest-builders and movers of dirt. The new bridge will carry three lanes of travelers north from the Elm Street Spur in front of Holy Trinity Church, depositing them on the opposite bank to continue their journey via Union Avenue under the raised and refurbished CSX railroad viaduct. In the 19th century the Horton Grist Mill occupied the north riverbank directly downstream from the bridge, harnessing the current of the river to power its stones. Change comes, and turns the past.

Looking south down the Elm Street Spur, poised for amplified urban importance. The trees have all been removed from the triangle that is Kane Park on the right, except for one, a fern-leaf redwood, spared for its rarity. The Great River Bridge Traffic Improvement Project plans include the elimination of the segment of Meadow Street from the Elm Street Spur to Elm Street, which will allow Kane Park to be combined with Wojkiewicz Park, on the southeast side of the bridge, where these photos were taken. Both Kane and Wojkiewicz Parks are named after Westfield war heroes. Lt. William Hasset Kane was killed in the Great War on October 6, 1918, at the age of 22. Chief Petty Officer, First Class Frank P. Wojkiewicz died in service to his country on the battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the first Westfield casualty of the soon-to-be-declared war with Japan.

Sunset silhouettes the peak of the Westfield Whip Manufacturing Company building.

For more on the Great River Bridge Project, check out the previous EWM posts: Sleds, Bridges and Steeples: Thoughts in Traffic, and Westfield Steps Forward.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and take care!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Postcards: Westfield, Massachusetts

These two Westfield scenes are good examples of the early days of postcards. Prior to December 24, 1901, only the federal government could use the term "Postcard," privately-produced cards having been officially sanctioned for postal use specifically as "Private Mailing Cards" in 1898. With the 1901 rule-change, granting use of the term "postcard" for commercial purposes, the postcard publishing and posting frenzy took off, with almost 700,000,000 postcards reported mailed country-wide in fiscal year 1908 alone, when the population of the United States was less than 90,000,000.

It wasn't until March 1, 1907, that the government allowed the mailing of "divided-back" postcards, giving senders the ability to write brief messages on the left-hand side of the card. (Unconfirmed reports claim that this is when the phrase "Wish you were here!" came into fashion, remaining in vogue even today as a form of vacationers' literary shorthand for "Nah nah, nah nah nah.") Knowing these two important dates in postcard history - thanks to a great article by Stefano Neis over at Lisa's Postcards Page - we can place these "undivided-back" postcards in the December 24, 1901 to March 1, 1907 era...Each a century or better old.

Special thanks to local historian Barbara Shaffer for sharing these great postcards with us.

One can't help but wonder from Fannie's question what memories she hopes to stir in Emma. Was it a day of wonderful picnicking and swimming down by the river side? A sun-baked and sandy-skinned summer promise to stay friends forever...no matter what life was to bring? A day of fishing and stone-skipping contests while the other kids were in school? Ah, the intrigue!

The reverse of the previous postcard. Notice the "undivided-back" and the warning in the lower-left corner: "This side is for the address only." The postmark appears to show the letter being mailed from Westfield, Mass., sometime after noon on October 2, 1905 and arriving in Port Chester, New York, the following day, stamped by the Post Office there at 7 AM, not bad time at all.

Franklin Street in Westfield, so-named in honor of patriot Benjamin Franklin, was once held in tribute to one of Westfield's most-famous local sons, General William Shepard (1737 - 1817). The street (which is also Route 20) had as its prior moniker, "Shepard's Lane," which was changed to "Franklin Street" sometime before 1870, much to the dismay of many local folks.

General Shepard's home occupied the corner of Allen Avenue and Franklin Streets, and he spent his golden years in his son's home on the corner of Franklin and Shepard Streets. Shepard spent eight years in service to his country during the Revolutionary Period, and was the commanding officer in the defense of the National Armory at Springfield against the rebellion of Daniel Shays and his men on January 25, 1787. A bronze statue - near the Green in Westfield and facing Broad Street - memorializes this important local hero.

This postcard was never mailed but, again, the "undivided-back" places its production sometime between 1901 and 1907.

For a look at some linen postcards from the 1930 - 1945 era depicting Springfield's Forest Park, make sure to check out the EWM post, 'Postcards: Forest Park, Springfield, Massachusetts.'

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Anyone Miss This Stuff?

I happened to spot these blurry black and whites I took of a Springfield morning in the opening days of March, 2001, that I thought folks might get a kick out of, if for nothing else, that I bothered posting disposable camera pictures of this poor a quality on my blog. Truth is, since I recently got a scanner, I've been scanning everything I can. Well...Maybe not everything... ;-)

Looking north up Dickinson street from the corner of Grenada terrace. One thing I liked about living in the city was that on miserable mornings like these, I could leave my car in the driveway and take a PVTA bus to work by the simple act of crossing the street and waiting for one to come by. If I was feeling flush, I would call a cab and ride in style.

Looking east up Taylor street from Main street. Instead of grabbing a transfer, I would hop off the bus at Taylor and Main and hoof it the one-mile length up Taylor to work, off Armory street. It's a nice walk early in the morning. I have always liked a city at dawn.

Morgan Square, silent and still.

A car turns tentatively onto Kaynor street off Lyman, Union Station is in the background. Kaynor connects Taylor and Lyman streets.

Chestnut street, looking north from Taylor. In 1946, there was a lunch or grill room on each of three corners of the intersection of Chestnut and Taylor streets. Market Square Lunch occupied the northwest corner, Central Lunch the northeast, and The Grill Lunch Room was two doors down from the smoke shop on the southeastern corner, across the street from Hartwell's Gas Station on the remaining corner. Neighboring cafes complemented each eatery, including the Market Square cafe abutting the lunchroom, the Lasalle just north of Central Lunch and the Federal cafe, two doors south of The Grill.

Phew! Made it to work. No matter what the weather experts tell you about snow accumulation, here in New England, the proof is in the pudding - if you can get a gander at some of the white stuff undisturbed before the sun hits it, like on this oil tank cover in front of my shop, that's usually your best indication of how deep you got buried. Better yet...Let's get back to July...

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quabbin's Mt. Lizzie: Before and After

Here are a couple of "before" photos of Mt. Lizzie, circa June 10, 1907, three decades away from Greenwich's demise as part of the Quabbin Reservoir land-taking, courtesy of the USGS Photographic Archives:

And here is a photograph of Mt. Lizzie today in her new capacity as a Quabbin Reservoir island...

Mt. Lizzie (center-right) looking north from the Goodnough Dike in Quabbin Park in Belchertown. Mt. Pomeroy is the island just behind her, a bit to the west. Between these two islands, a little to the east, was Greenwich Center, also known as Greenwich Plains, one of the two villages that made up the town of Greenwich, the other being Greenwich Village, located to the east of Mt. Pomeroy in the northeastern corner of town. Today Greenwich Village is part of the town of Hardwick and is also the site of the Quabbin baffle dam.

For more about Greenwich, check out the EWM posts, Greenwich, Massachusetts (1754 - 1938) and Quabbin Gate 43: The Road to Greenwich Village.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Extra Tubes With That, Sir?

Wouldn't it be nice to just go back in time for one day, to Thursday, February 17, 1938, the day this advertisement was printed in the 'Westfield' section of the Springfield Daily News, and stock up on stuff? I mean, oil cloth at 29 cents a yard...Who could resist? And those Universal Electric Mixer and Juicers, reduced from $19.95 to $12.50, well sure, they're still a little pricey, but people: It's cutting edge technology...Err, 70 years ago. I would stay away from the "Radiant Gasoline Room Heater," though, gas is so darn-tooting expensive! And the "Soiled" wood clothes dryers are something I might also find easy to pass up, although with a 49 cent price tag...Who knows? Hey, stuff can be cleaned.

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You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

Ad in 'funnies' section of unknown newspaper (c. 1938)

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Photo: Warwick, Massachusetts

Nightfall - Warwick, Massachusetts (July 6, 2007)

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'Springfield Present and Prospective, Art and Literature' (Pond & Campbell 1905)

Springfield Present and Prospective, published by Pond & Campbell in 1905 continues, with more of the chapter, 'Art and Literature,' authored by Charles Goodrich Whiting. Enjoy.

Title/contents page

Art and Literature (previous segment)

Art and Literature (cont.)
Art has not been without its representatives in Springfield, but with few exceptions these have been born elsewhere, and generally have elsewhere gained their fame, though we are bettering that of late years in an increasing number of painters in oils and water colors. Our most distinguished artist of the earlier days was Chester Harding, who made his home in the town from 1830 to his death in 1866, when he was nearly 74 years old, and as full of honors as of years. Harding belonged in the Connecticut valley, for he was grandson of a Deerfield farmer on the father's side and of a Whately farmer on the mother's, while he himself was born in the adjoining town of Conway, Sept. 1, 1792. He had a youth of petty adventure in peddling, and scrambled into portrait painting through sign painting, with little education of any sort and none in art. Yet he became the vogue in Boston to so great a degree that, in 1822, when 30 years old, as he has recorded, he had a long waiting list, and "Mr. Stuart, the greatest portrait painter this country ever produced, was at that time in his manhood's strength as a painter, yet he was idle half the winter. He would ask of his friends, 'How rages the Harding fever?'" And he had as great a success in Great Britain, not only on one visit, but on several, painting royal highnesses and so on. These facts are worth recalling, because Mr. Harding should not be forgotten in the town which he chose as his home in his prime and in which he died. Among his intimate friends were George Ashmun and Daniel Webster. His "Egotistigraphy," which he wrote for his family and which was published with further notes by his daughter, Mrs. White, ought to be known as a record of a noteworthy man. His personal appearance was remarkable, for he was six feet three inches in height, nobly proportioned, and his portrait in the city library will indicate how it was that he, with his air of Nature's nobleman, won so well in life.

Mr. Harding had a pupil in William S. Elwell, whose career as artist was cut short in his prime by paralysis though he continued to paint throughout his life, producing beautiful miniature landscapes. He learned in the school wherein the painter made his own palette, and used a score or two of colors, mixing them as he chose, and there was a fashion of delicacy and refinement which critics of the "Hudson River School" have characterized as feebleness. Yet if one of these critics should look upon Asher Durand's great mountain view in the Metropolitan Museum, or Frederick E. Church's "Cotopaxi" in the Lenox library galleries, he would be hard put to it to tell where the work could be improved. This is only to say that Mr. Elwell painted beauty in the way in which he could with his limited opportunities to behold it, and was to his last bit of gray matter an artist. One who has a miniature Elwell may value it highly. Mr. Elwell died in 1881, at the age of 71, and his body was buried in Springfield cemetery, where a rude granite boulder, overgrown by vines, as he desired, marks the place. His name and dates are cut in a palette-shaped place on the rock; while not far away is the freestone monument of Harding.

The artists of Springfield have grown to greater numbers than of old. Among them one pays respects first to Roswell G. Shurtleff, who, like Mr. Elwell, paints with careful elegance, and is particularly fortunate in his portrayal of autumn scenery in the hills. An artist long associated with Springfield, by years of residence, by friendship and by neighborhood is Willis Seaver Adams, who lives now in the house where he was born, in Suffield close by the old Enfield bridge, and there paints wondrous landscapes, such as would make him famous if he exhibited in the great cities, as he sometimes does in Hartford and Springfield. He is a great artist, in both oils and water colors, but he would like to conceal it from the public. He studied and sojourned in Antwerp, Munich, Venice and elsewhere in Europe; was associated with Whistler, David Neal, Otto Bacher, the late Robert Blum and others in those years. The portrait painter of our region is Miss Irene Parmelee, who has assured her lasting fame by her excellent portraits of Justice Justin Dewey, in the court house; Judge William S. Shurtleff in the probate court room; Henry S. Lee, and many more of prominent citizens. She divines character while she depicts likenesses, and her technical work is broad and strong. Among the elder landscapists now is to be reckoned Edmund E. Case, faithful in his presentation of mountain brooks and forest interiors and also of the stern scenery of the north shore. Mr. Case and Miss Parmelee studied in Paris with noted masters. Joseph J. La Valley has grown close to Nature in his years of devotion to the brush, and he also paints with skill those still life artificialities which are so much liked, and the fruits of each season. George N. Bowers has been industriously following art a long time; and loves the seashore; one of his truthful representations of Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, with its colored clays, is properly placed on the walls of the Science museum, where there ought to be more such canvases to illustrate Nature's phases. Among other artists who have been associated with the city may be named Henry H. Ahl, a native of Agawam, who studied in Munich; George S. Payne, Bertus P. Pietersz - who has gained repute in New York by his cattle pieces especially, - George Harrington and Luther Knight, the pansy painter.

When John Cotton Dana was librarian of the City library, he entertained the notion of making the city a center of artistic industries, by means of a yearly exhibition which should comprise the artists of the valley north and south, in crafts as well as in pictile and sculptural art - if indeed anything in that last line should ever be developed hereabouts. This would draw here as a common center the work of the Deerfield and Greenfield independent societies, painters like Augustus Vincent Tack, the great engraver and painter Elbridge Kingsley, and others. It must be hoped that this idea may yet be brought to fruition.

Continued: Art and Literature, Springfield on the Side of Letters

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Postcards: Forest Park, Springfield, Massachusetts

Here are five postcards of Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts. These penny postcards were published by the Springfield News Company and printed by the Technor Bros. of Boston. Most of the postcards are blank on the reverse, as seen in the last image, but some, such as one depicting Barney's Pecousic Villa, include descriptive passages of their subjects. These examples are from the 1930 - 1945 postcard publishing era and were probably produced in the late 1930s, judging from the body style of the automobiles in the scenes. The postcards are printed on linen paper.

My thanks to the Robbins family for sharing this cool slice of Springfield's past with EWM to share with you.

For more on Forest Park, including old photographs and some history, take a look at the EWM post, Photographs: Forest Park at the Turn of the 20th Century.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Postcard: "The Puritan" by Augustus St. Gaudens

'Springfield Present and Prospective, Art and Literature' (Pond & Campbell 1905)

Half of the year already behind us...Where does the time go?

This week's segment of EWM's Sunday historical book transcription series is worth devoting a few minutes to as we continue the chapter 'Art and Literature,' by Charles Goodrich Whiting, from the 1905 book, 'Springfield Present and Prospective' (Pond & Campbell.) Enjoy.

Title/contents page

Art and Literature (previous segment)

Art and Literature (cont.)
The other extraordinary record of Springfield in the line of art has been the series of exhibitions of American paintings which James D. Gill (now collector of internal revenue in Boston) has carried on for twenty-seven years, with a success unrivaled in the country. If any man can assert himself a friend and furtherer of American art, it is Mr. Gill. These exhibitions, however, owe their initiative, their launching, to George Walter Vincent Smith, who in 1878 enlisted the ready interest of Mr. Gill, then dealer in books, art and stationery, who had already held some picture exhibitions in his store; and Mr. Smith filled an improvised gallery with a collection of somewhat more than fifty paintings by noteworthy American artists - his wide and intimate acquaintance with them all enabling him to secure a fine representative collection. He succeeded in selling here thirty-six out of the number hung, and in the next year gave valuable service in establishing that standard of excellence which ever since has been maintained by Mr. Gill, with resulting success in reputation and pecuniary reward that is quite unparalleled in the country. Mr. Gill has in the course of these nearly thirty years brought into Springfield more than three thousand oil paintings (and for one season, water colors also), and has sold from twenty-five to forty out of each separate display; thus he has placed in the homes of this city and its neighbors - sometimes, indeed, in cities hundreds of miles away - at least eight hundred, and probably more than a thousand, representative works of American art. In all this time, though often tempted to exhibit foreign paintings, Mr. Gill has remained true to that patriotic feeling; the only European work to receive a place in his exhibitions during these many years being a landscape by Rosa Bonheur - which, we regret to say, found no purchaser here. Mr. Gill has thus gained room in Springfield for some of the most admirable landscapes or marines of Inness, Wyant, Swain Gifford, Sanford Gifford, Jervis McEntee, Worthington Whittredge, Frederick E. Church, Winslow Homer, J. C. Nicoll, Maurice De Haas, John G. Tyler, Francis Murphy, Samueal Co,man, R. M. Shurtleff, Thomas Lachlan Smith, Robert C. Minor, James M. Hart, William Hart, Thomas Moran, Edward Moran, J. B. Bristol, F. K. M. Rehn, among others; the figure pieces of J. G. Brown, T. W. Wood, Leon and Percy Moran, F. S. Church, F. E. Bridgman, Hamilton Hamilton, Edgar M. Ward; the cattle or sheep pieces of Howe, Wentworth, Tait; the historical compositions of Wordsworth, Thompson, the genre work of E. L. Henry and Harry Roseland, - and more whom to name would make the list tedious. The exhibition of Mr. Gill has thus been for over a quarter century the art event of the year, and bids fair still to remain so. That American art has been encouraged and helped by Mr. Gill's ceaseless and intelligent business enterprise is patent to all who note this unrivaled record. He has known how to bring to his market the pictures that will surely sell, and with them also works of such eminence as must dignify the exhibition and may find a wise buyer. Many masterpieces of the foremost of our artists are owned in the city or near by because of Mr. Gill's shrewd judgment and educated taste.

The city is fortunate in possessing two works of art of the first order in their respective lines, the heroic bronze statue of "The Puritan," by Augustus St. Gaudens, on Merrick park, and the stained glass painting of Mary Magdala at the Tomb, by John La Farge, in the parish house of Christ church. The statue is the gift to the city of the late Chester W. Chapin, president of the Boston and Albany railroad and member of Congress, in honor of the ancestor of all "the Chapin tribe," now a very great one in this country, who was Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the early settlers of Springfield and a sturdy man, as befitted the time and his duty. The statue is no portrait of any Chapin, but a composite in the sculptor's mind of the family type, and fitly given the ideal name, "The Puritan." Under that name it is famous in the wider world, and a cast in the Luxembourg ranks it in France with the foremost sculptures of the day, and indeed St. Gaudens is by worthy critics placed beside the men of the Italian Renaissance.

John La Farge is represented here by one of his most beautiful of glass paintings through the desire of Mrs. Daniel Putnam Crocker to memorialize her husband, a prominent parishioner of Christ church. There is in all this artist's work a quality of individual inspiration, especially in religious subjects, which glows in his very device of color. The window is one to remember. There are also in the parish house several other memorial windows, of simpler subjects, from the studio of Mr. La Farge, and others; and in the chancel of Christ church there is a group of windows wrought by the most eminent glass painting house in England, that of Heaton, Butler & Payne of London, which is well worth seeing. The Church of the Unity is adorned with a series of beautiful windows, mainly from the Tiffanys, but also from the Church Decorating company, and of these a copy of Correggio's "Holy Night," and a noble figure of Heosphoros, the Light Bringer, by Edward Simmons, are to be noted. The last mentioned is in memorial of Samuel Bowles.

Besides the St. Gaudens statue, there is on Court square a memorial of another first settler of Springfield, in the statue of Sergeant Miles Morgan with bell-mouthed gun over his shoulder and hoe in hand, as wrought in bronze by Jonathon Scott Hartley; a gift to the city by a New York banker, Junius S. Morgan, descendant of the sergeant. Also there is the soldiers' monument on Court square, given by Gurdon Bill, - a sentinel surmounting a granite shaft; while in the Springfield cemetery there is another soldiers' monument in the burial plot of the veterans, done by Manuel Power. The bust of President McKinley, the work of Philip Martiny, is erected in Forest park, on the southern point over the Pecowsic valley. It was placed there through the subscription of the citizens. The treasures of art that are kept in Springfield's homes are numerous, as the record of Mr. Gill's sales bears witness; but besides these are many paintings which the local public has not seen, the purchases of citizens in New York of foreign art. There are several collections, largely of the art of Paris, in the city and in near towns, such as that of James T. Abbe; and Dr. Luke Corcoran has a fine picture gallery at his home on Maple street. In the privacy of some of the few old houses and old families there are noteworthy portraits of past generations; perhaps no Copely, Stuart or Smibert, but work of artists of much fame in their day, as, for example, Chester Harding; one of the most striking portraits of the many Harding painted of Daniel Webster long hung in Highland Place, the mansion of the late Col. James M. Thompson, and is now the property of the Algonquin club of Boston.
Continued: Art and Literature (segment three)