Sometimes when I just have to get away from the design studio. I’ll take a few hours off and just go somewhere. No mumbo jumbo, just a little bit of spontaneity in an increasingly less spontaneous life.
Anyway last week I went to two places that are about a mile apart. Both are historically significant and both tell a different story since their heydays.
I had never been to Historic Speedwell despite driving past it 100s of times. Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail first demonstrated the telegraph there. The county park site is a hodge podge of relocated buildings in various stages of disrepair or renovation, poorly laid paver walkways and NO gardens except an unplanted vegetable patch. It’s a shame. The biggest shame is the Moses Estey house. It was moved here in 1969 to save it and it looks as if once moved it was forgotten. It is an incredible example 18th century Georgian architecture. The park information says it is structurally in tact. I have no idea why the county park service and the community has allowed this beautiful building to fall into rack and ruin for more than 40 years.
No steps, boarded up windows, interior windows covered in plastic and peeling paint. I have to ask why?
My second stop, about a mile away was McCullough Hall. It is a museum with a collection of American decorative arts and a gallery dedicated to Thomas Nast who lived across the street. A rich merchant’s house from the same early 19th century period, it was closed for the day, but the garden was open, both house and garden are carefully maintained.
To me the entries to both houses tell their stories much better than I can.