Friday, May 18, 2007
Ruins of Russells
When I was in Pine Point the other day, I stopped by to see how the old Russells Restaurant building was doing. From the looks of things, not very well. Here is how it looked a few months before it closed in the spring of 2005.
Now that famous sign is completely gone, cut off at the base as you can see in this photo. Probably it was sold as scrap metal.
Here is the front entraceway, the once elegant awning now sagging with decay. Notice how Mary Russell's flower pots are still on the site, although now filled with weeds.
The fence that once protected the parking lot has fallen prey to vandals.
Around the back, logs attempt to keep dragsters from doing donuts in the parking lot (only the ghosts of Russell's patrons from the 1950's are allowed to do that) and in the forefront you can see a homeless person's abandoned shopping cart.
When the Russell family sold the restaurant, it was to the convenience store next door, who intended to expand their store size and the number of their gas pumps. However, the plan couldn't get approval because some thought the site should go to a better use. As Russell's falls into ruins with no buyer in sight, the city may regret turning down the original offer.
While on the rail trail Monday, I noticed that all the farmer's fields in Hadley are plowed and ready to do that whole growing the crops trip. As a city boy, agriculture is all pretty much foreign to me.
I notice that a lot of farms grow shrubbery on otherwise unusable land. I'm told there is a great demand (and a good price) for already grown bushes to be installed at new houses and businesses whose owners don't want to plant saplings and wait for them to grow. They want mature shrubs on their property from day one, and are willing to pay premium prices to get it. The shrubs require very little care while growing, help control erosion and the farmers find it a good way to make a little easy money on the side.