The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Historic Buildings

A Lost Post


Footprints in the Sands of Time by Jerry Garcia

Wow, I can't believe it, but in going through the archives of my past posts today I came upon an amazing discovery - a post I never posted! It was over two years ago in December of 2007, and I wrote a post that for some reason I never pushed the "publish" button for and I can't remember why. It may have had something to do with the fact that my father was dying around that time and I probably got so caught up with the whole death and funeral trip that I abandoned the post in draft form, meaning to return to it but forgot.

Actually for a draft it's pretty good. The main topic was to be some buildings on the UMass campus, which includes the oldest structures still standing in the town of Amherst. The post also mentioned a visit to Northampton by Springfield politician John Lysak, who was dishing me the dirt on some topic at the Haymarket, but I can't remember what. I know I told him I would run his picture as some free publicity towards his City Council candidacy in the next municipal election, but obviously it never ran. Yet he ended up winning anyway, and in fact was sworn in just two days ago.

There was also a plug in this lost post for Bo Burnham, a then largely unknown teenaged Massachusetts comedian whose career I was trying to promote in the same way I always try to push area talent whenever I can. He's become an enormous success in the past two years, and when he came to UMass last semester he performed for an overflow crowd that treated him like a rock star.

So anyway, sorry about the delay, but here's my long lost post, presented under the theory of better late than never.

The oldest buildings in Amherst.

Originally intended to be published December 8, 2007






The other day I wrote about how a residential section of Amherst had to be wiped out in order to expand UMass in the 50's and 60's, but noted that the most historic buildings from that now vanished neighborhood had been preserved, including the oldest standing structure in Amherst. That caused readers to email me wondering where on campus the oldest house in Amherst is located. Being ever anxious to please my beloved readers, I walked over there this afternoon for a photo-taking session. Here is where the historic home is located, nestled in among the science buildings. This is how to get there:

From UMass Parking garage go East (toward and past the Campus Center (large, grey 11 story building).
Cross the street (North Pleasant St.)
Find the Morrill Science buildings and take the walkway/stairwell that goes between the buildings.
At the top of the stairs make a right.
Wilder Hall is the red brick building with a green tile roof. The oldest house in Amherst is next door.


What you will encounter is a historic complex created by combining two colonial homes, both older than even the United States itself, with the oldest being the Stockbridge House.



It's hard to believe that this house was already nearly a half-century old at the time of the American Revolution!



The other house in the complex is the slightly younger Homestead House.



Dig the antique lamp with the handmade glass!



The passageway between the houses also serves as the main entrance way.



Unfortunately the houses are not open on the weekend, so I couldn't go inside. That's a shame because I did wander into the backyard, and would've loved to have seen the huge fireplace that must go with that enormous chimney!



Next door is Wilder Hall, which having been built in 1905 and one of the oldest classrooms on campus, is still just a spring chick next to its colonial neighbors.



This old birch tree standing in front of Wilder is really beautiful.



But don't take my word for anything. Stop by yourself someday and re-experience the olden times of colonial Amherst!

Activist John Lysak came up to see me yesterday to help fill me in on what's been happening behind the scenes in the ever colorful political culture of Springfield. Here's a picture I took of him at the Haymarket.



Lysak lost his bid for City Council this year, but did encouragingly well in his home ward. That makes all the difference should he run again (and he seemed to indicate he would) because in the next election cycle Springfield will be voting by wards thanks to a successful referendum to abolish the controversial at-large system.

Finally, after my two month absence in rehab I was anxious to see if the pride of Hamilton, Massachusetts, Bo Burnham, had any new releases out. Alas, he's busy with school. However, if you are not familiar with this Bay State favorite then here is one of his classic videos.




Now Returning to 2010

Hi there, I'm back! Frankly, I'm glad to be still alive in 2010, even if it seems to me like a date from one of my childhood science fiction novels!

Well they finally arrested somebody in the arson spree we had here in Northampton over the holiday.



Too bad I couldn't have solved the case and collected this reward that was advertised on my street!



Of course nothing the courts do can bring the dead people back to life, and if the person arrested, who is only 25 years old, is found guilty (actually he's already confessed) then he'll spend his life in jail. This is one of those incidents where no matter how you look at it, there is no happy ending.

Up Against the Wall

This Northampton graffitti is a bit out of date.



When will we see "Stop Obama" scrawled on walls? Weird to see this misspelled Nixon sticker by City Hall.



Hendrix and Coltrane in the window of the Pleasant Street Theatre.



What does this mean? Dead Bunny? Good name for a punk band!



The perfect sticker for this sign.




Peter Williams Photo

3 comments:

jim said...

"When will we see "Stop Obama" scrawled on walls?"

as soon as the idiots who put him in office realize that they've gotten screwed again by their leftist leaders, in other words: NEVER

sodafixer said...

Tom...NOXIN...is NIXON...upside down

Tom said...

Ha! Very good sodafixer!

Jim, you may see that graffiti sooner than you think.