Sunday, July 13, 2014
POST 1377; JULY 13, 2014; KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Is now 2:00 pm EDT in the city of KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, only 15 miles from BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT. Turns out WALMART was not in BRATTLEBORO. Rather, it was across the CONNECTICUT RIVER - over two rusted scary bridges - about 6 miles into NEW HAMPSHIRE.
To return to BRATTLEBORO would triple the distance to KEENE, so I opted to discover new treasures taking tiny roads through the NEW HAMPSHIRE mountains; and, look what I found !
Towns no longer on official AAA Maps. Towns, the likes of which I mentioned on previous Blog Updates. Towns at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution which harnessed the waters of mountain streams, creating the essence of American ingenuity .
Had I followed yesterday's plan, we would have missed discovering the following treasures:
Company towns grown up as the first industrial communities in America.
The ASHUELOT RIVER, along Route 119 in Southern NEW HAMPSHIRE.
A dam, admittedly destroying migratory fish, such as the Atlantic Salmon, provided the power to create a new way of life...taking farmers out of the fields, bringing them into villages, often built by THE COMPANY for the new workers.
The above dam is producing electricity today. nearly 100 years after pure water power stopped turning the wheels of the new factories.
First gasoline car factory.
Massive factory on the banks of the ASHUELOT River; a factory like hundreds like it tied to the water power of the river.
Massive electrical plants moved the descendents of the above factory to where the people (workers)
already lived, leaving the "Water Power Towns" to find a new way to support those left behind.
Previous Dam Spillway - distant - producing a dribble of water. The structure to the left houses a water generator...falling water spinning a wheel to generate modern electrical power.
Dam-generated electricity - across the highway from the dam - sends the meager contribution into the local "GRID" tying together all electricity generated in the (at least Regionally) USA .
Walking across America, I have photographed thousands of "Wind Mills" and "Solar Panels" adding their electrical production to our NATIONAL GRID.
But, it all began at tiny DAMS in Company Towns - with Company Stores - like HINSDALE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, where I walked to and thru today.
Where one dam has been removed, the ASHUELOT has returned to it's former self. To allow fish to return, numerous remaining dams must also be removed or add FISH LADDERS (Yes, fish are VERY GOOD at climbing FISH LADDERS)
Interesting information. Click to enlarge.
Company Houses, provided by the Industrial Companies for the families of employees.
The Companies - along with their Company Stores - are mostly gone. Houses and people are hanging on .
Front door of the original Automobile Factory.
This DAM remains, no longer producing water power, but effectively blocking fish migration.
Standing on the bridge over the ASHYELOT River at HINSDALE, I noticed - and photographed - the above pollution pouring into the river. Appears to be a white substance such as PAINT.
Please say HELLO to JENIFER (seated) and AMANDA, holding RAVEN, her Daughter.
These young ladies and I chatted a couple different times about THEIR town.
RAVEN has a big Brother, WOLF. Amanda researches American Indian History, explaining her children's names. Both RAVEN and WOLF are the stuff of ancient religion, both mystical animals immersed forever into Indian Lore.
Yes, A real COVERED BRIDGE!
This bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
This Blog promised discovery of Covered Bridges. I was blown away to happen upon this magnificent bridge...but really NEVER anticipated the next three Covered Bridges - yes 3 - to present themselves during my walking the tiny back road leading to KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE today.
Is that beautiful, or what !
Yes, the ASHUELOT river flowing slowly toward another dam.
The small village of WINCHESTER is on both soides of the ASHUELOT.
No less than 8 vehicles passed thru this bridge No. 2001, while I photographed and walked thru it.
The SECOND of the 4 Covered Bridges we walked past today. The remaining two were on side roads, which I chose to leave for another time.
* * * * * * * * * *
I over heard that WALMART is nearby. Super !
In the morning, we walk Route 9 toward the city of CONCORD. I am told that PORTLAND, MAINE is only 100 miles distant. WE ARE MUCH TOO EARLY FOR MOTHER NATURES COLORS.
Ever dwindling funds make it incumbent that we keep moving. I can reasonably assure interesting historic beautiful adventures if we turn South from PORTLAND, Maine.
I am, of course, open to options. Having SPIA, we are quite mobile ('cept for cost of gasoline), so can reasonably range somewhat along the way.