Thursday, September 29, 2005

John Jay, Dam Removal, Encyclopedia, Oysters

The Jay House in Rye is interesting, among other reasons, because it's a historic site that's open to the public but hasn't yet been restored. So you can see what the inside of an old house that came close to being destroyed by neglect looks like, and you can watch the excruciatingly slow process of restoration. (The Jay Heritage Society even has its annual gala inside the building, which makes for an unusual setting, to say the least). The house, a spectacular Greek Revival that is next door to an equally spectacular Greek Revival, was built in 1838 by John Jay's son, on the site of the Jay family's long-time homestead (the Jays are all buried nearby too).

I wrote about this restoration-being-done-in-public back in 1997. It's still going on, with the same craftsmen doing the work, but it's now going to move along a lot faster thanks to a $3 million gift by one of the women who worked throughout the 1980s to save the property from being turned into a housing development. The place is worth visiting and when you're done at the house you can walk down through Marshlands Conservancy to Milton Harbor and the shore of the Sound....

There are so many dam-removal and fish-ladder projects in the Long Island Sound watershed that I've lost track. Here's another one, by the Nature Conservancy, in the Eightmile River area of eastern Connecticut....

The Encyclopedia of New England -- it's New England from A to Z, with foreword by Donald Hall, whose essays (in Here at Eagle Pond, String Too Short to Be Saved, Remembering Poets) are terrific and whose book of poems about his wife's death was too heartbreaking to get through. If my friends at Yale University Press send me a copy, I'll tell you what I think of it....

The Providence Journal tells an interesting story about oyster farming in Narragansett Bay and the attempt to have the eastern oyster declared an endangered species. Native oysters are so rare in the bay that oyster farmers won't say where they find them.


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker