•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Rabbit Hill Redux


Like many children, I was fascinated by castles and fortresses and imagined, drew, and built with blocks my dreams of walls and towers surmounted by walls and towers. It is that piling on that keeps drawing me back to some of my favorite farmsteads. The Tanner Farm at the top of Rabbit Hill is one of the best. Sadly, many of these old farms are like ag├ęd grandparents whose remaining days must be treasured. The double barn in the center of this farm could fall in any moderate wind storm. Mrs. Tanner told me yesterday that they had an estimate on the cost of repair a few years back: $750,000.

After our days of storm, wind and flat gray clouds, yesterday the sun returned full force and I was glad to find all of the barns still standing. I'd been waiting for just such a moment to get back. One of my favorite shots from the winter was marred by some blurring, a result of the strong breeze that kept my tripod in slight motion. Such problems become great when shooting at 500mm. I got the shot I wanted and many others as well. This shot, actually, a composite of two, was not planned. Artie will be glad to see people (I think).

Since last year Luke Tanner has passed management of the farm to his grandson who does all the chores together with his wife. Below, they feed the cows and reflect on the day's work. I've watched them do this every evening I've been there, and was glad to catch this shot which I will give them. Working dairy farms are disappearing. In spite of the condition of some of the barns and the difficulty of the site. Luke's grandchildren have chosen to stay and make their stand here.