•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fern Hill Farm



PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: Fern Hill Farm is a short distance from the burned barns at Hanover Hill. It is another great, hollow shed that misses the lowing of cattle. The barns of Fern Hill are tall and dark, and they loom from a perch part way up the side of the valley. I have tried a number of times to make a photograph of them. This is the closest I've come.

While I was there hunt dogs were following scents in the wooded hillside above the barns. Their yapping and yelping echoed oddly under the long, low, metal roof where the barns had been expanded. At first it sounded like people talking, but eventually one of the hunt dogs followed the scent to the edge of a barnyard, revealed himself as the source of the noise, and would not be deterred for anything from the chase. I heard no guns.

It is clear these barns were home to a very significant herd as was Hanover Hill, and a bit further west is Hiddenhurst and there are two more a bit south whose names I don't know, all empty, all falling, a valley full of cattle turned to empty fields and pasture. Sturdy as these barns look, they are already falling and unsafe.