Thursday, January 15, 2015

Like Clockwork

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: Our nineteenth century legacy: Where there’s a river, there’s usually a rail, and once they were lined with factories. Several days ago the view was the river; hop over the Seth Thomas / Plume & Atwood Yard, and there’s the rail. It all says nineteenth century, and it feels filled with purpose and momentum. Time is a railroad train carrying us down the track to unknown adventures never dreamed by humankind. 

This was the place that pioneered time, and here is the rail that quickened it, and integral to every rail line was the telegraph that synchronized time and made information instantaneous just in time for the Civil War. The North had the network and proved the superiority of technology over slavery. We have yet to prove the superiority of humanity over technology.

Whenever these buildings were built, it was well after the Civil War. Thanks to Mark at the Torrington Historical Society for maps that show the site at several dates. The 1874 tax map shows an arrangement of buildings very much like what’s left of the yard - also a mill and a coal yard here, along the rail. 

I used to visit often. It was a melancholy, quiet place for photographing noir that felt timeless before the buildings fell.