Cellar Door-Vickerman Hill Farmhouse

This is another image from Vickerman Hill country—the highest point of which is 1142 feet above sea-level—in case you were wondering. Located in Herkimer and Otsego Counties, those of you kind enough to read the stuff I write know I like wandering around in that lonely little corner of Upstate New York. This farm house was along Route 20 between Sharon Springs and Richfield Springs. While the house and adjacent small barn did not appear to be abandoned, neither did they look like they were currently being lived in. My guess is that in recent years the owner moved from this house to another (probably more modern) home but maintains this house and out buildings as storage and probably still makes use of the land to grow grains or grass for feed.

I did a little research and found out the town of Richfield Springs—about 20 minutes from where this picture was taken—according to some sources—has ghosts roaming the streets at night. This is denied by some long-time residents. And there have been reports of crop circles in the area. In June of 1993 a small group of crop circles near Columbia Center was spotted by a truck driver who reported seeing objects hovering over the field shortly before the circles were discovered. An investigation by the New York State Police found no evidence of a hoax.

I mention these things because this is very much in keeping with the almost other-worldly character of that area as I experience it. Driving around under a silent gray sky with snow flurries blowing around, one is quietly seduced by the melancholy, edge-of-the-world atmosphere of this area.

Vickerman Hill is adjacent to the Mohawk Valley—an area that has been for many decades depressed economically. Culturally, other than a few dog-eared, obscure little artist’s communities like the one in Little Falls, the region has very little to offer.

The area is rich in history. The famous Erie Canal runs the length of the Mohawk Valley, Revolutionary War Fort Stanwix is in Rome—about an hour from where this house is, General Herkimer’s home is in nearby Little Falls and a number of revolutionary war battles—like the Battle of Oriskany—were fought in the area.

Every region has its own character and aesthetic. The area where I live in central Virgina seems to be about wine (lots of vineyards), horses and the Civil War—though Jefferson’s home, Monticello, is 20 minutes from my house. Upstate New York, the Mohawk Valley and Vickerman Hill seem to be about the Revolutionary War, the canal era and a dead and decaying manufacturing economy—lots of big, crumbling, shabby old factory ruins haunt the landscape. Virginia climate is about hot summers, mild winters and lots of sunshine. Upstate New York has uncomfortable summers, near arctic winters and cloudy, gray skies—lots and lots of gray-sky, snowy or rainy days.

There will be more Upstate images forth-coming. In the event you haven’t had enough silence, loneliness and desolation, check back here tomorrow and I’ll see what I can do.

FacebookTwitterDeliciousGoogle GmailGoogle ReaderDiggShare

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge