Monday, April 5, 2010

Albion, O Albion

          When I decided to visit Carl Carmer's home town of Albion, New York, it was with the idea of seeing if the place he remembered in Windfall Fiddle bore any resemblance to the Albion of 2010. For starters, I think this piece of Upstate humor is new.

Some things remain the same.

The Courthouse still reaches towards the sky made blue and light by the nearness of Lake Erie. 

The orchards still stand on the ridge north of town.

The Elba Muck of the drained Tonawanda Swamp and Old Orchard still makes rich farmland south of town. (Back in Ithaca I bought some onions grown there; they ought to be called Elba Sweets!)

          Missing were parts of the human landscape that I hoped to find. The Carmer family residence on Main Street is long gone: replaced by a drug store, which in turn sits abandoned for its new clone on the opposite corner. I went to the Mount Albion Cemetary with its fabled viewing tower, in search of the graves of Carl's friend Nikander Strelsky and his wife Catherine, whom Carmer buried there. (Strelsky figures in Carmer's story of the ghostly swans of Olive Bridge.) Search as I would, I found not a trace.

(All photographs by Lucey Bowen, 2010)

1 comment:

  1. alfonso.barry@gmail.comApril 11, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    Very interesting stuff. There's lots of ghosts along the trail up there. This will help in my next foray through York State. Thanks for posting these.