Thursday, August 19, 2010

8.19.10

Wednesday started out a bit overcast but with the promise of sun later and the day. My friend and I started the day with a late breakfast at a local restaurant. It was only the second time in 3 years that I had real eggs. Specifically a western omelet. I haven't had ham since Easter and then I have only had it on Easter for the last 3 years. It's just that I have to watch what I eat to keep my weight in check and to watch my sodium, fat and cholesterol intake. But this is not a blog about my dietary habits but I thoroughly enjoyed the meal. Anyway we headed north to Gloucester Massachusetts, which is about 45 miles from my house, to the Hammond Castle. John Hays Hammond was an inventor. They only person who had more patents was Thomas Edison. He worked with the military on guided missiles, radio communications and who knows what else. So he built himself a castle on the ocean to house his vast collection of medieval, Renaissance and Roman artifacts. He also lived there. Unfortunately it was impossible for me to get a shot of the entire exterior of the castle as it faces the ocean. Here's a picture I found on web. It's not great but at least you can see it in it's entirety. 
Of course he was wealthy and he built this place in the 1920's for about $500,000. That's pretty big bucks in the 20's. The property, though large, wasn't as large as many of the properties I saw when I visited the Mansions of Newport Rhode Island. It is hidden from the road by trees.
  This is the view of the ocean from what is the front of the castle.
  You could never  get far enough away to get a full shot of the castle. I tried to take two or three shots so I could stitch them together but none of them worked out.
 The above is a wood carving from the 15th century.
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I don't know why I can't get some of these pictures larger. They are all about the same size. In any event I have to say that there was a pervasive musty odor throughout the place. It was filled with all kinds of narrow passage ways and stairways. There was no air conditioning and it was stifling in places. There were tons of artifacts arranged in no particular order. As time passed the sun came out and there was a refreshing sea breeze that could be enjoyed if you were outdoors. There was limited access to the grounds but there was a nice view of the ocean and Gloucester Harbor which was to the left of the Castle. Though I like it here at Blog Spot or Blogger, whatever it's actually known as, It's not the greatest place for displaying pictures. I will post all of them on Windows Live. It's the one thing they do better than here. 
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I will post part two of my visit to Gloucester on a second entry shortly after I publish this one. There is something therapeutic about being by water especially the ocean. The weather here for the last week has been beautiful and yesterday was no exception. It was about 80 degrees with a wonderful ocean breeze. After we left the castle we drove up the road about 2 miles and found ourselves at the Fishermans Monument that pays tribute to all the fishermen who lost their lives while performing a dangerous job. It's all part of the fabric and history of New England. More on that in the next entry.
John Hays Hammond was an eccentric, wealthy genius who contributed much to America. He built a castle because he could. I'm glad I got to go there on such a beautiful day. I don't want to think about what it would have been like inside if it was 95 and humid and it must be a bitch to heat in the winter. By the way it's closed during the winter. Now I have to get to work on part two of my little trip to Gloucester.
I'm outta here, for now.

6 comments:

  1. This is superb! I love the pictures and narrative. SO glad you went and I am always appreciative of the meticulous backgrounds you always give us as well as the great photos to illustrate. Beautifully done.

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  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the pictures are wonderful. I read the second half of the post before this one. Now I will go back and comment on it.

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  3. Fantastic job Paul...bravo! Loved both videos and your photos. I felt I was there right along with you. I can expand the vids full screen here and the photos too by clicking on them! Very cool!

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  4. It is amazing how common folk want to live like royalty when they become rich. Then the common folk turn around and rail at the rich for having too much money.

    Yet if he wouldn't of become rich there wouldn't of been the great journey you shared.

    thx

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  5. Who wants to go in the castle with me at midnight with one candle? Boooowahhha!

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  6. You really go to and have some of the most amazing places to go and see. I love how you presented this Paul. The photos are amazing . I love your view of it and yes that is alot of money way back then,, I would have loved to live int he era. Would have lived it up and loved it I think.
    Thanks for sharing these, and your day out. Now onto part two.

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