Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snow and Reason

Well yes we did have more snow and yes we will be having more snow next week or spelled backwards wons.  In any case you may wonder about the word reason in my title.  Well the reason our lovely 700 acre park exists in the middle of suburban sprawl, is because well over a hundred years ago it was the decided site for the Insane Asylum; which later became known as the State Hospital.

For at least a hundred years, it was thought that working on the Farm helped them improve and they learned things. There used to be arable farming, plus the dairy herd for milk, pigs and hens.  All this was used for food at the hospital.  Then in the late sixties it was decided that maybe it was not right to let them work with no compensation; which I guess I can see, but that led them right in to not working at all; and personally I think they were better off working because all, most of them do now, is smoke cigarettes and drink coffee.  That alone would drive me to a state of dementia.  There are several green houses and each year in spring they do have a plant sale, and some work there.  I do love to visit the green houses, unfortunately the guy who used to head it up retired and now there is not the diversity of plants to buy that there used to be.

So the farm or a least part of it was and still is leased out to a farmer, but a lot of the land was just left.  So in the nineties it was decided to turn it into a park area.  A good idea that actually came to fruition, and I can truly say it is used and very much enjoyed, by both humans and wild life.

I got a listing of all the sitings of birds, so I got my bird book out to identify them and will work on trying to spot them over the year.  I thought I might even gather my photos over the seasons and put them in a Blurb book.

So the snow photos are of the actual hospital area, with a lot of the old beautiful buildings no longer in use.  I also think there was a whole underground tunnel system which connects them, I learned that from my son, somehow I think old abandoned tunnels appeal to him.

So of course all that land belonged to the State of Pennsylvania and was just never built on, as all around was gradually bought and over the years houses were built. Just about two years ago someone wanted to take a big chunk and make it into a golf course, but that kicked up a huge stink.  In fact there was a golf course right across the road, but that land was just sold, and they are now building a brand new spanking hospital.

So that's the reason for my post title.



  1. I can identify with your account of the hospital residents not working any more. The home I worked at was the same. It was set up originally as a school for "mental defectives with epilepsy" and they had a farm and orchard and all worked at that producing food for themselves and to sell. They also worked in the laundry and kitchens. Now they mainly watch tv although there are lots of activities on offer, only a few work and they are allowed a few pounds a week. Sad!

  2. As always Christy, your pictures are beautiful. It is a pity the residents don't get to work anymore. I know working in my garden and on our farm is good for my soul and my state of mind.
    Your lovely winter scenes have made feel much cooler while we are sweltering away with temperatures over 100 deg F for the last few days.


01 09 10