Monday, October 19, 2009

see you Friday

In the late eighteenth century, English nobleman Sir William Pultney, after having just made a gigantic land purchase in the newly founded United States, commissioned the house to be built for Scotch civil engineer Thomas Telford’s son, Caleb. Telford and Pultney were close friends, and after Telford’s adolescent son expressed an interest in emigrating to the United States, Pultney agreed to have to the house built and some adjoining land set aside for the boy, allegedly as a drunken favor to his friend. Pultney passed away in 1805 right after construction had finished, right before Caleb was supposed to leave for the States. This coincided with Thomas Telford’s career as an engineer enormously taking off, namely in his contracting to rebuild the London Bridge. Telford pleaded for his son to stay in England and help with the enormous workload, and Caleb abided. Caleb focused his efforts on the Caledonian Canal while his father set to planning routes for over a thousand new roads in Scotland. Years passed, and the estate was left barren and unlived in, aside from accommodating the crew who was in charge of clearing out the acres behind the house. Finally, the Caledonian design was finished and Caleb’s father had grown dejected at his rejected proposal for the new London Bridge, a single iron arch spanning 600 feet across the Thames. Thomas had taken up heavy drinking and his son decided to follow through with his original plan in 1813. The Erie Canal was well into being constructed, and Caleb intended to seek a fortune in the burgeoning trade industry in the area. He spent the next decade assembling a fleet of ships for his business, and when the canal was finished in 1825, Telford Shipping made its debut and quickly rose to prominence all along the eastern seaboard as the region’s most exquisite tobacco shipping agent. Caleb never married, and after many years in the house, enjoying a life of success, suddenly vanished from the area in the late 1840’s. The place once again became a barren area, with the Henrietta townspeople claiming the house and surrounding land had eerily swallowed Caleb. Thomas had long since passed away, and with no other kin to divide the assets, the estate was put onto the market, his earnings liquidated into a communal fund for the continued flourishing of Henrietta and its people.

1 comment:

My Idea of Fun said...

great post! got me super pumped for the weekend.

- dutch