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Bridgeofdoon

My absence of entries in this blog can be excused (I think)  based on the fact that I had revisited the inspiration for this web site, namely, Brigadoon (the Americanization based on Lerner & Loewe’s musical; also, see my original entry regarding this in the introduction to the PaduaPrep.com website). As you may have figured out, this inspiration has a somewhat complex mythological history. There is  a cross-cultural myth in Germany where it is known as Germelshausen. This is further intertwined by the fact that  William E. Leffingwell chose the name American Nauheim alluding to the country of his inspiration (Germany) for the Glen Springs at Watkins Glen.

 

Be that as it may,  this whole blog entry really wants to state the obvious, or maybe not so obvious, that the real inspiration for PaduaPrep.com lay in the subconscious minds of the Scotch. This last statement may be a bit much to swallow, so I will have a series of blog entries relating to this.

 

To begin with,  my disclaimer is that I have become enamored with the  spirit and strength of the Scottish people. I never realized they were as oppressed as any other minority in Europe. It took a trip to Edinburgh and the Highlands to discover this fact. What I also discovered was the mystery of the land. The geography and climate of that countryside create an atmosphere of wild imaginings and mystery I have not experienced anywhere else. If a people and the land are united in creating a culture, then that explains why there have been so many literary greats that have called their homeland Scotland.

 

The photo is of Brig o’ Doon, the subject of which is from Robert Burn’s poem Tam o’ Shanter. In honesty, I must say I did not  actually visit this site, but I must say I did experience that soul of the countryside that hints at why the Scots so love their land and heritage. By the way, it seems this very bridge also inspired Lerner & Loewe in writing their musical.

 

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Jurassic

 

At last years reunion, I toured the Padua Property grounds. The only landmarks left were the guest house, gym, the lab and the ruins of the boiler room/garage. The path to the old AC field was knee deep in weeds as was the AC field. The field was divided with a fence dissecting it in half running South to North. The fence was there I presume as part of the Elk Farm. The old golf course is now occupied by Townhouse/Condo type buildings.
The road that led up to the corn fields and ice skating pond (Punch Bowl Lake) were all heavily weeded. Later in the day I took ride up on Rt 409 which divided the Property. The new owner of the property, has redeveloped the property west of 409 as Eagle Park at Glen Ridge which at first site to me is very reminiscent of the entrance gate of the movie “Jurassic Park”. I could not enter but I could see how beautifully maintained the grounds inside the gate were. To the East side of Rt 409 is a building fenced in which I believe to be housing the Elk farm. Also in the grounds were small yellow touring buses for Eagle Park. About a dozen or so elk were in view and my guess is they probably are free to roam as far as mid AC field. Further south on Rt 409 partly visible is the Padua gravel pit. This is in the area between the old gravel road from the Gym to the corn field.
After observing what a phenomenal job the new owner did for Eagle Park and The Elk farm, I’m bewildered as to why, the Gym and the lab in particular were allowed to fall into disrepair. Even though the old school building and Friary are gone, it would have been nice to upkeep the Gym and the Lab. The Glen Springs-Padua Property were worthy of Historical considerations. Wouldn’t it be nice if in the future these buildings can be remodeled / preserved and perhaps restore some of the history of the Glen Springs-Padua property.

 

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Outlook Point will eventually drive Chad and myself bonkers.  I believe  Outlook Point could be on the Glen Springs/Padua property.  From the old photo Glen Kissingen Spring situated at the south side of the main building. As with my original photo’s the pictures are taken too close to the lake.  To get the view of the Lake from the property you would have to  back up quite a distance and move to the north while facing Lake Seneca.  I believe there was a spring possibly where our ice skating rink was situated. If the ground was level back then and the picture was such that the angle cut off the top of the main building.   Look at the original Outlook Point photo’s and the photo’s I submitted from the property.  Refer to the Glen Kissingen photo below and the 2 maps from Glen Springs trails (undated possibly early 1900’s) and the Padua Property map.

Glenn Kissingen

Photo taken from the south side Glen Kissingen Spring (Gazebo Spring) South side of building 1913, but south wing is there.

Glen Kissingen Spring

Padua_map2

Blue Arrow indicates the direction of the above photo

GS map2

Keep in mind this is higher ground then the actual building. Any point to the right of the red line is also possible.  Map of Glen Springs grounds possible early 1900’s Looks as if south wing not built yet.  Green circled area wooded.

Also keep in mind Padua opened in 1949 and gym not built until 1952.

Now for the Snafu.  Reg informs me that Nelson Rockerfeller married Happy in 1963. So that can put the actual Happy Nelson picture to the North of the property.  There are a few Mansions on Lakeview Ave North and Adjacent to the Padua Property.  Reg also informs me that the original grave site for Williamm Leffingwell was in the vacinity of the Gym so his grave would overlook the lake.  Could this be the site of the bench photo?

We may never know the answer to the actual locations of the Happy and bench photo’s.

State ParkReg found a “Point Lookout” in the State Park adjacent to the cemetery.  This is a possible view of the lake from Chad’s Common Ground photo’s the shot seems much further south from the lake then the “Rocky and Happy” and “bench photo.

Draw your own conclusion

 

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The locations of Chad’s previous 2 photo’s from the grounds peaked my interest.  My first observations were from memory.  I was able to find a photo taken from my dorm room during the 1965-66 school year. It was taken from the upper floor dorm room somewhere in the vacinity above the Rectors office and entrance to the Chapel.  The upper right photo was taken on the grounds this past August 2012 about where the front Porch was situated.  The red arrow in three of the pictures is a strong reference point.  The ? red arrow in the Rocky Photo looks to be the same possible reference point in the other three Photo’s. Compensate for the camera angle.  Chad’s two photo’s may have been on the South side of the main building, keep in mind  there is no date for the Rocky Photo.

 

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To follow up on back photos of people enjoying the panorama of the Seneca Lake Valley from the Padua Campus, I offer this one. The photograph is compliments of The Odessa File (http://www.odessafile.com/history-kelly.html) with this caption, “Then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller and his wife Happy at an overlook near Watkins Glen.” To us who had spent many waking hours during our teens observing this very view, it can be none other than the grounds of Padua. Correct me if I am wrong.

 

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Once again, Chad, you have done an outstanding job of preserving memories. I’m at an age where I am starting to forget stuff so memory jogs help! As you know, I like the whole history from Glen Springs through Padua so here is a picture I came across. Reggie