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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dauntless Departed

With 400 miles of coastline; dotted with captivating harbor towns infused with impeccable New England charm, it’s difficult to imagine Rhode Island as the smallest state in the nation. More so, the fact that sixty percent of the state is densely burgeoning forest land. It’s important to note that in this state, no one may bite off the leg of another, and the throwing of pickle juice on a trolley is prohibited. 
In 1907, when whiskey magnate Edson Bradley first built his 40 thousand Sq. Ft. home in Washington, DC, he called it Aladdin’s Palace. Covering nearly a full city block and, among many other impressive attributes, sporting a chapel big enough to seat 150 people. What caught the attention of “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” was when he moved it to Newport in 1923! Incorporating the massive home into an existing mega mansion called Seaview Terrace, he, along with wife Julia, lived out their lives in the idyllic “Cottage” by the sea. Mrs. Bradley, they say, loved the place so much her Esty organ can still be heard on quiet windswept nights, along with footsteps, jiggling door handles and soft voices. Though the sprawling mansion had fallen into sad disrepair by 1974, it was purchased by Milton and Millicent Carey; who began immediate restorations and renamed it Carey Mansion.
If the image brings to mind Dark Shadows, it’s because it was indeed the (exterior) setting used for the fictional Collinwood Mansion. 

Connecticut, Bridgeport
While traveling through the birthplace state of the Frisbee, and Noah Webster (Hartford) you might want to keep in mind that it’s illegal to cross a street while walking on your hands, you may not educate dogs and kissing your wife on Sunday is prohibited.

Decommissioned since 1986, the old Remington Arms Factory is far from abandoned. Aside from migrant homeless and passing fugitives, there are more than a few who haven’t left the building since they died there.  Dating back to WWI, this was the site of what the New York Times dubbed the “greatest small arms and ammunition plant in the world”, boasting well over 17,000 employees with an implicit emphasis on production rather than safety; which led to an extremely high mortality rate among workers. In 1905 three men were killed when an explosion blew one the 38 buildings to literal pieces. Lead dust from the accident filled the factory and resulted in the slow demise of many with prolonged contact. Demand for munitions was still high in 1914 when the workers staged an uprising in protest of the dire conditions, which was quickly and forcibly quelled by Remington Security in accordance with local Police forces. But it was yet another explosion and subsequent fire in a munitions building that blew bullets into adjacent buildings and nearby neighborhoods that signaled the inevitable end to one of the most dangerous industrial transgressions in history when 7 workers were killed and 80 more injured. These days; according to locals and those on security patrol, the building remains quite alive with the disgruntled spirits and disembodied screams and voices of those who are not.

Did you watch Dark Shadows? Is there a pie plate in your cupboard? Would you visit these places?

Thanks for coming along!


  1. Hi, Diedre!

    Thanks for the fascinating facts about places to see in Rhode Island and Connecticut. I didn't realize that so much of R.I. is forest land. Mrs. Shady and I enjoy natural settings. A woodsy retreat in Rhode Island would be our kind of vacation.

    This is the first I am hearing that it is unlawful to bite off the leg of another. Is there a law against back-biting? :)

    What? You can't throw pickle juice on a trolley? Does that include gherkins? :) Can I throw pickle juice on a train or bus? (I want to remain in full compliance.)

    I remember that mansion used in the opening titles of the Goth television soap opera Dark Shadows. I love stories about vampires and ghosts but Dark Shadows was far too tame and slow paced for me and I quickly lost interest. Obviously the series targeted and appealed to women as did all soaps.

    There are no dog obedience schools in Hartford, Connecticut? :) Kissing your wife on Sunday is prohibited? That would suit Mrs. Shady just fine. In fact, she's lobby to have the ordinance amended to include every day of the week! :)

    I cringe when I read about the unsafe conditions workers endured in factories and on construction sites a hundred or more years ago.

    Thank you for this entertaining and educational piece, dear friend Diedre!

    1. Hi there, Shady!

      Like you, though the coastline seems truly enchanting, my heart is drawn to the forest and land-loving creatures.

      Ha! No, I don't think there is a law against back-biting ;-)
      I haven't heard of gherkins, but I'll google it. Since trains and buses aren't mentioned, I assume it's safe to throw juice on them. Do you suppose the law has anything to do with juice (or liquid) getting on electric or battery powered trolley lines?

      I enjoyed the few episodes I saw of Dark Shadows, after school when grandma was at work. I read that besides women, the show was a big favorite of older school kids. Did you know it was so popular it led to the cancellation of both the Match Game and House Party; each on different networks, but during the same time slot?

      Oh, I think my girls are smart enough. But they really could use some training ;-) I imagine we'd fit right in if we were in Connecticut.

      It was my love of American history that drew me to the Remington Plant, but it was the terrible conditions that struck me as I've been in and around industries with much the same practices. Thankfully, I've also seen a lot of reform over the years.

      Thanks for coming along, my friend. Your comments are always enjoyable and much appreciated!

    2. Diedre -

      I thought you might enjoy seeing my report on the ABC soap opera for teenagers that was canceled and replaced in that time slot by Dark Shadows:

    3. That was a fun post, Shady! Thanks for directing me there :-)

  2. Fascinating places! What's this about not being allowed to educate dogs? Were they afraid of a canine uprising? Did people make a habit of walking on their hands? How did they enforce that no-kissing law? Did they post spies outside peoples' windows? ☺ Thank goodness there are workplace safety regulations in place now. I can only imagine the horrible deaths many of those employees suffered! I wasn't a regular viewer of the Dark Shadows TV show but I did see the movie starring Johnny Depp. These are places I would love to explore. Thanks for sharing them Diedre. Have a good weekend!

    1. Hi Debbie!
      It's wonderful to see you here!
      A canine uprising - ha! I love it!
      Aren't some of these old laws a laugh? Just about every state has a few still on the books.
      I've wanted to see the movie starring Johnny Depp for quite some time, it's just never on when I'm alone and can enjoy it. Did you like it?
      With regard to workplace safety - and any kind of positive reform, it's heartening to see how well we can evolve when we've a mind to, isn't it?
      Thanks so much for coming along, I've missed you :-)

    2. Nice to be missed ☺ I was on a "mental health" leave. The Dark Shadows movie didn't get great reviews but I thought it was pretty good. Mind you, I'm not that familiar with the show. I remember reading that fans were disappointed in the movie. Johnny Depp is always fun to watch when he's playing such characters.

  3. I enjoyed the Dark Shadow's movie. I never watched the Dark Shadow's tv show. Interesting enough, my mother said our television did not get it. All my friends watched it. Go figure, lol. My mother did not like us to watch soap operas.
    Pickle juice, my dad called it jogging in a jar. What he meant by that, I have no clue but he would drink pickle juice.

    1. Hi Ann!
      I'm still hoping to see the movie one day - when no one else is home. They either hide in the closet or roll their eyes at this kind of thing ;-)
      Ha! Not on your T.V. That gave me a chuckle.
      'Jogging in a jar", now that's one I haven't heard. I love pickle chips and spears but I don't think I could drink the juice.
      Always a pleasure when you pop in, Ann. Thanks!

  4. They explored the Remington Arms Factory on one of the shows I watch...Ghost Hunters, maybe? Ghost Hunters always centered on that area of the country in the early days because Grant and Jason lived there. Now I think the show travels all over the country.

    1. Hi Stephanie!
      I do believe Ghost Hunters did visit the factory, and recorded some fairly strong readings too.
      Why does that show always come on when hubs has the remote? I think I've watched Ghost Hunters only twice, but was intrigued both times.
      Good to see you, Stephanie! I owe you a visit - soon as I turn the heat down on some hot projects around here...

  5. Good thing I can't walk on my hands then. But a man can't kiss is wife on a Sunday? Gosh. That's strict. I'm going to be a smartbutt :P and ask...Can a woman kiss her husband on a Sunday?

    1. Ha! I like your way of thinking, Chrys! I'd kiss on Sundays too.
      Thanks for chiming in :-)

  6. I love those crazy laws. Hilarious! I've never seen Dark Shadows. And 40,000 square feet? Geesh!

    1. Hi there, Quanie!
      Old laws are always good for a giggle. It makes me smile to think how silly and simple it was back when.
      No kidding, in a house that size, the girls would probably bring home a few hundred friends ;-)

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