I found Scott’s photography assignment a much bigger challenge than I anticipated. I live in an area in Upstate New York that is very rich in history…Seemingly every few feet, there are historical markers referencing battles, both Revolutionary War and French and Indian, marking historic homes and forts, and visitations by famous people including George Washington. “So this should be easy!” I thought. The sad fact of the matter is that despite our rich history, there is very little left standing of it in my immediate hometown. As for our more recent history, I live in an old farming and milltown, and all but one of the mills have left. According to a former Assemblyman, we suffer from underemployment, not unemployment—most families work several jobs to make ends meet. Our town has gone from it’s 1800’s glory to a depressed area with a struggling town center. Although great strides have been taken in recent years to preserve and beautify the town, the tattoo parlors, Family Dollar stores, and Rite Aids (of which there are three in a two mile radius) do a heck of a business.
We are flanked by Lake George to the north, and Saratoga Springs to the south…also rife with history and many landmarks are still standing and preserved. I had planned to go to Saratoga and take photos of The Casino. After all, we lived in Saratoga for the first five years of our marriage, and when we left a little piece of my soul stayed there. Also, our wedding reception was at the Casino, making it even closer to my heart. But I resisted. This is my home, this is where my family and friends are, this is where I grew up, and where I choose to raise my children. If it’s good enough for my family to live in, it darned well better be good enough to photograph!! So I’ve spent the week noting some of our more famous landmarks. This is the first photo I took:
Now, don’t laugh!!! (Okay, you can laugh if you really must…) *tee*hee* But this place truly is famous in these here parts! It is a shack in every sense of the word, but the hot dogs here are still 3 for $1.99—and they are second only to Dirty John’s hot dogs in a neighboring town. This is a must stop lunch spot if you drive through…but bring the Tums because you’ll need them!
Now, in all seriousness, this is the photo I’m choosing to post:
This is Soldier’s Monument that stands in the town center. It has been here since about 1880, and was erected by a man named Dr. Kellogg in honor of all the men from our county who served in the Civil War. It has held it’s place of honor as the town center and the park surrounding it looks much as it did in the late 1800’s.
(Just in case you are wondering, I found a couple of great photos of the Canfield Casino on Flickr…Here is a link to view the inside, and a link to view the outside. I plan to do a Saratoga Springs photo tour at some point when the weather gets nicer, and will share it all here when I do.)