|We are in lower Collegetown, near the Stewart Ave Bridge to campus. East Hill was mostly orchard when the campus between the gorges was still a pasture. The hill became a residential neighobrhood with the development of waterpower in the gorges - a business in which Ezra Cornell and the Morses who built this and their other East Hill homes, were deeply involved. Over the years the old families, except us remenants, have been replaced by students and visitors.
Now days people troupe to lower collegtown to eat vegetarian food, drink boutique beers, and hear live music. Edgewood guest can stroll around the corner to the ABC or Crossroads cafes or the Chapter House pub, (formerly the finish line of the notorious Collegetown five hundred foot race for the unfit).
When the Morses built our house, they supplied Edgewood Place with water through pipes run from their mill dam way up at the top of William St. We still have a primitave hydrant from that era in the park we share with our neighbor. Once, ten years ago, it flowed again for a day and then stopped.
The old American Legion Hall is in the background of this photo taken of Lombardy Poplars downed on Stewart Avenue during Hurricane Hazel in 1952.
We get hurricanes here less often than we get glaciers, which are much easier to avoid.
Old Miss Whitacker lived across Stewart Avenue from the Legion Hall and over the fence behind our house. She rented rooms in her house to students and also did some house cleaning in the Legion Hall. Once, while playing football on the Legion lawn, we saw her dancing past a window with a duster.
Children here liked to believe that she was a witch but she said she had been a dancing teacher.
She insisted that the hurricane and other recent odd weather was caused by our government shooting rockets at the moon which the government hadn't even started doing yet.
Miss Whitacker also said that there had used to be a big dam right there in the gorge below Stewart Avenue Bridge. We didn't believe her for a minute then, but now I do.
Back then Lee Klair and I built a dam a foot and a little more high of fallen rock all across the gorge just down from our house. Half an hour after we finished, a hard rain fell and we watched the creek surge our dam on down.
Miss. Whitacker went to see Mayor Johns in his office most every week to discuss the condition of the sidewalks, the causes of the weather, or whatever. Though the space program had not yet started shooting for the moon, she said that the goverment was shooting rockets at the moon, and that it had caused the bad weather.
Mrs Whitacker eventually sold the house to Mayor Johns. Now they have both passed away but we did manage to put a big hole in the atmosphere and allow the raining down of various rays, beams, and metal fragments.
Forty years ago there was a bowling alley at the top of Williams Street and only a huge lawn fronting the Legion Hall, now long gone. One day us boys playing football on the lot at the foot of the hill heard a rumble and looked up to see a bowling ball bounding down Williams Street hill, headed for the Chapter House , then known as Jim's place.
And.... Chunk.....the bowling ball hit just right so it lodged under the wheel of a parked car two thirds of the way down the hill.
We took the bowling ball to Edgewood Place and kept it in the basement for many years. Then it may have been sent on down the hill, but don't remember that.
|:Full Moon and Venus over Collegetown as seen from our roof, looking up Williams Street, Ithaca's steepest.|
|See the The Acts of Hazel|
|Neighbors Across the Gorge|
|Go Across the Gorge|
|Crossing at East Hill Recreation Way|
|Neighborhood Businesses and entertainments|
|Bridge House Gothic Lodging|
|A Uniquely Fictive Inn. You wouldn't want to stay there, but you might want to visit|