15 February 2007

Beauty in Decay

Farnham Mill, Cheshire, MAThis is a photo of the old Farnham Mill in Cheshire, Massachu­setts, built circa 1885. A lot of New England towns were mill towns, and the skeletons of their former industry are sprinkled along rivers and country roads. Some have been refurbished and turned into cute little malls with touristy shops. Others have been left to decay and return to the dust from whence they came. This one belongs to someone who appears to be involved in the arts and non-profit organizations in the Berkshires, so maybe she has some plans for it up her sleeves. (It'a amazing what you can find out with a clever Google search!)

In spite of its poor condition, actually because of it, I find this shell of a building quite photogenic. I'm not the only one who does. I discovered that local Berkshire photographer Thom Smith has photographed it and calls it his favorite mill. I saw his photo of it in an exhibit he had at the Berkshire Medical Center when I was there in December. I credit him with the identification of the name of the mill. It's interesting how different photographers can take such very different photos of the same subject. Thom had the advantage of more saturated colors due to the season of the year, but I had the barren trees to reinforce the theme of deadness and decay. I'll leave you to decide which one you like best.

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