Connecticut’s largest county, Litchfield, is also its least populous. Tucked in the northwest corner of the state, bordering both New York and Massachusetts, Litchfield is fairly rural with lots of farmland and small town centers that look and feel like they were plucked from a Norman Rockwell painting–which they certainly could have been, as Rockwell’s home was not far away in Stockbridge, Mass. 

Connecticut has over 500 miles of dirt roads and you’ll find the majority of them here in Litchfield. In the summer this is an area that city people retreat to, to breathe the fresh air of the outdoors that the county offers with its camping and hiking; taking advantage of the Berkshire Mountains, the Housatonic River, the antique stores and the farmers markets. 

In the winter, Litchfield seems more isolated and it becomes apparent why private schools like Kent and Hotchkiss are situated in an area that is so quiet, removed from anything that might distract from their studies. It’s a quiet time of year; the farmers’ fields seem larger and the woods seem deeper without their foliage, and the deer have fewer places to hide.

* * *

Guide to the Northeast Brett Klein lives in Connecticut and works in New York, but prefers small town life and his homestate of Maine. Any chance to get rural is a mental vacation. Follow Klein on Tumblr at The Coast is Clear. His curatorial collection of Americana, rural life, other artists and ephemera can be seen on Tumblr at Tons of Land.


A Freemason on the CSS Hunley

In Charleston, South Carolina, Lt. George Dixon … a Mason … was commander of the Confederate submarine CSS Hunley. When he boarded that vessel on Feb. 17, 1864, he carried with him a badge from Mobile Lodge No. 40.

The Hunley sank the USS Housatonic that night, becoming the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel. But the Hunley was also sunk, and the lodge badge went to the bottom of Charleston Harbor along with its owner. They would stay there for 136 years….

The Hunley was finally lifted off the bottom, in August of 2000. Three years later the bones of Lt. Dixon and his crew were buried in a Charleston cemetery. Dixon was buried with Masonic rites, which were provided by the modern-day members of his lodge.

Photograph by Randall Hill, Reuters-Shown in a South Carolina conservation facility, the Hunley sank the U.S.S. Housatonic off Charleston (map) in 1864. Within minutes the sub itself sank too-killing its eight-man crew and creating an enduring mystery. (Also see “Forensic Team Studying Skeletons of Hunley Crew.”)


Hey, raise awareness?

Ooa;; Hey could you guys do me a favor?

I know I’ve been making a lot of OOC posts, but this one is important.

I’m not good at explaining, but the basics are simple: GE wishes to dump PCBs back into the Housatonic river as they leave to Boston- in our town.

They’ve been cleaning the river for years, and a new dump would kill off thousands of species as well as fill the town and all those who live here with the cancer causing agent.

There’s more information here- I’m just asking for some awareness. I live in Housatonic, and a walk to the river is only a 25 minute walk from my house.

I don’t want this to happen, no one does. But if they are allowed to dump, this means I can’t walk my dog, take walks myself and I’m afraid we’d have to move- and the parents don’t have the money for that.

You don’t have to sign either. I just ask for some awareness. Please.




Thanks again guys. And if you don’t wanna reblog, at least send some hope our way.

     “I owned a cabin and five acres in the mountain up in North Adams years ago. I lived right across a 200-foot waterfall and I could hear the water from my cabin. But they wanted my land for a park, so they just took it! They sent me a letter and gave me $1,200. That’s all I got. They called it ‘eminent domain’, I guess. Then I got this house, and there were great big elm trees across the street. Oh, it was nice and shady! But, the next year, they cut them down because they were rotting. Then I planted grapevines for shade, but some guy cut them down. But the roots stayed in the ground, and now they’re growing again. I figure next year I’ll even have grapes.”

     Housatonic, MA