You Get The Picture

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While fairly small, Batavia, NY, which we recently visited, has been historically important. It is a relatively old city.  While Kitchener has a pioneer tower at the outskirts, celebrating the arrival of the first settlers in 1820, the oldest cornerstone I saw in Batavia was 1804, with many others in the 1860s, ‘70s, and ‘80s.

SDC10907

Batavia is celebrating 100 years of being a city.  They have a new(ish) no-nonsense, get-the-job-done City Hall, so much nicer looking than Kitchener’s pretentious, architectural Frankenstein’s monster.

City Hall

Towers, and roof-top cupolas seemed common in Batavia.

SDC10905 Used to be a Farmers’ Insurance company, now a Charity’s headquarters

SDC10906 The back of the county courthouse, from about 1900.

SDC10894 Front/side view of cupola.  I believe the building’s style is ‘Federalist’, solid, trustworthy, about as exciting as mashed potatoes.  This is the first indication of the move forward from the uselessly ornate Victorian Era architecture.

SDC10896 1890 Police station.  The turrets and towers continue down the side street, until it merges with a utilitarian 1980s jail.

SDC10903 When the Cold War warmed up in the mid-’60s, the basement was designated a fallout shelter.

SDC10899 What was once a County Court judge’s magnificent home, half a block from the cop-shop, is now carved up into tiny apartments.  The shingles on the Russian Orthodox Church-style end tower need some uniform replacement.

SDC10900 The side shot shows a front chimney which disappears after it becomes a second-storey fireplace.

SDC10895 A side-street view of the original municipal Fire Department building.  The section on the left c/w alarm bell on the roof, was the Chief’s apartment/home.  Now it houses a crafts and memorabilia store.

SDC10904 The main-street angle shows the round tower on the left, which the firemen climbed to get to the dormitory, with a brass strippers’ fire pole down the center for fast response.  The square tower on the right end was for hanging hoses to dry so they didn’t rot.

SDC10901 There’s a lovely little downtown park, just up from the old firehall, along the edge of Tonawanda Creek, which ambles through town.  Perhaps they celebrate Disney princesses there, or maybe that’s where gay weddings are held.  The park is named Peace Park.  There are memorials to several pioneers and politicians, as well as veterans.  There was a display of about 20 little American flags around the Veterans’ stone.  The son commented that approximately 1 of every 10 houses also flew a flag.

SDC10898 A little wooden footbridge across the creek into a residential neighborhood.  A close look at the middle right shows a Federal Government authorized and registered sewage outflow.  Imagine how bad it might be if the Government didn’t have it under control.

SDC10897 An upstream view, back toward the park.

SDC10902 The old Sherriff’s office, just downstream from the park.  Ironically, it’s now used as a water-quality monitoring station.

SDC10893 A Catholic Church – every city’s got one (or more).  With the afternoon sun directly behind, the best shot was from the shadow of the tower, in the left-turn lane in the middle of an almost-deserted Sunday street.  The son didn’t trust me to warn him of impending traffic, instead, taking a higher-angle shot from the safety of the sidewalk.

SDC10912 From a candy store at the other end of the main street, a present for the warden wife, as thanks for allowing us an unescorted jail day-pass.  With a flurry of intellect and originality, Batavia calls their main street, Main Street.  My little British-styled home town called ours, High Street.

Quit Your Witchin We didn’t know that while we were gone, one of the daughter’s cats had broken her favorite glass, but we used some of grandson WillowThorn’s kind donation, to purchase her another.  The Wiccan Witch of the West loves it.

These were the photo chronicles of a lovely, sunny, warm, Sunday stroll through an historically interesting little village which grew up into a productive city, without losing too much of its heritage.  Next week I tell the tale of our welcome(?) return to Bureaucratopia Canada.

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7 thoughts on “You Get The Picture

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for the tour.

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  2. BrainRants says:

    Nothing like sewage in your backyard, I always say.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      But, this is ‘Federally Authorized’ sewage. You know, much like the, “The preceding message has been authorized by the Committee to Re-elect John C. Calhoun.” sewage. 😯 😉

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  3. Jim Wheeler says:

    An interesting place, Batavia. On visiting its Wikipedia page I was surprised to see how small is its population, a mere 15,000. The history of its founding, i.e., its purchase from the natives, is interesting as well. And, it has its own historical scandal:

    A scandal erupted in Batavia in 1826, when William Morgan, a local ne’er do well was offended by the local Masonic Lodge (Western Star Chapter R. A. M. No. 33 of Le Roy, New York), and threatened to expose the secrets of the lodge. He was arrested on a minor charge, then released when his charge was paid, into the company of several men, with whom he went, apparently unwillingly. It was developed later that the men were Masons, and they carried him to Fort Niagara, where he was held captive, and from whence he disappeared. Although the Masons claimed he was only bribed to cease publication and leave the area forever, public sentiment was that he was murdered. No conviction was ever obtained. His captors were only charged and convicted with his abduction.

    The event roused tremendous public furor and anti-Mason sentiment ran high. Anti-Masonry was a factor in politics for many years later, as well as religion. Many Methodist Episcopal clergy had joined the Masons, and this was one of the reasons the Free Methodist Church separated.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Cordelia’s Mom feared that I would be bored, stuck out in Batavia, but every town has its secrets and stories. Half the fun, especially for a research-junkie like me, is looking around and finding them.
      I saw a couple of the ‘Free Methodist’ Churches, and wondered why. It wasn’t till I got home and read your above passage and others, that I understood.
      I used to wonder why members of mainstream churches got all bent out of shape over things like the Masons, or my daughter’s admission that she’s a Wiccan. It finally occurred to me that they have to take seriously every claim, no matter how frivolous, so that others will take theirs seriously.
      I believe one reason why we have trouble with things like the Inquisition, or ISIS, is that, deep down, they can’t take themselves seriously, and try to enforce it with torture, execution and heresy and apostasy laws. 😯

      Liked by 1 person

  4. […] our Sunday photographic downtown tour, we allowed Ethel, the GPS, to lead us three miles out of town to 1 College Road. This turned out […]

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