Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hurl or Hell? (Part 1)

Help!  The energy to pursue seed history is harder to save than the seeds themselves!

School wiped me out this week...I was doing painting with kindergartners, sewing hats with the 5th grade, modular origami with the 4ths and who knows what with the rest.  Between scrubbing hands, arms, faces and floors, doing the "dishes" of brushes and trays, being super alert with needle wielding overly-animated social beings all trying to get their work done and needing help simultaneously, and trying to convince 4ths that precision in the end saves you labor and that persistence is worth cultivating...with all that I get home with a brain the consistency of sea foam.

Seed research is my relaxation and joy.
As a teacher type, sharing it with you is my second joy!
Only I pooped out on the gathering and synthesizing last night.  Kids come first, you come second. :-)

On the bright side, today is Saturday.  It is rainy and mild in this New England winter.  My fireplace is warming the right side of my body and crackling away like the cyber fire you can download for your phone.  I am looking around for some one thing to spin a story around for a change and I think I found it in the family of Thorburn.  They lived on Long Island  and were very well respected seedsmen and plant dealers around 1830.  It is a multigenerational story taking place on  Long Island where my mother's family is from, and it is an early story.  The only negative is catalogs then were not illustrated, so for a hit and run visual snack it won't satisfy.  But, then again, I think it will be interesting in a more calorically dense way.

The first quest is to figure out where the nursery was located on Long Island.
Hurlgate?    The answer to where the heck is Hurlgate (none found in contemporary map search) is in the great page by The Gotham History Blotter that is all about the naming of that particular area.  

So there you go...a start.  This photo is from Gotham History's essay, HELL GATE: NAMES OF FEAR, FEAR OF NAMES, by Michael Nichols. 
"Michael Nichols is at work on a book about Hell Gate—a riff on its name, history, and lore."

And just because this is too cool to waste...