Sunday, July 22, 2007

OC Marsh's Digs

My wife and I drove through New England last week and had a great old time . We contemplated getting a photo of JD Salinger-with-shotgun at the end of his driveway, saw a great Maxfield Parrish exhibition in his home town, took walks along the seaside, and ate lots of crustaceans. (favorite menu item to say ridiculously = Quahog) We also drove into New Haven, CT to see Yale and stalk OC Marsh...one of the key figures in our graphic novel "Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards."


Our first stop was the prestigious Peabody Museum of Natural History build by Marsh's Uncle George Peabody at Marsh's persuasion. This building isn't the original Peabody Museum, it was demolished in 1917, but this one houses many of Marsh's finds and the famous Age Of Reptiles mural. (my second grade teacher gave me a huge copy of this that was supposed to go up in the classroom. It was a freebie which got me excited about going to school for a good half-year afterwards. Thanks Mrs Stevens!)


We then took a long stroll to find Marsh's house, also built with his Uncle's money. (Panel from page 134)


His house turned out not to be that hard to find. Though...Kevin...you forgot to draw the air conditioners. This is now "Marsh Hall" and houses the School of Forestry & Environmental studies. The eight acres of grounds behind it is now the Marsh Botanical Gardens.


Unfortunately the interior had at some point been made institutional. This is the once great main room where Marsh entertained Chief Red Cloud and Alfred Russel Wallace. Marsh's antiquities and natural collection filled this house, it would have been beyond glorious.


120 years too late! (Panel from page 134)


A few areas give you a sense of how it may have been.


Like the view of New Haven from the third floor deck.


But there is little getting away from it being stale offices.


All the beauty is buried.


So is Marsh, not far from Eli Whitney and Noah Webster in the Grove Street Cemetary.


If you thought Marsh was a bit of a blowhard while living. (click image for larger view)

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We ended up spending the night in New Haven at the beyond-great Hotel Duncan a few blocks from The Tomb, the headquarters of the Skull and Bones Society. It's easy to spot their nefarious designs for world domination in the work of their members such John Kerry, Gorge W Bush, and Paul Giamatti. We'll go soft on the discussion of the Bonesmen, as one of these three men bought a copy of Bone Sharps, (thanks!) and also so that we don't go bankrupt and die this week.


New Haven was also cool because they were filming the new Indiana Jones movie there. Here's an interior set of a dining hall that they decked out like a library that Indiana rides a motorcycle through. There are a bunch of great photos on Flickr that show how they 1950ized Chapel Street for the Film.

2 comments:

jimO said...

Super-cool. Thanks for taking those photos. I'll be sure to provide Kevin more up-to-date reference for the next book...

Janna said...

Hey, I just noticed you linked to my flickr photos. Thanks! I'm glad you liked them.