Monday, November 23, 2015
The Gate That's Gone
This property once had gates at its entrance on Highway F, with gateposts of pink Missouri granite. The gateposts had been wired to have lights on top, but I never saw them with lights. Only these two photos of the gate were taken, because within a year of my moving here permanently the gates were dynamited for highway widening. Today I found these printed photos from early summer '02 and wanted to show you and preserve some of the history of this place. The concrete top of one gatepost got dropped in the yard where it still is, sinking into the earth. I took a few bricks of pink granite as souvenirs from the rubble when the dynamiters were gone for the day. They actually did yell "Fire in the hole!," and pictures fell from the walls, and explosions at random every day for two weeks (we were honeymooning at home) made us jumpy.
Highway F was torn away down to rock, the rusty one-lane bridge destroyed, and the intersection was closed so that after work we either parked at the barrier and walked a quarter mile to the house, teetering on broken rocks, or drove an 8-mile detour to get to the house from the other side.
The highway department told the landlord it'd take the land by eminent domain if the landlord didn't grant or sell the 1 acre needed to widen the highway, shortening our lane by 20 feet. I think in exchange the landlord asked that the first 100 feet of the lane, from Highway F up to my house, be freshly paved. It sorely needed paving.