Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Secrets of Kidlit: Digging up the Past

There's inspiration all around us. A conversation overheard at the coffee shop, a line in a song playing on the radio, a photo on Pinterest. One of my favorite sources of inspiration is an old farm near our house in northeastern Pennsylvania. I've walked by the place hundreds of times and it never fails to send my writer brain into overdrive. Take a look for yourself...

Spooky, right? Especially that last photo with the root cellar. I'm dying of curiosity to look inside, but even in full sunlight I chicken out. One of these days I'll get up the courage!

It's easy to imagine a ghost story set on a farm like this. All those smashed out windows and crumbling barns are begging to tell a story. I've had plenty of ideas but none of them have stuck. Until I did some digging into the farm's past. It turns out Hayfield farm has quite a history of it's own.

It started in 1910 when John Nesbitt Conyngham purchased 550 acres. Yes, 550 acres. That is A LOT of land. (part of which now belong to an exclusive golf course and a college campus) Like most farms, Hayfield was used for livestock and farming, but the coolest bit of information--they were most known for their Clydesdales. Yep, just like those incredible Budweiser horses from the Superbowl commercials. Even cooler yet? The Hayfield Clydesdales were their biggest competition. Oh, the new story ideas...

Do some digging into the past of some of your favorite local places and see what you find. You might be surprised!

If you're interested, check out this article for more information on the history of this incredible place.

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