Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Synchronicity: Piermont. Mill Towns, Flywheels, Wolf J. Flywheel
I would like to thank DV for the synchroncity title. (Classic pseudo or actually isn't it Steely Dan?). It's amazing how all these diverse topic threads eventually come together. Last Sunday I was dragged away from my blogging laptop by my wife and daughter to experience the fresh air and sunshine. I would like to think it was for my own health, but it was more like they needed a good wheel man. One of my few competencies is that I have a good sense of direction. Piermont is just over the Tappan Zee Bridge, just south of Nyack. A lot of theater people have or had homes there. It's very pretty down by the Hudson. Anyway, right in the middle of a newly refurbished riverfront is the mammoth flywheel, a remnant I suspect of an old paper mill (remember the Leacock image of the 1850 Lowell factory). About 100 yards from the flywheel is a plaque commemorating townspeople who served in World War II from the Robert Gair company. There is no indication that this company is from Piermont or what the company produces, but I put to use those brain cells that are still working: It's got to be a pretty big company (a lot of names) and it was some kind of mill that made use of the flywheel. An internet search proved that theory. Robert Gair was one of the leading producers of cardboard boxes, in fact the original Gair invented the technology. The company was located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn until 1926. The following slide show has images that I took of the area (Emma gets credit too) along with a few that I gathered in my search. A Mill town song by Pete Seeger would have been a better match, but I wanted to use Ella.