Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hartness House B&B
We made our way from Rutland Vermont to Springfield Vermont this morning, starting out at about around 9:30. After getting into Springfield, our first stop was the Hartness House. It's a B&B, but started out as a mansion built by James Hartness in 1888. Hartness' was interested in astronomy and built a large "turret telescope" in 1910. A turret telescope is unique because the observer is "inside" a small building while the rest of the telescope is outside. Not a bad idea for the cold of Vermont winters. Hartness was a contemporary of Russell W. Porter.

Hartness Turret Telescope
Once we reached the Hartness House we inquired about staying there (I figured it'd be sold out because of the Stellafane Convention). In fact, we were able to get our lodgings there and checked in for a 2 day stay. So far, it's been a great experience staying at the Hartness House. Lots of interesting sights around and many telescopic events going on in and around town. In the basement of Hartness House is an Amateur Telescope Makers' Museum featuring a variety of early telescopes and artifacts from the 20's and 30's. Russell W. Porter, founder of the Springfield Telescope Makers in 1923, is prominently mentioned and displayed in the museum. Obviously, the museum was most interesting to me, and I'm glad that Linda didn't find it too boring! We only stayed for a short time. One point, interesting to note, is the "tunnel" between the Hartness House, Museum and the turret telescope. Once again, a great way to guard oneself against the cold of the winter when using the telescope.

Inside the Turret Telescope
We finished wandering around the Inn, observatory and museum and made our way into downtown Springfield. It's a quaint and beautiful town of about 9400 people. The surrounding country-side is plush and beautiful -- lots of green. Clear views of the mountains and blue skies attest to the fact that air pollution hasn't found its way to this part of the world.

We did explore the city a bit, had a delightful lunch at one of the locally owned restaurants and found the local library where we were able to "get on line" to check emails and type into "blogs"!

Inside the Telescope Makers Museum
Hartness Hartness House
The Stellafane Convention starts tomorrow so we drove to the venue, on Breezy Hill, and put the location into my GPS. It'll be easy to go back to. We'll enjoy a quiet evening, the turret telescope will be open for looking at the stars, there's a movie-house in town and a little coffee shop -- so there's plenty to do to keep us happy.

Tomorrow should prove to be an interesting day and evening, so as always -- stay tuned for more.