Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adenville

I've tried to decide what direction to run the blog from. Do I do it from chronological order as I experienced it, break it down according to Fitzgerald's books, or post from reader input.

So tonight I'm going to answer reader questions. I was asked why Adenville was not on the map.

Adenville is found only in the map of John Dennis Fitzgerald's mind. The reason it feels so real to us is because of his skill in creating it based on the towns up and down Utah. The state is covered in 'villes'. Adamsville, Taylorsville, Snowville. Beyond name uniqueness alone, Fitzgerald also created for his readers a history for the naming of Adenville. This history of naming is mirrored in his own hometowns name of Price. Price was named after a Bishop William Price, an early discoverer of the area. Other Utah towns carry similar histories.

When I began researching the history of Fitzgeralds work I ran into multiple historians who said that Adenville and it's literary neighbor were based on the mining town of SilverReef and Leeds.
Even some relatives gave that credit. After visiting Price I disagree. Price in it's early days was easily Adenville and Silverlode in one. The dividing line was the train tracks. The photographs posted on my website of the saloons is taken in 1900 in Price, Utah. Though I briefly describe it, Price had a deeply lawless side living side by side with saints from multiple denominations.

So if you want to visit Adenville, head to Price. The Advenville side of life still resides there in full measure. The deep gulley's that were dug by the pioneers still exist. Many of the original homes are happily occupied, but you can almost feel time roll back as you walk on the sidewalks under the shade of the trees. And the ditch, it's there, too.

The remnants of Silverlode are fewer. Mostly found in archival pictures. You can see some great ones at the Western Mining Museum in the next door town of Helper. One small piece of the oldest days exist in a small, forlorn cemetery in the southwest corner of the town. If you drive south over the railroad tracks, turn right and drive till you run out of road you will find a dingy, dirt laden cemetery from a time long ago.

If you get a chance take a visit to Price. You won't be disappointed. Stop by the city cemetery and leave a thought with Papa and Mamma. We have these stories because of them.

7 comments:

  1. We'll have to stop by Price sometime. Spencer reads the books over and over.

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  2. Hi Carrie, I found your website and blog while researching John Fitzgerald. I read the books over and over growing up, and am now reading them with my children.

    Thanks for all the great info! Do you know if Fitzgerald had any children? I just thought it would be neat to send them a note.

    Have a great day!

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  3. Carrie, a couple of years ago my wife and I visited Silver Plume, Colorado, which is a prominent site in Uncle Will & The Fitzgerald Curse. It's a charming half town half ghost town with a B&B and small shops and some homes. Unfortunately, the employees at the town museum had never heard of Fitzgerald or the novel. That surprised me.

    Doug Gibson

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  4. Doug,

    When I first went to Price for research the first librarian I spoke to had never heard of any of the books. She was surprised to be told that a small corner of the library was reserved for his books. After I left she asked if she could take some books home and read them.

    Now that I think of it I should mention this site to museums. Thanks for the idea.

    Carrie

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  5. Carrie,
    Do you know the exact address of the Fitzgerald home in Price?

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  6. I read the Great Brain books as a child. In the 5th grade. It put a picture of the past in my head. I am fascinated by early western American history. I now read the books to fifth graders in the classroom I work in, and try to put pictures of the past in their minds. Pictures like a water closet, or an old tomé basketball game.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read the Great Brain books as a child. In the 5th grade. It put a picture of the past in my head. I am fascinated by early western American history. I now read the books to fifth graders in the classroom I work in, and try to put pictures of the past in their minds. Pictures like a water closet, or an old tomé basketball game.

    ReplyDelete