NADOLIG LLAWEN!

Nadolig Llawen i chi gyd! Merry Christmas to you all!

This fine looking tree was placed in the middle of Main Street, Granville during the Christmas period of 1919. A tall tree with multicoloured baubles perpetuated upon this postcard I found by chance in a second-hand shop amongst old papers in North Wales. I don’t know how it ended up over here, but I think it’s a beautifully haunting image and I often wonder who is the person captured in this picture who has momentarily paused to look with curiosity towards the photographer at his work. This curiosity immortalised him in this card and he somehow reminds me of the narrator in Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” But of course, this man has stopped on Main Street, Granville!! The clock on the spire of the building shows that it is twenty past nine in the morning and who knows which promises he had to keep and how many miles he had to go before he could sleep?

Granville Community Christmas Tree, 1919

The man stands on the corner of North Street outside a building that used to be called the Hughes Block which in time came to hold the post office and the National Bank. The block’s name a pointer to me of how special this area is to my heart as it became a vital part of the very existence of thousands of my countrymen – and to this day many folk in the Slate Valley have some Welsh in their DNA.

I have been asked to write a blog for this website and I look forward immensely to drop a line every now and then from over here in Wales. I hope to generate some interest in the Welsh folk over there in the States (and see if I can help trace some family links over here) as well as just chew the cud about life in the Slate Valley.

Tomorrow, 12 December is traditionally the feast day of two sixth century Welsh saints, St. Fflewyn and St. Gredifael, but it will also be the day in which the Slate Valley Museum will host a special function to celebrate the Welsh contribution to the area. I would love to be there! If you can, pop over to enjoy the festivities and have a paned with some teisen gri listening to the Cantorion Coleg y Mynydd Glas, the Green Mountain College Choir sing some Welsh songs! We’re five hours ahead of you here but I’ll be constantly looking at my watch and thinking of the hwyl at the museum!

We’ve had a lot of snow over here over the past couple of weeks and the starry sky at night has been spectacular to behold. There are fifty stars on your flag, but the one atop the tree in this photo gleams just as brightly and may it now be a beacon to generate some interest in the history of the Slate Valley. A star 2,010 years ago around this time of the year was a sign of a new beginning – let’s see if the bright yellow star of this card does the same.

Tan tro nesa’! ‘Til next time!

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About slatevalleymuseum

This year, Slate Valley Museum celebrates its 15th year of exciting range of programs, exhibitions, and special events that share its mission to collect, catalogue, conserve, exhibit, and interpret materials, artifacts, machines, and information that demonstrate the geology of slate and the history of slate quarrying and the quarrying community in the Slate Valley of New York and Vermont. We invite you to join us and... explore... exhibits of historic artifacts from the area's renowned slate quarries and mills displays revealing the science and art of slate quarrying, and its influence on the Slate Valley culture a quarry shanty, complete with all the machinery and tools used in traditional slate quarrying a geological display illustrating the natural history of slate examples of how slate has been used in the structure and decor of local buildings and as an inspriration for artworks in various media and our new multi-media exhibit HEAVY LIFTING: A Human and Technological History of Moving Slate from Quarry to Market, 1850-Present
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