A Glimpse of the Past



Figure 16A:  The remains of the Kalbfleisch marina looking southeast.  An unusually low water level reveals a glimpse of the past.  (Top taken in 1994; Middle taken in 1998 and bottom taken in 1999)


Our tour of Colpoy's Bay ends with a return to the Kalbfleisch property.  Compare the top image of Figure 16A with the bottom two.  Note the difference in the water level.  Due to lower than average rainfall during much of 1999 and 2000, the water level of Colpoy's Bay dropped about 3 to 4 feet below average, slowly peeling back the cool waters and "reversing" the effects of time.  In Figure 16A, the remains of the Kalbfleisch marina have all but disappeared.  There is no trace of the onetime length of the Kalbfleisch dock, only the extremities of the breakwater barges peek through the water.  The bustle of handmade boat construction and a thriving tourist/fishing business is silent.  But what remains under the rippling blue water?  As the waterlevel dropped, part of Colpoy's Bay history was once again able to see the light of day and feel the touch of the wind.  The foundation of the original Kalbfleisch dock now breaks clear of the bay surface, pointing the way to the eerily proud tower of the distant barge.  The barge in the foreground exposes its twisted metal, loose chains and broken wood to display the crossbeams and bulkheads of a onetime workhorse still performing its final task: breaking the waves of the bay despite thrity five years of harsh whitecaps and ravaging ice flows.

What appears, at first glance, to be a bunch of junk crowding the shoreline actually represents an idea.  For those willing to look hard enough, such physical structures are a symbol and tell a story about people who have disappeared so very long ago...people who used the resources of the Earth to create, to live and to achieve happiness.  The echoes of their voices ring on in the memories of others and in the objects and ideas they left behind.

Take a look around and see what stories are waiting to speak to you through the mists of time...


Figure 16B:  A winter storm rolls in over the bay.  1999.


I leave you with Figure 16B.  This is the view toward the bay from the Kalbfleisch house in 1999.  Some of the old structures remain and some are new.  Notable are the village wharf (a popular fishing spot), and the grey building on the left, the former planing mill of Whicher's Sawmill.  The black and red structure on the grounds of Whicher's mill is a flat, steel-hulled barge lauched each spring to teach underwater welding techniques.  The sign marking the Kalbfleisch house as "The Four Maples" stands next to a pine tree "planted" by me in 1979 when I was three years old.

The fact is, the physical world surrounding you today will change.  Someday in the future, the only way for people to learn about the life you lived will be through the physical record you leave behind.  Things that seem commonplace and unimportant today will provide context to your life-story tomorrow.  The ideas you have now will disappear if you do not transcribe them or put them into physical form.  Tommorrow's history will be about you.

What message will you leave behind?
 

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Postcards From the Bay was launched April 14, 2000

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Copyright 2000 - Christopher R. Graham