On Labor Day: Thanks for all that Land

Hiking along some beautiful open spaces this past week, the meaning of Labor Day came home to me in a dramatic way. At Mine Hill Preserve in Roxbury, Connecticut, I saw for myself how hard working-class laborers toiled to draw from the earth the resources that made others rich elsewhere as they took all the risk for barely a living wage.

At Topsmead State Forest in Litchfield, Connecticut, I enjoyed second-hand the pleasure and beauty that such wealth could buy. Topsmead was the summer cottage of Edith Morton Chase, daughter of Waterbury, Connecticut, copper and brass magnate Henry Sabin Chase. He gave her 16 hilltop acres of meadows and woods.

Walking around the beautiful gardens and through the woods, I realized how hard the ordinary people of Waterbury had to work that the Chases lived so well. Mine Hill Presever is part of the Roxbury Land Trust; Tospmead has belonged to the people of Connecticut since Chase left it to us in her will.

Both places speak to the enterprising nature of American people, the wealth we are capable of creating, and the right of people who work hard to enjoy the benefits of their labor. This was a central tenet of the labor movement of the 20th century, a movement that sought to put the fruits of labor on the tables of the people who labored.

Walking these tracts of land, it seemed to me that gifts of land such as these are not only generous but also just.

Click here for a video tour of Topsmead's gardens.
Click here for a video tour of Mine Hill Preserve.

Comments

  1. Beautiful video. Thanks!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I think that is one of the many wonderful things about being a Pagan...it gives you a sacred respect for the Earth. Sending you many faery xoxo today!

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  4. Anonymous7:51 PM

    At first the wealthy people of Waterbury just went up the hill to the Overlook section because they didn't want to live downtown where their factories were. Eventually, they spread out a little further, often summering in state, in a much more rural section, rther than travelling too far.

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