A Landing a Day

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Springfield, Colorado

Posted by graywacke on December 9, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2138; A Landing A Day blog post number 566.

Dan:  Phew.  It had to happen one of these landings.  After seven (count ‘em, seven) OSers in a row, finally a USer . . . CO; 72/73; 3/10; 4; 147.9.  Here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local map shows a number of small towns.  Although not apparent, Springfield, my titular town, is by far the largest, with a population of nearly 1,500:

 landing 2

I landed a mere 10 miles north of “Three Corners,” a little-known geographical point way overshadowed by the famous Four Corners.  But think about it – it’s overshadowed with good reason.  There is one Four Corners, and dozens of Three Corners, although this one might be the only one with a monument – more about that later.

Here’s my Google Earth trip in from outer space:

 

My watershed analysis:

 landing 3

I landed in the East Carrizo Creek watershed; on to the North Carrizo; on to the Cimarron River (16th hit); on to the Arkansas R (115th hit); on to the MM (840th hit).  FYI, the Arkansas (with 115 hits) is in a solid 6th place on my river hits list, well behind the Ohio (132 hits) yet well ahead of the St. Lawrence (95 hits).

Here’s a lovely GE Panoramio shot of the East Carrizo (by Plainstipi), just two miles west of my landing:

 pano plainstipi corrizo 1

Anyway, I Googled all of the little towns, but could really find no hooks. But it turns out that I featured Springfield Colorado in an April 2009 ALAD post (landing 1716).  Back then, all 1716 of my landing locations were saved on my Street Atlas map.   Check out this map from that post:

old post 4

The N37 W102 is landing 1716.  Continuing from that post:

Springfield is yet another one of those late-19th century towns that sprang up all over the Great Plains, tied to the expansion of railroads.  But, they’ve got a good local website, where I got the following back-in-the-day pictures. Here are a couple of really-old Main St. shots:

old post 1

 

old post 2

And here’s a dustbowl shot of Sringfield from the 1930s:

dust-storm

Anyway, this time around, I couldn’t find any good Springfield hooks, although Wiki noted that the town was named for Springfield MO, the place of origin of a number of the early settlers.  OK, so I Googled Springfield MO, and found this, from Wiki:

The origin of the name Springfield remains unclear; however, the most common view is that the city was named for Springfield, Massachusetts. One account holds that a James Wilson, who lived in the then-unnamed city, offered free whiskey to everyone who would vote for naming it after his home town of Springfield, Massachusetts.

So, moving right along to Springfield, Mass.  Many references tell us that Springfield Massachusetts was found by one William Pynchon (in 1636), and that Mr. Pynchon named it after his home town in Essex, England. 

A little research shows that Springfield, Essex ain’t much these days.  More or less, it’s a suburb of Chelmsford, about 40 miles east of London.  Springfield (of course) has been around for ever, but it’s historical structures are pretty much gone, replaced by modern, typicallly-suburban architecture.  What seems to remain is the All Saints Anglican church.  Here’s a Panoramio picture of the church by Peter Meadows:

 pano Peter Meadows all saints church

From the church’s website (AllSaintsSpringfield.org.uk), here’s some of the church’s history:

The nave of All Saints’ was built in the late 11th century by Ralph de Peverell, reputedly a natural son of William the Conqueror. During the 14th century the nave was extended to its present length, the chancel was rebuilt, and the tower was added, though the tower had to be rebuilt in 1586 following a partial collapse.

The original church has been altered and expanded over the centuries:  Roman bricks, tiles and flint can still be seen in the fabric of the walls which are over three feet thick at the base.

The website also had a historical brochure.  Note in particular the Piscina (#4), dating from 1307; the Font, dating from 1220; and the “very ancient” priest’s door with sundials:

 church guide

If you (like me) have no clue what a piscina is, here’s what Wiki has to say:

A piscina is a shallow basin placed near the altar of a church, or else in the vestry or sacristy, used for washing the communion vessels.

Very cool old church.  And just imagine; William Pynchon, who started this whole Springfield craze, sat in the pews here.  I won’t go overboard, but here’s a little about Mr. Pynchon.

He was born in 1590 and came over to America in search of religious freedom.  He settled in Roxbury MA, but wasn’t happy with the rocky soil.  He went on a search, and found fertile soils along the Connecticut River, and decided to start a town there.  He named it Springfield.  He was quite the businessman (including trading with the Indians), and was very successful.

He took time out of his busy life to write a book – about religion.  It went against the Puritan orthodoxy – something about atonement, where he claimed (according to Wiki) that obedience, rather than punishment and suffering, was the price of atonement (whatever that means).  Here’s the book:

 William Pynchon's book cover

The powers-that-be of the Puritan church evidently didn’t have to go past the cover to decide to ban (and burn) the book.  Only a handful of originals survived the book burning (one of which is pictured above).   How dare he have a different opinion about atonement!  Ironically, Pynchon headed back to England in search of religious freedom.

I was generally aware that Springfield is one of the most common of all U.S. place names.  This, from Wiki:

Springfield is a famously common place-name in the English-speaking world, especially in the United States. According to the U.S. Geological Survey there are:

  • 34 cities / towns in 25 states named Springfield throughout the United States; and
  • At least 36 Springfield Townships, including 11 in Ohio

All this, because William Pynchon was from Springfield.  And, of course, the Simpsons live in Springfield:

2012-04-10-the_simpsons_springfield

Getting back to my landing location, here are several Panoramio shots from near my landing.  I’ll start with this shot of the Three Corners Monument located 10 miles south of my landing:

 pano Vagabond_Chimp 3 corners missing NM

Here’s a classic dirt road shot, from a few miles north of my landing (by Mr. Goose Skin):

 pano mr goose skin a few miles north

From six miles south of my landing (photo by RobAWalker), here’s some ancient Indian rock art:

 pano RobAWalker 6 miles south

Heading five miles north of my landing, you can find this barn (photo by RRGaines):

 pano RRGaines 5 mi N

Offering up another East Carrito Creek by Plainstipi, here’s a shot of the East Carrizo Creek Valley, just two miles west of my landing:

pano plainstipi carrizo 2 

I’m going back to my 2009 landing to finish this post.  Here’s what I had to say as I closed that post:

But here’s the ultimate: an amazing photo taken outside of Springfield.  This is the best weather shot that I’ve come across here on ALAD (notice the shadow of the photographer). 

I wasn’t very good at referencing photos back then.  This absolutely outstanding shot was the November 6, 2006 “Earth Science Picture of the Day” from the United Space Research Association website.  Anyway, it’s one of my all-time favorites:

6a0105371bb32c970b0115719a163e970b-700wi

 

That’ll do it.

KS

Greg

 

© 2014 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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One Response to “Springfield, Colorado”

  1. I may have passed this town at some point on my way into Colorado, but haven’t been back down since. That area’s known for pretty serious tornadoes during the spring time and some awful snowstorms (blizzard-like) during the winter.

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