Deep in the Heart LbNA # 16376
|Placed Date||Jul 7 2005|
This letterbox is in Mt. Storm Park, which is at 660 Lafayette Ave. in Clifton, just off of Clifton Ave. This is an easy find, essentially a drive-up, in a pretty and historic (but often overlooked) city park. Bring compass, inkpad, and pen.
Mt. Storm is located on the western slope of Clifton's northern heights. Long before the Mill Creek Valley became industrial or before the village of Clifton became an "in town" suburb, the land was the palatial private estate of Robert Bonner Bowler, a dry goods magnate and once Mayor of Clifton. Lafayette Avenue, with its winding road and old gas street lamps, only hints at the grandeur that once was the estate. Here on this high hill once stood one of the finest homes in America, complete with marble floors and fireplaces, wrought iron curving staircases, French cut-glass doors, and hand-carved wood inlaid with gold.
The Temple of Love (designed in 1845 by Mr. Adolph Strauch of Spring Grove Cemetery fame) still stands as an outstanding landmark to Mt. Storm. The white columns of this Corinthian style pergola, which can be seen on the east lawn, was once the cover for a reservoir that supplied water to Mr. Bowler's seventeen greenhouses, gardens, orchards, and a waterfall and swan lake on which seven black swans swam. The only other evidence of the grand life that once was is a small cave-like mound, which was the wine cellar of the estate. During its golden era, Edward, Prince of Wales, later King of England, was a guest in the house, as was Charles Dickens.
In 1917, the old homestead was razed and the site used as a parking lot.
Start at the playground. You will notice an odd pine tree growing parallel to the ground toward the parking lot. From the base of that tree, take a bearing of 225 deg. and walk to the large tree. Now take a bearing of 235 deg. and walk 8 paces to the next large tree (1 pace = 2 steps, or about 5 feet).
Notice the old gravel and blacktop path running beside the tree. Follow the path downhill until you come to a small gate in a split-rail fence ("private"). Turn to 70 deg. and walk 8 paces into the shadows.
Take interest in the large tree to your right. If you walk around behind it, you will find that the tree is not all it seems to be. Reach inside and under a large piece of bark to discover where Fly left her heart.
Email me if you find it.