The Biosphere is a museum about the environment located at Park Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Canada. It is inside a unique spherical structure that originally housed the United States pavilion at the 1967 World’s Fair. The geodesic dome structure made out of steel was designed by the American architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller.
The photographs belong to the author and can only be used with permission.
The ruins of Clopper Mill in Germantown, Maryland, have an interesting history, and you can read the full version by clicking this link. In a nutshell, the original Mill was built and improved in the late 1700s to harness the energy of the waters of nearby Seneca Creek. In the early 1800s the Mill was sold to a successful businessman and local Maryland personality, Francis Cassatt Clopper (hence the name Clopper Mill), who expanded it to a height of 3 stories. The mill remained active until the late 1800s when steam-powered milling made mills like Clopper Mill obsolete. The mill was destroyed by a fire in 1947. The land on which the mill sits was purchased by the State of Maryland in 1955 and is now part of Seneca Creek State Park.
The first interesting thing about Clopper Mill is its role in the story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. In 1865, when John Wilkes Booth killed President Lincoln, a member of Booth’s group, George Atzerodt, who had been tasked with killing the Vice President Andrew Johnson, failed in his deed and fled from Washington. On his way to a property owned by his family in Germantown, Atzerodt, who knew the miller working Clopper Mill, stayed for the night in this building. Atzerodt was later apprehended and hanged.
The second interesting thing about Clopper Mill concerns the road that runs right next to it, Clopper Road. Clopper Road was built roughly along an early Native American trading route, and back in the 1970s it still was a country road. While driving along Clopper Road in 1970, singer-songwriters Billy Danoff and Taffy Nivert had the inspiration to write a song about the countryside and its winding roads. Later on they teamed with country music star John Denver to finish the song. In doing so, they set the song in a different state, West Virginia, and now the song Take Me Home, Country Roads is one of the 4 official songs of West Virginia.
Clopper Mill lies roughly at the intersection of Clopper Road with Waring Station Road in Germantown, Maryland. The ruins of the mill are on the flood plain of Seneca Creek and have not been developed as part of the park. Unless you are willing to wade across Seneca Creek, the only access to the ruins is from Clopper Road, but it’s a bit treacherous because of the traffic and the absence of a sidewalk.
Old photograph of Clopper Mill belongs to the City of Gaithersburg. All other photographs belong to the author and can only be used with permission.
I am a tinker, tailor,
Robert David MacNeil
The Passive Voice
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