I can’t quite imagine anyone sending this card – it seems too stark and intimate – but that could just be my modern sensibilities at work. I have seen plenty of cards sent from hospitals with messages that say “this is where I’m going to be for the next few days”. In this case, though, it would be more like “this is where I’m going to be for the remainder of my life”.
Buck Hill Falls is the anchoring feature of what began as a private Quaker retreat in 1901 but now is a sprawling community of over 300 homes. They frequently host the national lawn bowling championship and several club members have been elected to the Bowls USA Hall of Fame.
A bit more detail on why I gave up on Instagram: the tallest aspect ratio it allows is 1.24, while a postcard is 1.57 (5.5 inches by 3.5 inches). It means you have to crop 7/8 of an inch from every one. You would think that given that 5.5 by 3.5 has been a standard dimension for cards and photographs for at least 150 years and that phone screens are typically even more extreme (mine has aspect ratio of 1.75), that I would be able to post my postcard of Leavitts Falls in its original dimensions.
Opened in 1904 by Charles E. Peters, Bushkill Falls remains in the same family. The current weekday ticket price is $14.50 for adults, $8.50 for kids, and there are plenty of coupons out there. In other words, about the cost of a movie. As a kid I would have chosen this over the latest Don Knotts comedy.
On family excursions to the Poconos in the 1970s I saw many billboards for Bushkill Falls, “the Niagara of Pennsylvania”, but we never stopped, my parents calling it a tourist trap. I didn’t see the harm in that, but even as a child I knew the Niagara comparison was strained – aside from being waterfalls, they have little in common.
This location has followed a typical progression: clear-cut in the late 1800s, then a private tourist attraction in the early 1900s owned by said Leonard Harrison, donated to the state upon his death, reforested by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and gradually developed into a modern state park.
I never knew there was a waterfall of this size in Philadelphia, but that’s because it was buried under the Schuylkill Expressway long before I was born.
The message on the other site reads, “My indignation against one person in this house is very great. You will understand when I explain in a letter to follow. Your affectionate pal, Rufus”