“Ely’s Ferry Boathouse” an oil painting and Emily Dickinson’s Poem “My River”

Ely's Ferry Boathouse

Ely's Ferry Boathouse

A Fine Art Oil Painting by Daniel S. Dahlstrom–a Connecticut Artist

Inspiration? What was the inspiration? We headed out for a Sunday drive and before we knew it, we were enroute to the Connecticut River and the Old Lyme/Lyme, Connecticut area. Our destination became Ely’s Ferry landing, on the Connecticut River, and greeting us was the most beautiful color display in the sky. And we knew that this vision was going to make it’s way onto a canvas. Dan grabbed his camera and proceeded to photograph this vista, and hurried because the timeline was fleeting and he wanted to capture every tiny fragment of the light. This area is steeped in wonderful historic meaning, and beauty. The Connecticut River is a magical place to be, and it was on this late afternoon. When we got home his new masterpiece “Ely’s Ferry Boathouse” was started, in his studio, from the wonderful photographs that he produced.

“Ely’s Ferry Boathouse” has a very interesting background-well the area does anyways, and who was the first Ely? In the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C., it is documented that Nicholas De Ely was the first Ely in history. He was the Bishop of Worcester in 1268 in England, and died in 1280. The De was removed from the name during the reign of Charles L, in 1638.

Richard Ely came to Boston in 1655 from Plymouth, England. He made his way to Lyme, Connecticut around 1660 and settled there. Lyme is one of the towns on the Connecticut River. He acquired Six Mile Island Farm and established Ely Landing and Ferry. The name of Ely’s Ferry and Ely’s Ferry Landing, has been preserved, and sections of the original farm are still owned by Richard Ely’s descendents. Richard Ely died in 1660.

Ely’s Ferry was a crossing for the horse drawn carriages, which connected Lyme to Essex, Connecticut and the Lower Post Road, via the Connecticut River. The Boston Post Road was  a mail delivery route between New York City, Boston and Massachusetts, and this route eventually became one of the first major highways in the United States.

The mail route was divided into three sections involving the Boston Post Road:

Lower Post Road (this is now Route 1)-this ran along the shoreline of Long Island Sound connecting to Rhode Island and north through Providence, Rhode Island to Boston, Massachusetts. This route basically follows the current US Route 1 in Eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Upper Post Road-this is now US 5 and 20, and it ran from New Haven, Connecticut to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Middle Post Road-this connected from the Upper Road in Hartford, Connecticut and split northward to Boston, Massachusetts by Pomfret, Connecticut.

There are many historic spots along this route-and Dan just might paint a few. Something to keep in mind for the future.

Currently, at Ely’s Ferry Road Landing is one of Connecticut’s boat launches-not a very fancy one but it works for a car top boat. You have access to the lower Connecticut River from this spot, and tidal wetlands. And of course, a great spot to paint and photograph. Dan has been photographing and painting this spot for years-he loves the Connecticut River and the historic significance of Ely’s Ferry Road, the farmland, and the town of Lyme.

After your history lesson, thought you might enjoy a poem by Emily Dickinson–“My River”.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, MA and died on May 15, 1886. She is considered to be on of Amercia’s finest 19th century poet, and wrote poetry most of her life. She coined this phrase: “It is better to be the hammer than the anvil.” I do wonder how people come up with their quotes.

The poem “My River” by Emily Dickinson

My river runs to thee.
Blue sea, wilt thou welcome me?
My river awaits reply.
Oh! sea, look graciously.

I’ll fetch thee brooks
from spotted nooks.
Say, sea, Take me!

Today’s quote is from Thomas Aquinas:

And who is Thomas Aquinas?

Comments are always welcome…

Wishing you a good one…has been a beautiful summer’s day here in Connecticut!

Nancy (the blogger) and Dan (the artist)

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