The Collinsville Axe Factory straddles the Farmington River in north-western Connecticut. In it's heyday it produced it's own hydro-electric power and the factory made axes and hammers that were shipped all over the world. Today it's empty except for a few struggling artists running small studios in the dark corners of the factory.
The factory supported the small town of Collinsville, built into the hillside above the river. It reminds you of something from a Washington Irving story. Nooks and crannies in the woods beg exploration, the river lulls you as it laps the granite bank and candles illuminate pane windows framed with colonial shutters. Tall hardwoods diffuse the sunlight and render a warm fuzz on everything in sight. The cemetery, complete with crypts, obelisks, massive tombstones and rusting wrought-iron fences looks down from the hilltop. The stone steeple of the church and smokestack from the factory are all that break the treetops in the valley below.
It's one of the most calming and soothing places I've ever been. Everything is familiar: the streets, houses, the riverbank – even the sandwich shop. It all invites you to stop and...tarry. I spent three days shooting rivers, bridges, old buildings, cemeteries, houses and historic districts.
It was one of the best three days. It felt like going home.
The full gallery: www.stevensfoto.com/conn