OPUS 40

On the summer solstice of 1996, in response to my first few Sacred Landscape web pages going online, sonnet@mhv.net wrote me via e-mail :

Howdy. You might check out Opus 40 if you're ever near Woodstock, NY. Built into a bluestone quarry by master mason Harvey Fite, it's got lots of dry-laid walls, curious little labyrinthine turns and alcoves, a monster central pylon, and excellent vibes. We locals use it as a solstice gathering place (much like the magick meadow up on Mead Mountain); low-key concerts happen there; poetry readings, theater events, etc. One of the local cool places. :)

I took the liberty of forwarding this message to the freemasonry e-mail list and placing it on the web, in hope that some local N.Y. Freemason could identify Harvey Fite for me.

What i wanted to know was --

When was the site built?
By "master mason" did Sonnet mean that Harvey Fite was a good builder or a member of the Freemasons -- or both?
Why is it called "Opus 40"?
Can i get a postcard or photo to scan?
How does one get there? (highway markers, etc.)

Shortly after asking, i received Sonnet's reply:

Hi, Catherine

To get to Opus 40, get off the New York State Thruway at the Saugerties exit, take Route 212 west to Woodstock; about halfway between the two towns hang a left at Shultis Corners onto County Road 32 (also called the Glasco Turnpike), go about two miles and look for the blue Opus 40 marker on your left.

Harvey Fite lived there during the 40s and 50s and spent the waning years of his life transforming the talus debris of a former bluestone quarry into an environmental work of art. Sylvia Day, an elderly lady who knew him well, says he probably wasn't into freemasonry. The opus # has no esoteric significance to my knowledge -- just one of his major works. I don't have enough RAM to support graphics, but Richie Frisbee of Hopefarm Books (hopefarm@mhv.net) says that the Kingston, NY, homepage carries some pictures. You can http to them from Yahoo.

I might also mention the double spiral labyrinth at the Erpf Center up in Arkville; one of Michael Ayrton's and identical with the ones on his tombstone. Neat place to visit if you're ever in the Catskills.

Oh, boy...more research to do. I'll keep y'all posted...

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