Fite Club

Although the main focus of Opus 40 is Harvey Fite's magnificently constructed bluestone environment, there are other curiosities for a visitor to explore.

In the early 70's, after he had retired as a professor at Bard College, Fite took time out from Opus 40 to build a museum to house his collection of quarryman's tools and artifacts.

The museum is a fascinating tour through the history of the area and the skills of its workingmen: quarrying equipment is represented, and so are the tools, most of them hand-forged, that the quarryman used every day for farming, blacksmithing, carpentry and the like.

It's a lot to take in at once!

And no matter where you are, this Hessian guard follows you with his eyes.

The space is filled to the brim - no surface is left bare, including the walls where tools are arrayed in pleasing patterns.

From windowsills...

 rafters - fascinating objects abound.

Apparently Harvey Fite was a man who liked to keep all his ducks in a row.

The pot-bellied stove in the corner looks well-worn and well-loved...

 do the rest of the tools and equipment on display.

Anyone know what this is?

Besides being an extraordinary quarryman, Harvey Fite was also a fine artist, and as such his sculptures have a home in the museum alongside his tools. This combination of the utilitarian with the purely aesthetic is what makes for such a unique space. This hand of Thomas Jefferson was carved from a catalpa tree which bloomed, according to Fite, for the first time on July 4, 1776.

What was once a log has been transformed into this serious fellow.

Be sure to bid David Crosby 49 bye-byes on the way out...

...and shut the door using this fetching handle.

Don't forget to turn off the light.

A visit to Opus 40 and the accompanying Quarryman's Museum make for a perfect outing. What a truly wonderful place to spend the day.


  1. I think that the one you asked "Anyone know what this is?" about is a sorter of some kind. You put gravel/rocks of different sizes in the top, set up the device to sort out pieces of a certain size (bigger or smaller, etc.), crank the device, and it either sorts pieces into different containers, or spits out the specific sized pieces you'd set it to separate out.

  2. Is this where you got poison ivy?
    it is why cool!

  3. If you just ride on a little further, you might find something like this. Or if you read on, you might learn a little something. Your fetching handle reminds me of a ring a have somewhere. An understandable theme. Thanks for the oddity.

  4. Thanks for the info, Jon!
    Nope, Bib - I never encounter poison ivy in the mountains. Got it here in the burbs of Long Island.
    Chris, wha? lol.