Article I wrote for January, 2015 WCGMC News
The cold has arrived and the snow has covered our favorite collecting sites, but that does not mean that we cannot read about them. There are even novels written about some of the fossil-rich sites in western New York. In this case, a children’s novel, set in the prized fossil location, Kashong Glen.
Cynthia DeFelice, a nationally known writer of children’s books, attended William Smith College in Geneva and never left the area. She was a school librarian in our club’s home town of Newark in the 1980’s and now claims she does most of her writing from a second floor room in her home in Geneva overlooking Seneca Lake. She has authored over 30 children’s books including a series of ghost stories featuring Allie Nichols, who is a 6th grader when she encounters a ghost in Kashong Glen near her home.
About “The Ghost of Fossil Glen”, and from the author’s website: “I loved reading ghost stories when I was a kid – and I still do. So I thought it might be fun to write one. I was inspired by a place right near my house in Upstate New York called Kashong Glen. It is a beautiful and mysterious place, perfect as the setting for a ghost story. It can be dangerous too: a stream runs through the center of it, surrounded by steep, high cliffs that contain fossils of ancient marine creatures.”
In the opening scene, Allie Nichols is exploring Fossil Glen (aka. Kashong Glen) when she discovers a complete trilobite, a beauty, the prize specimen of her collection. Yep, we have all been there, haven’t we? But then she is stuck on a cliff face above the falls and cannot get down. Maybe some of us have been there also? Just when things get scary, she is assisted by a ghost (I guess I have not been there yet), and the theme of the book is born. The story revisits the creek and glen on several occasions and also has a scene in the local cemetery, presumably the small cemetery along Kashong Rd. north of the creek.
For all you aspiring readers, the book seems to be available at most of the area libraries and can also be purchased inexpensively online. You don’t have to be a preteen to enjoy it. Trust me!
Kashong Creek and its waterfalls are on private property, multiple owners in fact, if one is to access the location from either the top of the bottom. Permission to collect on the privately owned drainages into the Finger Lakes is required, and unfortunately, not always obtainable.