Grandfather says there is a natural cave on his property: Argobrite’s Cave, named after an itinerant physician who made calls on horseback to local subsistence farmsteads in the early nineteenth century. Local legend has it that he discovered the cave while seeking a shortcut between some farms.
There is a never-failing stream flowing from its mouth, which cascades down to a valley bottom, six hundred feet or so below.
When he bought the place, Grandfather visualized piping some of the water down the slope to a generator. The flow rate and pressure head could provide 200 amp household electric service, but its safe conversion and transmission to the house a half-mile away made it uneconomic. Solar was also uneconomic, but Grandfather did set his house roof facing south with the pitch equal to the latitude, anticipating solar’s eventual economic viability.
Well, why is this important to him, if he never developed it?
Because ownership of the means to live independently has always mattered most to him, whether or not he took full advantage of it.
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is an octogenarian from West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family