One day last fall, I hiked into Pitney Farm, leaving the concrete sidewalk with its stream of cars whizzing past. A step beyond the white gates at One Cold Hill Road — and I was in a different space, a different world — of vine-decked trellises and formal flower beds still bright with autumn’s last blossoms. A quick hike up the driveway, a few steps past the sparkling white clapboard front of the old homestead, and there it was: the Allée.
That day the yellow leaves, turned golden as the sun shone through them, dropped and drifted this way and that, through the clean, crisp air. A shower of bright sunshine falling past my head and carpeting the lawn. Planted in 1760, before there even was a United States of America, who had passed under these boughs? Gentlemen in frock coats and breeches, riding off to meet with Washington’s officers at the Ford Mansion in Morristown? Ladies in their petticoats and gowns, wearing caps trimmed in gay ribbons and carrying a parasol as they strolled leisurely down the corridor of new sapling maple trees?