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The Remains of Cornelius Gallagher's Home

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     There is a private trail, so overgrown it can barely be seen, running through junipers and under stretched steel cables along the edge of the Pheasant Preserve to a mowed field on a slightly convex plateau surrounded by wetlands and Cornelius's Swamp. Towards dusk, deer are always browsing, and the songbirds take their regular, fifteen-minute turn proclaiming their zest, or perhaps telling the night that they are not afraid.
     In the southeast corner stands the remains of an old, two-story log home, where both Salty and Cundy Gallagher spent their youth. The spaces between the logs were filled with thin, flat squares of cedar, arranged like tumbled dominos and then chinked over with a cementitious compound that has weathered well.  The outside was once furred with vertical strips and then sided, but nothing remains of the siding itself; it must have been taken off and removed when the home was abandoned.
     The structure is surrounded with still-bearing apple trees of several varieties. At the other end of the field, a winding dirt road leads through other, hidden fields, eventually bringing a view of Round Lake, a favorite stopping spot for several kinds of duck and geese.
     This is now all private land; permission must be obtained before venturing onto it.

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