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gary h

Another WF legacy in the Catskills!

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Just found about this this today! This time it's from the 1904 St Louis expo. It may have been part of the Japan Pavilion or a separate exhibit - I don't know. Anyway..., Sho Fu Den, which was a replica of Japan's imperial palace, was moved to Sullivan County after the fair and became a house and various commercial establishments over the years. Word has it the recession put the stopper on the most recent attempt to develop it, although that project apparently is not completely dead - yet! Here's the local news article about that attempt and the building itself.

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071010/NEWS/710100341

Will have to make sure to stop by next time I'm up by Merriwold.

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Wow. I was only about 5 miles away on Sunday. I wish I had known about it, but now I have a reason to go on a future trip. Great find, Gary - and it was great seeing you on Sunday!

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It is an amazing find. I had no idea. I do, however, recognize the concerns the locals have when faced with a development proposal of this size. NYS has set aside a great deal of land in this area as a preserve to protect bald eagles, timber rattlesnakes, peregrine falcons and many species of birds. It's part of the Neversink River Unique Area and home to a wide variety of endangered species. The Nature Conservancy considers the area one of the "75 Last Great Places" in North America because of its natural beauty animal populations.

I wonder how that table, the one on which the treaty ending the Russo-Japanese war was signed, became a part of this place. The treaty was signed in Portsmouth, NH in 1905 and TR negotiated the settlement (and later won a Nobel Peace prize). Trouble is, Japan really got hammered by that settlement and that was after it had pounded Tsar Nicholas' naval fleet into oblivion and were preparing to invade eastern Russia. Basically, Russia lost the war and jumped at the chance to strike a deal but came out ahead in that treaty. Japan never forgot that and never forgave the US. That table really would not be the sort of artifact the Japanese would cherish.

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Here's more on the history of Sho Fun Den and how it was moved from St. Louis to New York.

http://archive.is/It16

This says the conference room table is now in Japan.

http://www.nhcommentary.com/portsmouthtreaty.html

But that doesn't mean the conference room table was necessarily also the treaty signing table.

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More evidence that there are likely two separate tables.

Negotiations were held at the Portsmouth Navy Shipyard in Maine, across the river from the Hotel Wentworth in New Castle, New Hampshire, where both delegations were housed.

One source says the treaty was signed at the Shipyard, while another source says the treaty was signed at the Hotel Wentworth.

The latter would explain why there are two different tables.

The treaty itself ends with the words Done at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, this fifth day of the ninth month of the thirty-eighth year of the Meijei, corresponding to the twenty-third day of August, one thousand nine hundred and five,

New Hampshire, not Maine, lending credence to the account that it was signed at the hotel.

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