The new hospital was going to be the best thing that had happened to the Cayuga Lake region in decades. Stuck in a hospital-dry zone, the state-of-the-art set of buildings would bring more jobs to the area, open up treatment options without having to drive two hours to the nearest bigger city, and, hopefuly, put the old I-wouldn’t-send-my-dog-there hospital on the other side of the lake out of business. Georgie and Gene VanStatler were very proud of themselves for bringing it all together.
When they got the call, barely two days after the ground had first been broke, they didn’t know what to expect. They had surveyed and studied all of the normal hazards of the region – there wasn’t natural gas close to the surface. There were no records of Indian habitation right in this area, although the records were spotty. The bedrock had, in nearby constructions, proven to be far enough down. And it was not, unlike much in the area, a flood-prone zone.
“You’ve got to come down here,” was all that Marty Townsend, the construction boss, would say. So down there they came, in the cold of early April, bundled up and muttering to each other the whole time about how it really couldn’t be THAT bad.
THAT bad depended on your viewpoint. The ground, it seemed, was going to be useless for a hospital. There was no way that anyone would ever let them put new construction, however nice, on top of this.
On the other hand, the VanStatlers owned the land, and if this was genuine, they could make a fortune off of people wanting to see and study this… and put the money into another plot of land and a better hospital somewhere else.
Sticking up in the half-dug hold, you see, like candles in a cake, were the tops of what looked like Roman buildings, buried beneath a thousand years of dirt.
Author’s note: Cayuga Lake is one of the Finger Lakes, in central New York State.
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