Dean's Corners (alternate spellings: Dean's Corner)
In the Mythos
"When a traveller in north central Massachusetts takes the wrong fork at the junction of the Aylesbury pike just beyond Dean's Corners he comes upon a lonely and curious country [Dunwich]...."
— H.P. Lovecraft, "The Dunwich Horror (fiction)"
West of Arkham and south of Dunwich, along the Aylesbury Turnpike, lies the tiny, sleepy crossroads hamlet of Dean's Corners, the middle of nowhere where nothing ever happens, both a haven and a prison to its inhabitants.
Points of Interest (Gaslight, Classic, Pulp)
The following are suggested points of interest which do not appear in Lovecraft's stories, but do appear in RPG supplemental materials:
- General Store -
- Service Station -
- Inn/Restaurant/Tavern/Saloon -
- Unitarian Church -
- Post Office -
The following are suggested points of interest which do not appear in Lovecraft's stories, but might exist in a town of this size around the turn of the century up to the 1930s or so:
- Bus, Coach, or Trolley Stop (at the Inn/Restaurant/Saloon, General Store, Post Office, Service Station, etc.?
- Grange (a farmer's association building that might serve as a meeting hall, as well as giving the town a lobbying voice, and organizing charity, etc.)
- Bandstand - (a large gazebo/cupola in a park that serves as a shelter for bands etc. to perform in for town festivities; this might be part of the Grange building)
- Schoolhouse - (one room)
- Drug Store - (perhaps combined with the post office, and later housing a soda fountain or malt shop; might have a "Wooden Indian" sculpture of the sort once used to advertise tobacco and later in the 20th century increasingly considered offensive)
- Barber Shop - (a common social center for a small town; perhaps doubling as a basic dentist's office)
- Blacksmith's or Mechanic's shop
- Roadside attractions - ("tourist traps"; these would have sprung up in the wake of the popularity of automobiles in the 20th Century, especially in the 1940s and beyond; Glass Eye Museum, Dinosaur Skeletons and Indian Artifacts, a famous person slept in the Inn, etc.)
Heresies and Controversies, Keeper Notes
- Dean's Corners is a small hamlet with a population of 83, the first stop on the Aylesbury Pike heading towards Arkham, the settlement survives on passing automobile traffic. Aside from the residents' houses, there is a general store, a petrol station, an inn, a post office and a church. (Watcher in the Valley by Kevin Ross)
- Dean's Corners has a general store, gas station, restaurant/small hotel, Unitarian Church, and a post office (the town's "newest building" in the 1920s) that serves Dean's Corners and "Jennings Township south of Miles Ridge". (Watcher in the Valley)
- Dean's Corners might also serve as a stage coach and later bus stop for the area, probably at the inn/restaurant. Dunwich appears to be within hiking distance, on the fork of the road that in "The Dunwich Horror" crosses the Miskatonic River to the north via a covered bridge; Dean's Corners might serve as the bigger town that Dunwich folk travel when a little civilization is needed, and presumably a doctor here serves Dean's Corners and the surrounding area, and perhaps the Dean's Corners Post Office serves the surrounding area as well; presumably the Unitarian Church attracts the bolder and/or more civilized Dunwich folk. A trolley might connect Dean's Corners to the nearest railroad, providing a more convenient connection to the outside world than coach, bus, horseback, or foot on the turnpike, though it's unclear how long a trolley branch might remain practical, and its possible such a branch, if it exists, might not have survived the Depression and later rise of the automobile. (Y.Whateley)
- 'Corner' in this sense is used where one road branches off the main road (a T intersection), while 'corners' is used for two or more roads branching off at the intersection; whether the name is "Dean's Corner" or "Dean's Corners" would depend on how many roads on the intersection the town's territory covers.
- Dean's Corners might be described as a "hamlet"; hamlets in this sense could be described as the rural or suburban equivalent of a neighborhood in a city or village. Hamlets are usually not legal entities and have no local government or official boundaries. Their approximate locations will, however, often be noted on road signs; the area of a hamlet may not be exactly defined, it may be designated by the Census Bureau, or it may rely on some other informal form of border. A hamlet usually depends upon the town that contains it for municipal services and government; the town can define a "special use district" (a type of local entity designed to provide a specific service, such as water, sewer, or lighting) to provide only that hamlet with services. (Dean's Corners would likely depend on Aylesbury for such services as government, police, fire, electricity/lighting, telephone, running water, etc.)