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    The real Yellow Brick Road – in small town Peekskill, NY?

    It is always interesting to trace the roots of famous literary icons, looking at where the author got the inspiration for some of their greatest masterpieces. Take the Yellow Brick Road, from US author L. Frank Baum’s seminal children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Historian John Curren recently did extensive studies into the life and times of Baum, and traced some of his formative years to a period where he attended Military Academy in Peekskill.

    This doesn’t sound like anything remarkable until you couple it with another piece of information Curren unearthed – maps from around the same time show that there was an actual yellow brick road in the area, which made its way from the river, up the hill, to the Military Academy. Mr Baum would have walked this yellow brick road many, many times during his time in Peekskill, so no doubt it would have earned a place in his soul!

    These days, most of the yellow brick road is gone, but a recognisable section still exists as a car park in the centre of the town. Whether it will be properly honoured is yet to be seen, as neither the owner or the local have the funds or enthusiasm to restore it.

    So there you have it – the alleged origins of the Yellow Brick Road. I wonder what town J.R.R. Tolkien got the inspiration for Mordor from? We’d love to hear your suggestions!

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