Shades of Arkham
The City of Arkham
“..the ancient, mouldering, and subtly fearsome town…witch-cursed, legend-haunted Arkham, whose huddled, sagging gambrel roofs and crumbling Georgian balustrades brood out over the centuries beside the darkly muttering Miskatonic..”
Arkham is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, not far from the Atlantic Ocean, athwart the banks of the Miskatonic River, about twenty-two miles NNE of Boston, a little more than twelve miles south of Newburyport.
The economic boom in the 1920s passed by most of New England, whose industrial base was by now in rapid decline, but reached Arkham by way of its university, Miskatonic U. The town and school have become inextricably linked. Many Arkham shops cater greatly or exclusively to the needs of the university community. In 1928, the school is the heart of the town’s economy.
Other notable institutions in Arkham are the Arkham Historical Society and the Arkham Sanitarium.
Arkham’s main newspaper is the Arkham Advertiser, which has a circulation that reaches as far as Dunwich.
The city of Arkham is divided into several distinct neighbourhoods :
- French Hill
- Miskatonic University
- Merchant District
Though New England’s fortunes declined after the Great War, a local survey shows that 83% of Arkham homeowners possess electric irons, 77% have gas or electric washing machines, and 51% have or plan to purchase vacuum cleaners. Nearly 50% of Arkham families own at least one automobile, and merchants complain of those who park their machines in front of shops all day.
The inter-urban trolleys that once linked Arkham, Ipswich, Kingsport, Bolton and Salem have been abandoned with the coming of the automobile. A bus line has recently re-established some of these routes.
Problems persistently arise between town and university. At present, the cost of campus police protection is being debated. The university’s young president, Dr. Wainscott, has dared to enter the controversy by running for mayor. Even if the election in November goes to the university, the perennial struggle for power between town and university will not end.
Though there is no boom, the new construction of apartment buildings, university buildings and filling stations attests to general prosperity.