In search of the farm

Hello all, brand new to the forums here but still a huge NIMH fan. I've been in search for the farm and NIMH facility that inspired the book for quite some time now. I came across an article some years ago that possibly puts the location of our favorite story in Dickerson, and Poolesville, MD. There is a NIMH lab in a rural area in Dickerson where a study has taken place on mice and rats. I'll post the article url below. Why am I posting this? I'll be in poolesville MD tomorrow to look for it. Anyone have any info to help in my search? No doubt this would be huge for us NIMH'ers if I found some correlation. Of course pics will be taken. Here's the article url. Help me out guys this is really big for me at least

http://www.vanden-eykel.com/nimharchive/articles/sn782.htm

Comments

  • I always figured Thorn Valley was somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains and the farm would not be a great deal away. I live very close to the main NIMH building myself. It's basically your average office building located in a city, nothing really to write home about. And TBH, I doubt the lab your referring to is actually owned by NIMH. The NIH/NIMH campus in Bethesda pretty much hosts all the labs. If you want, I could take some pictures, but I'm sure you could find plenty of the actual campus and such online.

  • The NIMH location I'm talking about is actually an animal center but still owned by NIH. I'm familiar with the main campus in Rockwell, but if you read the article it points to this smaller location as being more feasable.

  • Bethesda, correction

  • edited February 2016

    Given some other info I found saying that John B Calhoun, the scientist in charge of this study, actually used a barn in poolesville to conduct some of his experiments. But check out that article I posted. Super cool

  • Looking up John b Calhoun, his experiments with rats and mice in July of 1968 was on a NIMH owned property in poolesville, md. I believe it's worth a visit

  • edited February 2016

    Also, here is a link to the website of the facility which was built in 1965....only 3 years before Calhoun began his experiments in poolesville. Also the address:

    16701 Elmer School Rd, Dickerson, MD 20842

    https://nihrecord.nih.gov/newsletters/2007/02_23_2007/story1.htm

  • edited February 2016

    Well, we didn't find the farm sadly, but we did find the national institutes of health animal center. That place is locked up like a military base. Tall fences, guards, it's own water tower, and even some large building with smoke stacks (?) kinda wierd for an animal center but ok. Wimageimage![](image)" alt="" />e were only able to take three pics of the front sign and one side of the facility before a guard rolled up and told us to leave Lolol imageimage" alt="" />

  • edited February 2016

    @MWGuardian said: Hello all, brand new to the forums here but still a huge NIMH fan. I've been in search for the farm and NIMH facility that inspired the book for quite some time now. I came across an article some years ago that possibly puts the location of our favorite story in Dickerson, and Poolesville, MD. There is a NIMH lab in a rural area in Dickerson where a study has taken place on mice and rats. I'll post the article url below. Why am I posting this? I'll be in poolesville MD tomorrow to look for it. Anyone have any info to help in my search? No doubt this would be huge for us NIMH'ers if I found some correlation. Of course pics will be taken. Here's the article url. Help me out guys this is really big for me at least http://www.vanden-eykel.com/nimharchive/articles/sn782.htm

    The Great Owl here would probably respond to this with the following advice on this endeavor:

    @TheGreatOwl said: Greetings, fan of Jonathan Brisby's widow. If your searching to get help from the Rats of NIMH because your family is at that particular NIMH facility, I will say this. There is almost no hope, creatures taken there never return. The humans will not make the mistake they made with the rats twice.

    I say, almost no hope. The rats you seem to be in search of may have the ability to help you, but they are very secretive and are weary of strangers. If you find the whereabouts in the Appalachian Mountains of their Thorn Valley settlement and you go there, know that they may not help you. They also may not allow you to leave because no one ever leaves Thorn Valley. They want its location to be complete secret.

    Since you seem to be a courageous one to take on such an endeavor, I just hope you are prepared for these consequences should you find the location of the Thorn Valley settlement. However, I will also let you know this. Before you, there was one other who went searching for the whereabouts of the Thorn Valley settlement, a young little wood mouse by the name of Abigail who comes from a forest called Dapplewood.

    I don't know if you had heard of that forest somewhere before or not, but her reasons for needing help from the Rats of NIMH is because her family and friends including her teacher, Cornelius the Badger, were also taken to that particular NIMH facility you speak of and had never returned. It is unknown to me as to where she is now or if she ever found the whereabouts of the Thorn Valley settlement she is searching for.

    When I have seen her, she looked an awful lot like this plush toy I found abandoned in these woods not too long ago.

    image

    From what I can make of it, the plush toy appears to have been made by the humans for a child of theirs. I do not know what the actual purpose behind it is, perhaps Abigail encountered a human's child who loved her enough to get their parents to make a plush toy look alike of her for them to have something to cherish when it was time for her to leave them.

    The only thing I can tell you about Abigail, is she came to visit me along with Jonathan Brisby's widow whom she had first met at the new location of her home at the lee of the stone. I'm certain you already know the story behind that when she needed the help of the Rats of NIMH to move her home, which is Jonathan's home, to the lee of the stone to be safe from the farmer's plow, so I won't elaborate any further on that.

    However, when Abigail first came into my tree den to see me, she appeared to be scared out of her wits due to her having bad experience with owls. I had to explain to her that she had came alone into my den anyway, into the den of something that could eat her in a second if it wanted to. Abigail needed to understand that fearful as she may be, it took courage to do that and I wanted her to come in alone to see if she would really do so.

    From what I can tell of Abigail, she seems to have much courage even though fear is natural. If a mouse walking into the den of an owl was not afraid, it would have to be brainless. Courage is doing what needs to be done, regardless of the fear, but I'm sure you already know that as well.

    I seem to be getting a bit off track here, so back on the topic of you and your endeavor here. It sounds like you are trying to find the whereabouts of the Thorn Valley settlement for reasons of needing the help from the actual Rats of NIMH. I must let you know that your search would require knowing if there had been a group of rats that had gone missing from the NIMH facility you have spoken of before.

    Oh, you say the NIMH facility you spoke up appears to be locked up like a military base complete with tall fences, guards, and it's own water tower? Now you have me curious as to what really goes on inside there that they don't want anyone else to know about. From what I gather, it sounds like you would have to sneak inside that NIMH facility to gain the knowledge of what exactly goes on inside it.

    For you to even attempt that, you will either have to be very courageous or perhaps even brainless, especially if it is just to find out if they have any records of a whole control group of rats that escaped from them. If you are still wanting to search for the whereabouts of the Thorn Valley settlement because you need their help in rescuing your family from a NIMH facility, I must let you know it would be difficult, like searching for tire tread marks that no longer exist due to someone wanting to keep something a complete secret from everyone else. (Insert X-Files Theme Here)

    There is also the possibility you could likely get yourself captured, either by the guards at the NIMH facility you speak up or by the Rats of NIMH by getting too close to the whereabouts of the Thorn Valley settlement. However, if you do come across little Abigail alone somewhere, just know that she is likely sad as she might not have a family anymore to go to. The only one I know of who might be able to help in providing her comfort if you are unable to locate what happened to her family, is Jonathan Brisby's widow even though she already has four children to take care of.

    Anyway, I still wish you the best in your endeavors here if you decide to continue pursuing them. Now, leave me. I must slumber.

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