Rosebriar lies on the eastern edge of the Rustbelt, nestled amid the chiseled hills of upstate New York. A mixture of picturesque and urban decline, this small town very nearly went under early this century with the decline of Pentex and their subsidiary Thornton Industries.
The old rail line roughly defines the northern edge of town, a rusty boundary paralleling the river. The eastern half of the town is dominated by the smoke stacks of the old chemical plant while the poor factory workers dwell in Heywood, a neighborhood just south of the tracks. Just over the river are an ugly conglomeration of box stores, stretching up to the highway that otherwise shoot past the town.
The west end of town once opened up into farms and the small community of Appleton but now hosts rows of identical houses with manicured lawns. To the far west amid the hills that rise above the town, the well-to-do of Persimmon Hill have an awesome if private view of the region.
Moving southwest there is the annexed community of Bishopsgate with its tangled streets and suspicious nature. Nestled between Appleton and Bishopsgate is Appleton Community College. Formerly an agricultural school, classwork now focuses on vocational training. Decades of mismanagement have shrunk the student body and it is a shadow of its former self.
Just outside the community sits Bishopsgate Asylum, recently renamed Edgewood Mental Health. Many horrible rumors are whispered about this place about the people who died there and the horrible experiments conducted. Just three years ago, there was a breakout. Two of the staff went missing as did four patients.
The center of town is comprised of a neglected town park, town hall, and too many empty office buildings from 50 years past.
Certain places remain untouched by the decline of the town, places touched by Hedge’s rewriting of reality:
- The City Park: this patch of green sports numerous memorials. A statue immortalizing Buck Gold stands pristine at one edge. An early town citizen famed for his fortune made in the gold rushes of the late 19th century, this African-American adventurer funded the creation of the town park. Another statue is under construction for the child Alice.
- Newman Town Center: named for Maxwell Newman, mayor from 1955-1987, this elegant building has resisted the regions decline.
- Bishopgate Lutheran Church: this stately old building remains in pristine condition, its dark spire rising above the maze of buildings around it. The small cemetery contains many notable citizens including former Mayor Maxwell Newman.
- Rose & Willow Flowers: this flower store is one of the few downtown doing well.
- Humanities Department, Appleton Community College: while the rest of the college decays into irrelevance, the Humanities department remains strong. Nestled in a small brick building on the river, it is full of small offices walled with books. One in particular on the second floor is fuller than most: Dr. Petrov’s. Her course on Russian Literature is always well attended.