Explosion Rocks Downtown Osprey

The warehouse district was a scene of absolute chaos yesterday, as the headquarters of Granger Transport erupted into a fireball. At least thirty individuals were injured, and another ten killed in the building’s collapse. Multiple fire stations and police precincts reported to the site, followed shortly by representatives of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. Details of the explosion, including the cause, have yet to be released, but witnesses near the explosion mentioned a strong odor “like sulfur, or a fireworks show.”

Among those killed was Heather Granger, president of Granger Transport and mother of two. Mrs. Granger was well known in the philanthropic circles of Osprey City and devoted much of her free time to the fine arts and music education. Granger Transport is a subsidiary of Wood Industries, and Wood Industries board member Samuel Wood was reported injured in the explosion. Wood is resting comfortably at Darius Medical, but neither he nor any representative of Wood Industries could be reached for comment.

Osprey City Police turned the investigation of the explosion over to the ATF, Agent Jim Korski leading. Speaking to reporters on scene, Korski commented that “any explosion, especially of this magnitude, warrants our presence,” and that his team has the full cooperation of OCPD in the matter. Korski warned the general population “to stay away from the area for their own safety and to facilitate investigation. Trespassers will be immediately detained and charged with interfering with an active crime scene.”

The Courier-Gazette will report as more information becomes available.

Prominent City Leader Found Dead

Osprey City is in shock as word spreads of the death of one of its most influential and favorite sons, Harold Wood. Wood, 68, was CEO of Wood Industries, one of the region’s largest employers and one of the few remaining shipyards in New England. The industrialist was found in his penthouse apartment early this morning.

Police arriving on the scene closed the area off and investigated the apartment extensively. “Given the circumstances in which we found Mr. Wood, we are currently treating the death as suspicious,” commented Lt. Phil Harding of the Osprey City Police Department. “We have one of our best men tasked to the investigation. As soon as we have something we can share, we will release it in the appropriate manner, after due consultation with the deceased’s next of kin.” The apartment remains closed to the public while the investigation is ongoing.

Shortly after Mr. Wood’s death was announced, his son, Adam Wood, spoke to the press. “We are deeply saddened by my father’s death. He was a true son of Osprey, and loved this city with all his heart,” remarked Adam Wood. “More importantly, he was a loving father and doting grandfather, which is how I think he would prefer to be remembered. We ask for privacy in this time of mourning.” Details regarding Harold Wood’s burial have yet to be made public, and his body is still in the custody of the county medical examiner.

Harold Wood took over Wood Industries from his father, Conrad, who saw the company through the Second World War until his death in 1978. Stockholders were unsure of Harold’s ability to take leadership seriously, citing his past as an anti-Vietnam War protester and arrest at the Columbia University protests in 1968. At 32, Harold was one of the youngest CEOs in America, but his acumen far surpassed his experience, and he was able to navigate the family company through the turbulent 1980s by embracing the nascent high-tech sector and incorporating it into Wood Industries shipbuilding practices. He also built a reputation for philanthropy, often donating large portions of his salary to schools, museums, and multiple charitable foundations, including his own Harold Wood Foundation for Veterans of the Vietnam War. Upon its founding in 1980, Wood said that “[his] father called in favors to keep me out of the draft – favors I never asked for and regret to this day. I worked to bring our soldiers home, and now this foundation will work to provide the care those soldiers need and deserve.” The foundation, since renamed the Wood Foundation for Veterans, now helps veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Harold Wood leaves behind a son, Adam, three grandchildren, and an enormous legacy.

Further developments in this story can be found here.

City Archive Holds Fundraiser for Museum

The Osprey City Archive held a fundraising gala last week for its museum project. The Archive, a private enterprise, collects documents and artifacts related to the growth and development of Osprey City and is affiliated with the Osprey Museum of the American Revolution (OMAR). “While OMAR is focused on a relatively short, but vital, period in the city’s history,” commented Peter Haversham, director of the Archive, “the Museum of Osprey City will offer a more comprehensive view across centuries, as well as a vision of the future, thanks to generous donations from Wood Industries and LaFrance Robotics.” The Archive hopes to raise $4.6 million by mid-November, and based on the turnout at the gala, it looks on track to reach that goal.

Though the gala attracted some of Osprey City’s most wealthy and powerful, including members of the Wood and Smithson families, the Archive is calling on all residents of the city to donate to the museum fund. Haversham stated, “this is not merely a history of Osprey’s well-off, but a history of all of us; our fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers – stretching back to the very earliest years of European settlement on Cape Cod.” The Archive is also accepting family artifacts and documents for use in the Museum’s exhibits. In return for donations, the Archive offers exclusive prints of some of its most valuable artwork, opportunities to have exhibits named after donors, small gifts from the Archive, and copies of Archive publications.

Planned exhibits include a reproduction 17th-century Separatist (or Pilgrim) home based on archaeological evidence on the proposed site for the Museum, shipbuilding material from a Revolutionary War-era shipyard, and naval arms and uniforms from the Civil War. “Much of Osprey’s legacy is tied to the sea,” explained Haversham. “Fishing, whaling, naval combat, shipping – the growth and prosperity of Osprey City has largely stemmed from our access to the wider world via the ocean.” According to the Archive’s prospectus, the Museum and a few select exhibits will open in mid-March. Those interested in donating can do so via the Archive’s website here.

Local Writer, Artist, Head to Boston

This weekend, local comic book writer Paul Axel and artist Renee Majkut will be traveling north to the Boston Comic Con to advertise their newest work, Rotten Roots, a history of Osprey City, from its colonial beginnings to the present day. The work is the pair’s first collaboration, and is the first comic book ever written about Cape Cod’s largest city.

Rotten Roots is the culmination of nearly a year of intense research and writing, not to mention the effort Renee’s put into the stunning artwork,” commented Axel. “While most might balk at a historical comic book, believe me – we’ve distilled Osprey’s 400-year history into a gripping story that might surprise even lifelong residents.” Axel went on to say that although all of the artwork is far from finished, the creators will distribute a never-before-seen preview of their first issue, and will have exclusive artwork available for purchase.

Axel also lauded Majkut’s work on the project. “Renee is doing everything by hand; the pencils, the inks, and the colors. In an age when most sequential art is done on computers, that makes her work unique. The results are indescribably amazing.” Majkut, a watercolor artist by practice, took on the Rotten Roots project after reading the script. They connected through The Four-Color Realm, a local comic book shop. “More than my poor attempt at writing, I think most people will be drawn to Renee’s artwork – that’s going to be the real selling point,” explained Axel.

The Boston Comic Con is the largest comic book and popular culture convention in New England, and will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts, from August 8 through 10. Tickets are available at www.bostoncomicon.com.

Skeleton Uncovered at Construction Site

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Progress on a new apartment complex on the west side has come to a halt as construction workers uncovered human remains while digging for a foundation. Police were immediately called to the scene, but a cursory examination led investigators to conclude that the skeleton was extremely old, and not the result of recent crime.

By police request, an anthropological team from the university arrived to determine, as best as they could, what the construction workers found. The answer was a surprise to everyone: the skeleton is male, nearly 400 years old, and dates to the earliest days of Osprey City. Osprey City was originally founded as the village of Osprey, so named for the sea birds found in the area, in 1623, by Separatists from the Plymouth Colony.

“We were able to estimate the age of the remains based on the layer of earth,” reported Dr. Nils Hansson. “We’ve found other remains and artifacts from the mid-1600s in the layer around the city.” Further examination of the skeleton revealed that the neck was broken and the hands were once bound. Hansson continued, “based on the damage done to the neck and the position of the hands, it seems that this man was hanged in a public execution.”

If true, the body represents the earliest such execution in the history of Osprey City. It would also explain why the body was not buried in the Old Cemetary, the primary burial ground for Osprey’s original colonists. “Generally, criminals were buried with their family, like any other person,” commented Professor of History Richard Keeler. “But if the criminal didn’t have any family, or his crime was extremely heinous, it’s entirely possible that a ditch would be buried somewhere and his or her body simply dumped in.”

Local historians are now combing records dating from the early colonial period in Osprey for any mention of a hanging, and samples of the remains have been sent to Harvard University for radiocarbon dating.

New Revolutionary War Exhibit Opens

Local dignitaries, historians, and Revolutionary War enthusiasts gathered last night at the Osprey Museum of the American Revolution to celebrate the opening of a new exhibit focusing on one of Osprey City’s leading patriots, Roger Wood.  The exhibit was made possible through the generous donation of funds and artifacts by Adam Wood, CFO of Wood Industries and heir to the Wood family fortune.

Speaking before the assembled guests, Mr. Wood explored the purpose of the exhibit. “Beyond the obvious importance of understanding and remembering our national history,” explained Wood, “this exhibit stands as a testament to our forefathers’ dedication to democracy and liberty.  This is not just a story of my ancestor, but one of all of our ancestors.”

Mayor Kelly also addressed the attendees and spoke to the educational value of the exhibit and the museum. “In this day and age, so few are aware of or even appreciate the history of their own home. Mayor Kelly was “grateful to both Mr. Wood and the museum for their efforts in educating the citizens of Osprey about their heritage.” The mayor then awarded a certificate of appreciation from the city council to Mr. Wood.

Artifacts in the exhibit include a uniform and bayonet belonging to Roger Wood, an authentic battle flag from the Revolution, Wood’s personal copy of the Declaration of Independence, and schematics of a Continental Navy frigate. The centerpiece of the exhibit, however, is a large portrait of Roger Wood, dressed in his uniform. Wood was the local head of the Sons of Liberty, a shipbuilder for the Continental Navy, and an army officer towards the end of the war. After the United States achieved independence, Roger Wood served two terms in the state House of Representatives.

The Osprey Museum of the American Revolution is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. In addition to the newly-opened Roger Wood exhibit, the museum also contains exhibits on colonial life before the Revolution, information on important battles of the war, and a small research and genealogical library.