I haven’t been able to learn, yet, whether all 14 of the first batch of “Color Sims” came online simultaneously, or not. Assuming that they did, I’ve chosen to read the map from south to north, and from east to west in each row; making Tan the first (and Slate the last, before finishing the series with the noncolor sims of Darkwood and Gibson).
Tan resembles some of its older cousins to the south among the First 16 (such as Varney, Stillman or Minna) in that much of it was quickly settled, those parcels remain held by the original settlers… and that among those are many Charter Members (a.k.a. Lifetime Accounts).
This lovely cottage was built by Ezhar Fairlight in October 2003, and is owned by shelah Sunshine (Charter Member, rezdate 1/39/03), who claimed her land in Tan only a few days after the cottage was built. The lamppost is the oldest object in Tan: September 30, 2002, by Richard Linden (and is soon to be added to the list of the Oldest Objects in SL, which has already been revised three times as my explorations continue).
A Roman bath with roof garden, built by Viola Bach on various dates between August and December 2003, on land she claimed in September 2003. Viola is also a Charter Member (rezday 3/8/03).
This parcel belongs to Pippin Armstrong (rezday 12/17/02); he claimed it two days before Opening Day. Most of what’s there was built in ’06, but not all. The flags are from Dec 2003 (but the gold ball at the top is by Haney Linden, Dec 2002); the arm giving the peace sign was built by Pippin in March, 2003.
The most aesthetically-pleasing build in Tan, by far, is The Watermill. It’s not from the Elder Days, but unlike every other significant site I’ve investigated so far, it includes some of its own history in the About Land information: originally built by its owner, Pontroe Portocarrero, in 2004 in the region called Cayuga and moved to Tan in 2005. In the owner’s Picks, the original Watermill is listed as an “animated art gallery”. In Tan, it’s empty.
The entry for Tan in the SL Wikia includes some notes about “historical landmarks”, none of which still exist. Besides the Gassy Cat Workshop and a clock tower (which I would love to find pictures of), there was:
Tan Tower: The Tan Tower was built by Lordfly Digeridoo right after version 1.2 [December 2003] as an exercise in very large construction projects. It featured 15 floors, each one 20x20x20, and each floor was rented out to tenants. It also had a working elevator. It was a bit of a minor landmark in SL, as at the time Tan was the only place that you could go through to get to the north continent (without teleporting, of course).
|[uploaded anonymously to 2nd Look Image Gallery, 3/20/04]|
Unlike many (most?) of the oldest “oldbies”, Lordfly Digeridoo is still an active Resident, both in-world and in the SLUniverse forum. By contrast, one could say that Tan — and many other regions in addition — suffers from the inactivity or permanent absence of their oldest Residents.
Here’s another overhead view, taken from above Tan’s southern border. All of the elevated land (except the Watermill, of course) is Abandoned, as is a “water parcel” on the eastern edge. Of the remainder, two large parcels are for sale: the one just east of selah’s cottage (which used to be SLU’s clubhouse, and still contains random objects left behind when it was moved to another region), and the parcel in the southeast (lower right) corner… and then there’s this:
The legacy of Lifetime/Charter Membership — land for which no tier must be paid in order to remain “owned” — has two sides. The brighter side preserves historical associations among land, builds, and people against the depredation of time and change. The darker side is illustrated above: something between 1/4 and 1/3 of Tan is unusable, either because it is abandoned without resolution by Linden Lab, or belongs “in perpetuity” to a Charter Member who never needs to log in again, and — by examples I’ve found all over the oldest sims — probably has not logged in for years.
In the photo above, there’s a quasi-spherical object stuck into the side of the cliff bordering the empty parcel where Viola had her store. Because the center of the prim is in Abandoned land, even if Viola logged in she could not return it…. but the situation is worse than that. I tried to Abuse Report it under “Object Littering”, but its creator/owner cannot be found in LL’s database — from which I infer that the account was terminated for one reason or another; therefore, the AR could not be completed, which halted the filing process.
In the Best of All Possible Virtual Worlds, someone like the SL DPW would be looking for things like this… Then again, in the BoAPVWs, abandoned land would not remain abandoned for long; it would either be auctioned, or become Protected and therefore under the purview of the Moles.