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Category Archives: America’s Past

Smoky Mountain Train Past

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It’s simple. I love old trains. While we were in the Smoky Mountain region of Western North Carolina recently, we rode the Great Smoky Mountain RR into the Nantahala National Forest. I’ll have a photo story about that later, but after we rode the train I found some old railroad cars from time’s past, and I was very happy to capture with my camera what I saw. The “open” passenger cars shown below carried many thousands of sight-seeing visitors for many years. These old cars are obviously now fully retired, but remain vibrant in color.

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The images below show details of other train cars which, to me, were very interesting. I sought to compose each photo in the most interesting manner possible.

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Danville Train

Danville Virginia has been a main stop on railroad networks since the American Civil War. Over the years, passengers and freight numbers rose and fell, but still the location remained vibrant. Today, trains still pass by (and stop) at the Danville Train Depot several times a day. The depot’s historic architecture calls out for people like me with cameras in hand to come visit. I especially enjoy the main waiting room, with it’s large wooden benches and atmosphere. When I enter I can imagine myself with ticket in hand waiting for a train. I hope you’ll enjoy some of the photos I made there recently. I felt black and white would best convey the feelings I had at the time.

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Take a Pick

I have sort of gotten into the habit of posting (on Fridays) a mix of photos with no common theme, except that I like them. I make many photos during the week mainly because I usually have at least one camera handy (like my iPhone 5S) and I like to keep my eyes moving around for interesting subjects and compositions. So here we go for today.

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Years ago I picked up the term “God Beams” from one of the professional photographers I follow. That’s what I saw on an early morning walk in our neighborhood, with the sun rays poking down from the opening in the clouds. After I got some distance from home I started looking at the sky and regretted I had not carried one of my cameras along. Then I remembered my iPhone 5S, which has an excellent camera. Lots could be written as a caption to this photo.

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This image is of grass and other debris sitting in the middle of a fairly large shallow puddle on the street at the end of a cul-d-sac where I was walking after a rain storm. Normally the grass in the pavement is dry brown and not so nice looking. But the sun beam striking the grass after the rain and the reflections off the water made for a nice image.

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As I was backing out of the driveway in my car recently, I looked to my left by the driveway door and spotted several very nice looking butterflies feeding on these flowers. Having one of my cameras on the seat beside me, it was a simple task to hop out and get close to make these two colorful photos.

So, there you go. Take a pick which one (or more) you like best. Photography is fun, but you need to get outside the house to make it really get interesting. Cheers!

 
 

The Little Post Office

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This is one of my favorite photo locations in Martinsville, Virginia. The “Little Post Office” is on the U.S.Register of Historic Places and is well maintained today. It was built in 1893, and is a small one-story, gable front brick building with a frame rear extension. The exterior and one-room interior of the building are detailed in the Queen Anne style. It was used as a contract post office by star route mail delivery supervisor from 1893 to 1917.

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It’s a very photogenic spot, with many close up photo opportunities as can be seen below.

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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in America's Past, Architecture, Close Up, Landscape

 

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Renovating an Historic Courthouse

The City of Martinsville, Virginia is a part of Henry County. The old county courthouse in the city center was once a hub for activity. Today, it still is but for different reasons. Several years ago the county built a modern administrative complex some distance away, but planners and historians elected not to abandon the historic courthouse and elected to renovate it to serve other purposes to include being home to a popular visitors center. Recently I made some photographs of the newly renovated structure to shown what can be done when people care about their history.

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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in America's Past, Architecture

 

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Around the Mill

There are lots of photo opportunities around Historic Mabry Mill near Meadows of Dan along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Here are some examples I made this summer, while trying to keep clear of all the tourists.

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Historical American Farm Buildings

Living where we do in SW Virginia, we are literally surrounded by old, rustic farm structures like those shown below. That makes for some nice photographs.

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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in America's Past

 

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Detailed Wall Mural Painting

As I was walking a main street recently in Greensboro, NC, I walked by a building that is being renovated. Along both sides of the long entryway to the building an artist had painted several scenes of what the city looked like historically from the 1930s era. I was very impressed by the composition of the painted scenes but more so by the detailed work that had been done to make them look realistic. Thanks to those who bring history back to life.

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Rustic Images from the Past

My objective here, using color photos I made at a historic exhibit I visited in the Blue Ridge Mountains, was to transform some of my compositions to become more rustic, and perhaps more like they were decades ago. This is all part of the fun of photography today.

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Dan River “Bateau” History

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The Dan River is an integral part of history in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina and Southern Virginia. During the 19th century, the Dan was essential in the development of cities and towns as “bateau” crews and small stream launches used it for commercial river transportation. The Dan is the only place left in North Carolina where remnants of the bateau systems can still be seen today. This wall mural located on one side of the Historical Society Building in the “Leaksville” portion of Eden, North Carolina, represents the legacy of those who once traveled up and down the Dan River.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2014 in America's Past

 

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