RSS

Category Archives: America’s Past

Down South

There are some photos which (for those having lived in the southern regions of the United States) might be recognized as being taken “down south.” My first photo involves a question. Why do old bank buildings look basically the same down south? Sadly, they no longer have the purpose they once did.

DSCF4070

If you’re familiar with the Piedmont Regions of Virginia and North Carolina, you will recognize tobacco plants growing, soon to take over fields like this one. This crop is far less prevalent than it once was. That’s a good thing for many, not so much for others who make their living on the farm. Some of you may have labored picking tobacco leafs, which I understand was very hot and dirty work.

DSCF4078

And then there are the numerous ponds and small marshy areas in the south. In their own way they are very beautiful with their vibrant colors at this time of year.

DSCF4076

DSCF4074

And lastly, it’s not hard to find old log-crib type farm structures down south, if you look for them. When I make photos of them, I like to look for a different view. Like this one.

DSCF4083

 

Tags: , ,

Crossing the Dan

Danville, Virginia has a vibrant railroad past, and it still has a passenger Amtrak line and busy Norfolk Southern freight line which pass through; Amtrak being a nice way to travel to New York City to the north, or New Orleans to the south. The first image below is the concrete arch railroad bridge crossing the Dan River. There are several auto and truck traffic bridges across the river at Danville as well.

DSCF3979

DSCF3981

The bridge which has always attracted my attention, however, is the original, steel-truss, Civil War era railroad bridge, that has been converted into a walking, biking and jogging path, for thousands of people annually. The details of the old bridge have always been of interest to this (not so old really) Army Engineer, and I suspect there are many just like me with the same opinion. Enjoy seeing what I saw.

DSCF3984

DSCF3985

DSCF3983

DSCF3987

 

Tags: , ,

In Between

One of my favorite locations to visit nearby with my camera is the old tobacco warehouse district in Danville, Virginia. There is a large project underway to renovate many of the old warehouses and administrative brick buildings into residential property, which is a good thing, but from a historical standpoint, I prefer to capture how it “once was” rather than how it “might be.” I am always on the lookout for interesting views there, and found some nice compositions recently “in between” two structures. I wonder what sort of vehicle, truck or train, once passed over the old timber roadway.

DSCF3964

DSCF3967

Here are two wider angle images that show the sort of buildings involved. This area was once a thriving business center that served the tobacco industry in the Virginia, North Carolina region.

DSCF3957

DSCF3961

 
 

Tags: ,

Folk History of the Blue Ridge

DSCF3886

Ferrum College created the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum in the early 1970s to document, interpret, and present the folk heritage of the Blue Ridge region. Since that time, the Institute has grown steadily, expanding its work throughout Virginia and Appalachia while maintaining an emphasis upon the western portion of the state. The Institute is located near Rocky Mount, Virginia. Not only are the exhibits educational, but they provide a great place for photographers. Buildings on the grounds have all been brought to the location and assembled or renovated using vintage techniques and materials. On certain weekends during the year, volunteers wearing hand made clothing of the style once worn in the region, engage in farming, cooking and other activcities all the while making themselves available to relate to visitors about their experiences.

DSCF3891

Below are several examples of what’s available there. Truly, this is one of my favorite locations to visit with my camera. I seem to always find some new composition I’d not seen before. That’s what makes this so much fun. For those interested from a photographic standpoint, it’s a good idea to include some nice close-up views during a photo shoot such as this. It adds to the story you’re telling visually.

DSCF3906

DSCF3905

DSCF3899

DSCF3895

DSCF3892

DSCF3907

DSCF3903

DSCF3902

DSCF3890

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in America's Past, Landscape

 

Tags:

A Train in Henry, Virginia

Henry, Virginia is really just a name and Zip Code, more than it is a small settlement, town or city. In fact, one of its few main remaining buildings is not much more than a great photo opportunity. The main draw for me are the train tracks that pass close by to that building, and the manner in which the vacant tracks pass into the distance, giving some nice perspective views. That was my mission the day I visited recently, to photograph the tracks with some interesting perspective views. As I was standing in the middle of the tracks with my camera in hand, I heard in the distance the soulful sound of an oncoming train, as it passed by distant road crossings I could not see. I was excited because this meant I’d be able to get a close up photo of the Norfolk Southern train engines as they passed by me, standing a safe distance of course. It was a very long coal train and since I was headed in the direction of the side of the tracks I was on, I decided to drive on with some nice photos. Before I left, however, I snapped an image of the town’s historic building. I have a lot of photos of that building which I’ve taken over the years. Henry, though very small, is one of my favorite locations in the Blue Ridge region.

DSCF3875

DSCF3877

DSCF3874

 

Tags: ,

Around an Old Factory

Urban decay is present in most cities and towns across America. Old factories often have some interesting photo opportunities. Here are several examples.

DSCF3827

DSCF3820

DSCF3821

DSCF3822

DSCF3824

DSCF3825

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 22, 2015 in America's Past, Architecture

 

Overgrown

Living in the Southeastern reaches of the United States, we are home to what was once expected to be a solution to severe erosion in the early 20th Century, brought on by farming and other man-made activities. A variety of plant, Kudzu, was imported into the US from Eastern Asia to perform that role. What happened eventually is not what was intended. The pervasive plant spreads so fast one can almost see it growing, sometimes a foot a day from “shoots” that spread and capture whatever is around. Below are photo examples of what it has done to some old farm buildings in SW Virginia. Were it summertime, the scenes would look more like a large green blogs. Our grandkids used to refer to the plant as creating “Monster Trees.”

DSCF3725

DSCF3722

DSCF3721

DSCF3724

DSCF3726

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 12, 2015 in America's Past, Landscape

 

Small Town Banks

DSCF3679

Once, many years ago, most towns and cities in America had at least one usually small bank that served the people living nearby. The Great Depression of the 1930s mostly spelled an end to many of these banks, but some carried on. Today, what’s left are the shells of those banks, still standing strong with their Greek architectural style, reminding many of what once was. This bank I thought was unusual mainly due to its rather narrow but tall stature. The addition to the right side was an afterthought to the main building … I suspect. The next image provides a bit more detail. Nice subjects to find, and then to photograph.

DSCF3682

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 26, 2015 in America's Past, Architecture

 

Tags:

History in Virginia

In my opinion, the best places in the Commonwealth of Virginia to look for “history” are located in small towns and cities in relatively less traveled places compared to, for example, Virginia locals near the nation’s capital in the District of Columbia. Not that the latter is not full of great history, it’s just too “busy” for my tastes.

DSCF3673

Chatham, Virginia south of Lynchburg is one small town that I love to visit. The old courthouse for Pittsylvania County is located in Chatham and its tall columns and unique clock tower make for some nice photography. The county was formed in 1767 and was named for William Pitt, the First Earl of Chatham. The Greek Revival building was originally built in 1853. Like I said, lots of history down here.

DSCF3677

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 21, 2015 in America's Past, Architecture

 

Tags:

On the farm, old and new

I think that a nice time to make photos is when leaves are off the trees. We can see so much more, plus “colors” as they exist stand out better. I love findong nice photo opportunities in farming settings here in SW Virginia. Below are two examples … old and new.

DSCF3666

DSCF3670

 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 100 other followers