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Category Archives: America’s Past

Small Town Banks

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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.

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A Wonderful Find

One of our family friends was showing me a couple of photos she had taken on her iPhone this winter and when I saw one I asked her where she found that subject, an old General Store. I decided right then that I was going to go visit that place with my camera as soon as the weather warmed and cleared. I’m so glad she put me onto this place because the photo below has become one of my new “favorites” of 2015 so far.

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Getting a bit closer, I focused in on the old gasoline pump.

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Check out the per gallon cost of gas at the time this pump was shut down. 32 cents.

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Outdoor advertising was the main method of getting attention to products. Some signs were hand painted, others printed. All interesting and in the case of those still around, looking good.

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Subjects like this are really great to find and photograph. In this case I had some help in the form of a tip from a friend. I’d love to get a lot more of these kinds of tips. Who knows, maybe I will.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in America's Past, Architecture

 

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Seeking the Old, in Old

Old buildings, used today or not used at all, no matter the purpose or design, are always interesting photo subjects for my eye. These scenes are located in the old Leaksville business section of Eden, NC. I sure would like to go back in time to see how busy the old hotel was, and the sort of visitor staying there. And then, I’d like to see what products Mr. Jones sold years ago in his hardware store. And what about the movies seen at the Eden Drive In? Don’t see these around much any more. Lots of questions, so many possible answers.

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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in America's Past, Architecture

 

An Old Cemetery

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I found this old cemetery ground in a section of Eden, NC. It’s located across the road from a United Methodist Church, but as far as I know the burial ground is not related to the church. The Town now known as Eden was created in 1967 from three separate towns—Leaksville, Spray and Draper. I believe Spray Cemetery relates to the old town of Spray. The sign at the entrance caught my attention as I drove past, so I stopped and walked through the ground. It’s not been maintained, but still has an eternal feeling.

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This grave marker for Victoria Edwards – Born 1848, Died 1900 was interesting to me because of the inscription which reads: “Heaven now retains our treasure, Earth the lonely casket keeps, And the sunbeams long to linger, Where our sainted Mother sleeps.”

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The two names on the marker below are hardly in common use today. I found that interesting.

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History in the form of old grave markers can be interesting, if you’ll look for it there.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in America's Past, Close Up

 

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Small Town Freight Depot

As I’ve written before several times, I love anything associated with trains; especially when in an historical setting. When I found this old freight depot in a part of Eden, North Carolina I had not been to in years, I was excited to make some photos to help tell its story. Camera used was Fujifilm X100T.

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Rustic, with a Capital “R”

No need for many words here. Wanted to get the full picture, plus a couple of close-ups.

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in America's Past, Close Up

 

Finding Different Reflections

Whenever I’m looking for possible photographs while wandering around, I tend to focus on “windows” and other glass surfaces on buildings as I find them, and try to position myself such that I get an interesting reflection. I was especially lucky with the first image below with the old lamp. Again I say, keep your eyes open and moving around, seeking something different. You may be rewarded

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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in America's Past, Architecture, Close Up

 

Discovering History Around Us

There is no doubt that “history” is all around us today; as I’ve written before, if we’ll just look for it. A prime example is what I discovered recently in Wentworth, NC, a small rural town located in the Piedmont region of the state, just across the state line from Virginia. History is even better when you have a camera to record what you see.

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Wright Tavern was built in 1816 and served for decades as a location where people living near gathered for social purposes, and some fine food and drink. It also served as a place where a traveler could stop to rest for the night in relative comfort. Over the years the building fell into disrepair but concerned citizens decided to renovate it to its original look, but transforming it into the local Post Office, a purpose it serves today.

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I liked the old style, “wrinkled glass” in the windows, which make for some interesting patterns when standing outside. The stairway to the upper level, once where bedrooms were located, made me wonder how many feet had trod those worn, wooden steps for so many years. And lastly, I was attracted to the brick chimneys, one for the main building and one for the attached kitchen and cooking area.

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While the building serves a public service today for processing mail, it also serves as a historical attraction, open for visitors on certain days to those portions of the building where it’s history remains in plain view. I applaud those who take the time and effort to bring history alive for those living today. Wright Tavern is just one example.

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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in America's Past, Architecture

 

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