There is a small-medium size Baptist Church located near our home, adjacent to a main 4-lane highway, that has a uniqueness to it that really makes it stand out. The members of the congregation decided a few years ago to erect a very large, corrugated metal, approximately 100 foot high white cross, adjacent to the church buildings. You may never see those buildings as you drive by, but you will certainly see the cross, and for many people that can be inspiring. Yesterday on a nice sunny day, with some fall vegetation colors still present, I decided to go visit the church and make some special photos so you all can see what I see all the time.
Category Archives: Architecture
When families operate farms today at elevations above 3000 feet along the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina it’s common that old farming structures such as barns remain in use. I made a photograph of this barn years ago and it was obvious to me then that it had been used for a long time and in fact was still being used. While it’s weathered exterior and faded paint has become much more prominent today, it is still being utilized to store hay for the livestock grazing all around. People living here make the most of what they have.
Before the Second World War, by far the largest percentage of Americans lived either in rural settings or small towns. Large metropolitan developments as we know them today with suburban sprawl and transportation networks extending outward from city centers did not exist back then. I am fortunate to now live in an area where I can experience both the “old” and the “new” … when I want. When I find country markets that are still open for business, I smile and thank those willing to take steps to preserve our small town, rural past.
Here are three close-up compositions of portions of an 1800s era vintage house, now serving as a historical and visitor’s center in Yancyville, North Carolina. In case you wonder what the metal “S-shaped” object is … it serves to hold one side of a wooden shutter against the side of the house. When it was to be closed, one just moved the attachment. And yes, I framed the front screen door to give it a “cross” shape. Nice if it was on a church. The last image caught my eye with the wooden scroll work at the peak of the house. Lots to photograph … if you just look closely.
I enjoy doing photo journalism, which describes a subject primarily through photographs, with limited “words” to go along. In this case, I found the old Caswell County North Carolina Jail House, located in Yancyville. It operated from 1906-1973 and was renovated in 1985. The building itself was not that unusual to me, but I found the main steel door and the bared windows on the brick building to be interesting. To a convicted or suspected criminal being led into the facility, it most likely was an unhappy sight. I wanted to get some closeups of the thick steel door, with its old lock. Looking closely, you can read where the door and lock was made … good old Stewart Jail Works Company. I sometimes wonder of we’d kept more “rough and tough” jails like this operating today, whether the deterrent to crime would be better than it is.
All too often these days we see for ourselves, or else read about in the media, evidence of the decline of cities and towns in American…large and small. But, it’s not always as bleak it may seem. For example, there is Reidsville, NC, located in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina, near Danville, Virginia. This area was once a thriving center for the tobacco and textile industry, but clearly that has all changed in our modern world-based economy. I have traveled extensively throughout Virginia and North Carolina over the last decade and have seen many examples of where elected leaders and citizens refuse to accept the continued decline of their much beloved community, and take steps to upgrade the area. A perfect example is this extensive well maintained and designed courtyard with large hand-painted wall mural placed on adjacent buildings. This sits right at the city center and makes for a wonderful place to view the history of the area, as well as to appreciate what can be done…when cities care.