It’s the time of year here in SW Virginia when mountain area markets display outside all kinds of produce and other items that tempt visitors to grab their wallets and buy. Like the five-foot high, painted metal roosters above. What I’d do with one is a good question, but it’s still interesting. And no, I didn’t buy one. Fresh-picked peaches, apples and other farm produce fill baskets outside the market. It’s one of my favorite places to visit during the spring, summer and fall seasons. The locally-made, hand-sized Fried Apple Pies sold there are a great treat.
I found this really neat log cabin in Danbury, NC recently and it was very nice being able to walk around it, making photos from various angles. Whenever I find such structures, my mind begins to ask questions. Such as: when was the last time anyone lived here, who were they, what did they do to make a living, and is there buried treasure nearby (just kidding). I love American history like this. Enjoy seeing what I saw.
Danbury, NC was not a location of American Civil War battles but it was, toward the end of the conflict, part of Union forces forays through the state, destroying Confederate facilities that had some relation to sustaining the war. The iron works near the town were one such target, as were rail lines. Today, Danbury is home to some historic and beautiful buildings such as the old Stokes County Courthouse (above-below) and the adjacent Moodys Tavern (third image) which was headquarters for Union Army forces in the area. Part of the old building is now home to a few of the approximate 200 residents of the town, and it still has the “look” of what it once was. The next photo I liked very much, because I was not expecting to find such a building there. It’s a nicely designed small building used by the town’s present day government, and it fits in very well with surrounding facilities. Last, is a small church I found a bit of a walk away from the courthouse. I liked the wooden cross at ground level by the freshly painted white picket fence. Danbury isn’t a place most folks would travel “to”, but mostly “trough.” I’m glad I stopped.
Per North Carolina Historical Marker online research: “The Wright Tavern is a landmark in Rockingham County that has successfully been restored to its nineteenth century condition. Construction on the inn commenced around 1810. The building remained in the Wright-Reid family until it was sold to the Rockingham County Historical Society in 1967. “I’ve visited the site several times, and each time I do I see more than I’d seen before.
I like to “get close” after making an overview photo, and by so doing I’ve been transported back in time. I especially liked the open “walk through” area between adjacent living areas, with the old stairway to the second floor..
Details of the historic structure, and out-buildings made me smile. I’m even more pleased when I see the results of volunteers and others renovating rare buildings such as Wright Tavern, and by doing that they bring great credit to the locality involved.
I’m fortunate to live in the foothills of the scenic Appalachian Mountains … Virginia and North Carolina variety. For this photo presentation I took two original color images I made last month and processed each to give them an “antique” look, as if I was looking at an old film photo taken long ago. As I travel about this region I always look for signs from the past. Such as the railroad line above, and even more so the cabin located on a stream bank below. That photo depicts the true character of the mountains I love to experience.
I just returned from a visit to Western North Carolina, visiting family and making photos of various aspects of the scenic Smoky Mountain region. I think it’s important to note that there is lots more to be seen there than just “mountains”, especially when you visit small towns and marvel at the interesting and beautiful architecture therein.
I’m thankful living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where in an hour’s drive I can be standing where I made this photo. If you’re wondering why they are called “Blue Ridge” mountains this image might help. It’s all about the haze on the horizon, some natural some manmade. Today, I’m just a “looker”a short walk away from my car parked off the road, with camera in hand, clicking away. But, there was a time still fresh in my memory when I’d park my car, toss a daypack on and head right down the middle of this location, following marked trails, to experience the joy of discovery. In these high mountains above 3000 feet, hidden in hollows, there is remarkably well preserved evidence left by those hearty folk who once lived in the wilderness.
I’d like to say I hiked to this rustic old cabin on a hillside but I didn’t. I spotted it in the woods as I was driving along a narrow mountain road. But, it fits my story, so bear with me. When I discover places like this, either on foot or via car, I always take a few minutes to wonder who lived there and when. I can easily visualize a hound dog barking at me if I wandered too close. I can see an old woman sitting in the open front door waving at me to come share a cup of coffee, or a biscuit left over from breakfast. It’s easy to get caught up with these type thoughts. In today’s world, many of our poorest city folk live better than did those in remote Blue Ridge Mountain valleys. Every day back then must have been a struggle. Hunting game from sunrise to sunset, miles away from home. Finding and gathering scarce wild edible plants. Carrying water from nearby streams, and chopping seemingly endless amounts of firewood. So, when I find a place like this I’m thankful for the many blessings we have today. Still, it would have been an experience I’d love to have had, living in the wilderness back then. Actually, via books I read every day, and through the lens of my camera, I do live that way … in my mind. That’s pretty special.
I’ve written before and I’ll do it again, living where we do in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in SW Virginia, often provides a look back into time, at how people once lived. I was recently exploring on a road trip near our home and I found for the first time a small, log-crib building. Looking up close I wondered about the ladder on the front. Perhaps it allowed for access at the top of the crib.
As I wandered around some more, I saw a small pond across the nearby winding road, and went to investigate. I’m sure many fish have been caught here, and I could hear in my mind the joyful sounds made by people jumping into and swimming it its cool waters during hot summer months long ago.
My discovery brought me great happiness that day. I hope my photos have the same effect on you.
I made this photo a few days ago, and it represents a specific photo subject I enjoy very much: rustic building windows and doors. It’s the wooden texture, reflections in the old glass, peeling paint, and thoughts about what sort of things lie behind, that get to me … every time. While I was making this photo, an old man came driving onto the property I was on, illegally I might add because there were “No Trespassing” signs in view. However, a metal farm gate was open, and I’d been to this old house several times before. I figured better to ask forgiveness rather than permission. Anyway, the man was a farm hand, carrying items out from behind the house. I explained what I was doing and he welcomed me to stay as long as I liked. Maybe it was my rural SW Virginia accent that did the trick, or the US Coast Guard hat I was wearing. We chatted a bit about the old home, which he said was built in the 1870s, and had been enlarged over the years. He said folks had lived there well into the 20th Century. It was indeed rustic. The foothills of the Blue Ridge where we live sure do have character. Like this rustic old house, and the nice old man I ran into that day.
When I see just about anything associated with “railroads” I get an urge to stop and make photos, usually beginning with one such as that above or the one below.
But once in awhile I’ll spot something different such as this now unused Railroad Fire House Shed.
So, I explored the shed inside and out, and here’s what I saw. Enjoy a look back in time.