History through Photos


{Photos made with Fujifilm x_T100 with 35mm f2 lens}

The combination of U.S. interstate highways and growth of air travel mostly eliminated passenger train travel, and significantly reduced the amount of freight hauled by rail. However, that mode of transportation is still functioning reasonably well. Historical evidence of those flourishing days of rail are also around, such as this abandoned freight depot in Eden, NC.





Dan River “Bateau” History


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.

American Textile Industry

I read today that only two percent of the clothing we wear in the United States today is made here. China, Vietnam and Bangladesh largely provide the rest. It’s not always been that way, and in fact as recently as the 1990s the American textile industry was vibrant and productive. Much of that industry was centered in North Carolina and Southern Virginia. For example, Dan River Mills in Danville, Virginia had the largest cotton mill in the world at one time. Today, these famous icons of American industry have been shuttered, and most of their plants either sit vacant or have been demolished. Below are two photos of Spray Cotton Mills in North Carolina which was closed in 2001 after 105 years of steady operation. What remains today may not be an asset to the community in which it is located, but to us photographers it’s a treasure just waiting for our inspection…and resultant images. As an aside, I think the vegetation growing on top of the tower in the first photo tells a story of “life after death.”