Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tom Fuller - 1925 - 1987 

My father served with the United States Navy in the Pacific during World War II. Like so many of his generation, Dad always knew what was important. I am proud to be his son.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

House and garage - Gordonsville, Virginia

"I'm coming to understand how memories are imposed on the past and also how they get lost. We reach a point where we do not know whether we remember an actual event or an imagined one; we cannot remember whether a significant event actually happened. In studying a photograph, which is documented proof of our presence at an event, we analyze the event as if we had been there, when for the purposes of memory we had not, for it has vanished from the mind."
From Clear Springs: A Family Story by Bobbie Ann Mason, 1999

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

House on the outskirts of Madison, Virginia

This house caught my eye as I was driving through Madison last week. The house is partially boarded up and looks neglected. To my knowledge there is no historic or architectural significance to this modest structure, but it is nevertheless nice to see that it is for sale, and not abandoned.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Old house on Jack's Shop Road - Madison County, Virginia

"Near the garden, the house where I was raised sits forlornly in the woods; weeds and grass and bushes are slowly strangling it. A hole has appeared in the roof, as if a concrete block has been dropped by a passing airplane. . . . I 'm on my way to the creek to pick blackberries, but I can't resist circling around our old house one last time. In my gumshoes, I almost step on a nail sticking up from a shingle that is dissolving in the mud. I have spiked my feet on rusty nails on this farm before. I notice a nearby sinkhole carpeted with leaves--that was the septic tank. If I stepped there, I might disappear." 
From Clear Springs: A Family Story by Bobbie Ann Mason, 1999

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mt Nebo Lutheran Church

A few years before the start of the Civil War, several Lutheran families from the Shenandoah Valley crossed the Blue Ridge mountains and settled in Madison County, near Rochelle. At first, the nearest Lutheran church was over 10 miles away but in 1866, a Lutheran pastor arrived and began holding services in the old Methodist church in the village of Rochelle. In 1875, the congregation began to raise funds to build a church. A one acre lot was donated and the corner stone was laid on July 13, 1879. By the fall of that year, the building was complete and the dedication was held on November 2, 1879.

Click here to see last Sunday's church, which is just across the road.

Undated photograph of Mt Nebo Church taken prior to 1908

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Get in here - Charlottesville, Virginia 

Back in March, I posted a picture of Pit's Top Barbeque taken in the Spring of 2008. A reader--actually it was my sister--asked if I had eaten there. For anyone in my family looking at a picture of an eating place, that question comes naturally.

I haven't eaten there, but I was curious to see if it was still in business so I stopped by a couple of weeks ago. Pit's Top is still there and looks about the same. As I walked up the sidewalk I saw the handwritten sign leaning against a paperbox: "GET IN HERE EAT BAR-BE-Q." It is a compelling sign, but I had already eaten, and besides, I had to get back to work.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Delicious and Refreshing - Charlottesville, Virginia 

Walk down 8th Street and there is a good chance that you may not even notice the remnants of what I take to have been a Coca-Cola advertisement painted on the side of this building. The wall bears layered traces of several signs, but only the words "Delicious and Refreshing" are still legible. The window looks pretty old, but was obviously added after the sign was painted.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Roadside stand on Hwy 61  -  Vicksburg, Mississippi 

Web Notes

Photography at the National Gallery of Art
The Photo Collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is grounded on a large collection of the work of Alfred Stieglitz donated to the Gallery in 1948 by Georgia O'Keeffe. The collection now houses over 10,000 photographs from the beginning of photography through the modern era. The website has information on current and past exhibitions, educational materials and even podcasts on photographic subjects.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog
Another rich resource for exploring photography's heritage is the collection at the Library of Congress, which can be accessed through the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. Many of the photographs have been digitized, and may be viewed online or downloaded as JPG or TIFF files.  The catalog entry will indicate if copyright restrictions apply but many of the photographs in the collection are in the public domain.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rochelle Christian Church - 1859 - Rochelle, Virginia 

From the churchyard, with Rochelle in the distance
Rochelle is only about 20 minutes from where I live, but I saw this church for the first time last week. My first visit to Rochelle was to photograph the Mt. Nebo Lutheran Church but when I got there the sun was behind the building and the facade was in deep shadow. I would have to photograph the Mt. Nebo church another day but directly across the road, facing the morning sun, stood the Rochelle Christian Church.

The church building is nicely proportioned and graceful in its austere simplicity. The large, rectangular twelve over twelve double sash windows are a distinctive and striking feature. There is a well tended cemetery on the grounds behind the church.

Greek Revival influence in the design of this building sets it apart from the Gothic styles that are more common for churches of the period in this area.

Click here to see last Sunday's church

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fence and tree - Wolftown, Virginia 

Just one more tree, and I promise no more trees for a while. This picture, along with all of the pictures of Wolftown that I posted last week, was taken with the Pentax MX using Fuji Neopan Acros 100 black and white negative film.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cherry tree and Leyland Cypress - Greene County, Virginia

One of the nice things about living in a place for a long time is watching the landscape mature and change over time. When we first moved here, there were a couple of eastern red cedars and a few dogwoods on the property. Over the years, we have planted some trees, and several native species have "volunteered" to grow. The black cherry tree in this picture came up on its own by the corner of our deck. These cherry trees grow rapidly and produce small, bitter cherries which provide a good source of food for the birds. Other native species that have volunteered to grow include eastern red cedars, locust, mimosa and red maple.

 Spring Trees and the Blue Ridge Mountains - Greene County, Virginia

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Willow and moon - Greene County, Virginia

I never before knew the full value of trees. My house is entirely embossomed in high plane-trees, with good grass below; and under them I breakfast, dine, write, read, and receive my company. What would I not give that the trees planted nearest round the house at Monticello were full grown.
 Thomas Jefferson to Martha Randolph - 1793

Click here to learn more about Jefferson's trees at Monticello

Monday, May 10, 2010

Red Maple - Greene County, Virginia 

When I was in school, along about the fourth or fifth grade, there was a boy in my class named Frank, and he drew trees. I never knew him to draw anything else, but his trees were amazing. Trunk, branches, twigs (his trees never had leaves) were drawn with accuracy and imagination. Frank's trees cast shadows.

I can't draw a tree, or anything else for that matter, but I have taken hundreds of pictures of trees. In the viewfinder I see the shadows of the leaves play across the bark. I see the light filter through the foliage and the way the branches move in the air. The camera records all this with great accuracy, but never quite gets it right, the way Frank did. It takes imagination to draw a tree.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Old Blue Run Baptist Church  -  near Tibbstown, Virginia 

Built around 1770, The Old Blue Run Baptist Church is the oldest church in western Orange County, Virginia. It was extensively remodeled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the original framing is probably all that remains of the 18th century building. Nevertheless, it is a good example of early rural vernacular architecture.

This building was the original 18th century meeting house of the Somerset congregation of Separate Baptists. In 1876, the congregation sold the church to another Baptist congregation which continues to meet there. The Somerset congregation purchased land west of Somerset and built the (new) Blue Run Baptist Church. (See last Sunday's post)

A large sandstone monument stands next to the church and is inscribed:

Here lies interred the Remains
of Jane Webb, who Departed 
this life on Wednesday, the 26th of
February, 1783, in the 43rd year 
of her age.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rose Park Cemetery, Wolftown, Virginia

Madison Court House, August 8, 1862
   A skirmish between our pickets and a body of rebel cavalry occurred yesterday, at a place called Wolftown, some eight or ten miles from here, on the Stanardsville Road.
   A battalion of the Second Pennsylvania cavalry was sent forward, who charged upon and drove the rebels beyond the Rapidan, killing two and wounding several.
   Our loss is as follows:--James Dobbins, killed; John C. Evans, shot in the foot; George Barley and John Ballentine, slightly wounded--all of Company B, Second Pennsylvania cavalry, and belonging to the picket guard.
   This morning everything is reported quiet along our lines.
   This command is very short of horses, the country having been cleaned of them by rebels.
 The New York Herald, Sunday, August 10, 1862

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Burning leaves - Wolftown, Virginia 

Web Notes

A Walkthru with Kathleen Connally
A while back we recommended Kathleen Connally's blog, A Walk Through Durham Township (link in sidebar). A short documentary film about Kathleen Connally and her work by Ajit Prem was recently awarded Best Cinematography in a Documentary at the Kent Film Festival in Connecticut. The film is excellent and gives some insight into why Kathleen's blog is one of the most popular photography blogs on the web. Watch it here.

Early American Industries Association
I am a member of the Early American Industries Association (EAIA). Shortly after posting about Graves Mill, I received the quarterly journal of the EAIA which had the first of a three part series about a merchant miller in Pennsylvania. The article tells the story of a miller's trade in the 18th and 19th century, and the mill's importance to the community and associated trades. If you are interested in the history of American trades and industries, the EAIA is an excellent source. Their website is here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blue Run Baptist Church - Somerset, Virginia 

In the 1760s, the Separate Baptist movement was gaining members in spite of religious persecution from the Church of England. Three early leaders of the Somerset congregation were jailed in 1766 for preaching religious freedom.

The Somerset congregation formed a church that was officially constituted in 1769 and over the next 200 years the congregation met in three different locations under several names, including Rapid-Ann and Craig's Meeting House. The Blue Run Baptist Church was built on property purchased in 1885 and has been in service since that time.

Click here to see last Sunday's church