The Lost Communities of Virginia
In many ways, Elkton is typical of small towns throughout Virginia. Although it is no longer a business and commercial center, Elkton retains a sense of community; it is a place people call home. But many small towns are dying and many have disappeared with hardly a trace.
"The Lost Communities of Virginia project began with curiosity as Kirsten Sparenborg followed a green highway sign pointing to Eggleston and found a rural Giles County community, an elderly storekeeper, and the no longer obvious story of a once thriving springs and railroad community."*
From this start, the Community Design and Assistance Center at Virginia Tech surveyed more than 2600 communities, photographed 548 of them, and selected 30 representative towns to be included in the recently published book, The Lost Communities of Virginia. Black and white photographs document the present condition of the towns, accompanied by a brief history and interviews with the remaining residents.
An impressive amount of research went into this book, and the photography is excellent. The Lost Communities of Virginia is an ongoing project, and I hope to see more of this work in the future. For now, the book is elegy, memory and inspiration.
Lost Communities of Virginia by Terri Fisher and Kirsten Sparenborg - Albemarle Books - 2011
*The quotation is from the dust jacket