Friday, June 28, 2013

McComb Railroad Museum - #3

McComb Mississippi 

The era of massive steam locomotives is gone. The artifacts and memories are preserved in places like the McComb Railroad Museum and other museums and historic sites throughout the country, and in the minds of those who lived when steam ruled the rails.

Riding in my dad's new 1953 Pontiac alongside a steam locomotive near Dublin, Virginia, I was thrilled when the engineer waved and gave a short blast on the whistle. I can still see the smoke and the steam: I can still hear the sounds. But soon the road veered away from the tracks and the train was gone. Little did I know that in just a few years, steam railroading would be gone forever.

This coal tower was built in McComb to replace a wooden tower that burned in 1947. In 10 years it would be obsolete. Illinois Central Railroad ended steam operations in 1957.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

McComb Railroad Museum - #2

McComb, Mississippi

Built in 1901 by the Illinois Central Railroad the McComb depot was designed to handle both freight and passenger service. The station currently houses the McComb Railroad Museum and a waiting room for Amtrak passengers . McComb is a flag stop on the route of the City of New Orleans train between New Orleans and Chicago.

Milepost 807.

The northbound Amtrak City of New Orleans passes through McComb at 3:32 each afternoon.on its way to Chicago with over 800 miles to go. The train will arrive in Chicago at 9:00 the following morning. The southbound City of New Orleans is only two hours from New Orleans when it passes through McComb at 12:40 pm.

Monday, June 24, 2013

McComb Railroad Museum - #1

McComb, Mississippi 

In 1872  Henry S. McComb decided to move the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad's locomotive and car maintenance shops away from New Orleans and its saloons. He purchased land in Pike County and the city of McComb was born. For over 100 years, McComb was a railroad town, and nearly every inhabitant's livelihood depended on the railroad. In 1987, the railroad, by then the Illinois Central Railroad, closed the doors of the McComb shops and a way of life disappeared. The McComb Railroad Museum is dedicated to keeping the memory of railroading in McComb alive.

Illinois Central locomotive 2542 is a Mountain type 4-8-2. Fifty-six class 2500 locomotives were built between 1937 and 1943. Only two survive; 2542 on display at the 1901 McComb depot which houses the Museum, and 2500, which is on display in Centralia, Illinois. They were the largest steam locomotives on the Illinois Central System.

IC locomotive 2542 stands outside the 1901 Illinois Central Depot in McComb, Mississippi

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bodie Island Light Revisited - #3

Dare County, North Carolina 

After climbing the lighthouse, we headed out on foot to explore the marshes that lie to the south. The day was sunny but cool—a perfect day for a hike. We found on old, unmarked nature trail that is apparently no longer maintained and walked a mile or so out into the marshy lowland following the overgrown path. We were never out of sight of the lighthouse.

If you live in the northern hemisphere, have a great first weekend of summer. No matter where you live, thanks for reading Photography In Place. Hope to see you back next week.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bodie Island Light Revisited - #2

Dare County, North Carolina 

Unlike its sister lighthouse at Currituck Beach where one can climb to the top at leisure and stay as long as one wishes, the tour of Bodie Island light is conducted by a park ranger in organized groups with limited time for each tour. On the way up, the ranger related the history of the lighthouse, and when we came back down, another group was ready for the climb.

The builder's plaque just inside the main entrance to the lighthouse. Notice the old spelling of  "Body's Island"

Looking east from the top of the lighthouse towards the Atlantic Ocean.

The view to the southwest, toward the North Carolina mainland

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bodie Island Light Revisited #1

Dare County, North Carolina 

When I last visited Bodie Island, (see here,) the lighthouse  was in the final stages of restoration. Workers were busy reinstalling the first-order Fresnell lens that had been removed for cleaning and preparations were underway for the April 19th opening. For the first time since the lighthouse began operation in 1872 the public would be allowed to climb to the top.

In May, I had the opportunity to revisit the light. The buildings and grounds were in pristine condition. While I walked around the grounds to take a few pictures, my friend went into the light-keepers quarters to get tickets for the tour of the lighthouse. There were quite a few people waiting to climb the lighthouse even though it was a cool Tuesday well before the summer season crowds arrive on the Outer Banks.

Stop by on Wednesday for the view from the top.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Third Sunday - June, 2013

Claiborne County, Mississippi

Bethel Church - 1845

The congregation of Bethel Presbyterian Church was organized in 1826 and built this Greek Revival church around 1845. The original pointed steeple was destroyed by a tornado and the slave gallery has been removed, but the fabric of the church survives mostly intact. There are several interesting architectural features including pilasters on the exterior of the building and hood molding over the windows, a feature normally associated with Gothic Revival structures.

During the Civil War, General Grant, after failing to land his troops at Grand Gulf, marched down the Louisiana side of the Mississippi river, crossed the river and landed in Bruinsburg, Mississippi, in what was to be the largest amphibious landing prior to World War II. The bulk of Grant's troops marched down the road in front of Bethel Church on their way to fight the strategically important Battle of Port Gibson, on May 1, 1863.

On May 2, 1863, the Stars and Stripes were raised over the Claiborne County Courthouse.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday Morning - Weather

Greene County, Virginia 

"Of course weather is necessary to a narrative of human experience. That is conceded. But it ought to be put where it will not be in the way; where it will not interrupt the flow of the narrative. And it ought to be the ablest weather that can be had, not ignorant, poor-quality, amateur weather. Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand can turn out a good article of it. The present author can do only a few trifling ordinary kinds of weather, and he cannot do those very good. So it has seemed wisest to borrow such weather as is necessary for the book from qualified and recognized experts-giving credit, of course. This weather will be found over in the back part of the book, out of the way. (See Appendix). The reader is requested to turn over and help himself from time to time as he goes along"
Mark Twain - The American Claimant

Friday, June 7, 2013


Greene County, Virginia 

Not sure how this ganazia came to be in our garden, since we did not plant it. Perhaps a bird carried a seed in from a neighbor's yard. Gazanias are members of the Asteraceae family which includes daisies and asters, and are native to South Africa.

Hope you have an enjoyable and safe weekend, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Grand Gulf Military Park - Meadow

Claiborne County, Mississippi 

It was a hot and humid morning when I left Vicksburg and took Highway 61 south towards Port Gibson. My plan was to spend a couple of hours at Grand Gulf Military Park, then spend the rest of the day taking pictures in Port Gibson. At lunch time, I was still at Grand Gulf and nowhere near being done. It was after four o'clock before I finished—Port Gibson would have to wait.

Across from the park entrance there is an open field, full of colorful weeds and wildflowers that had caught my eye when I was driving in. I walked over to take some pictures. When I was done I packed the camera in the car and then stopped in the visitor center/museum to say goodbye. "We've been watching you across the road. What on earth were you taking pictures of in that field?"

"The colors over there are quite beautiful," I said.

"You should have been here last week. The colors were really something then."