Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Blog for a New Year

Since I was a child riding in the backseat of my parent's car, I noticed places, primarily in rural areas where old buildings or houses were barely standing the test of time. These places ranged from those whose walls still contained residents, to those where the only remaining feature was a solitary stone chimney.

I have always found myself wondering about the history of these seemingly forgotten sites. Who were the people that built them? Was this a happy place for the occupants? Or, conversely, was this a place of misery, only to be escaped from and never return? In some cases, why was a seemingly fine looking home (at least from the outside) left to deteriorate to the point of collapse? Whether these questions can ever be answered or not, there remains the fact that these old structures are endangered by time itself. Without a photographic record, they are destined to be lost forever.

The three-hour trip down Hwy 1 from Augusta, GA to Hazlehurst, GA was one that was made a couple of times every year when I was a kid. With my Dad behind the wheel and Mom riding shotgun, my sister Angela and I rode in the backseat trying not to encroach on each others half of the seat. Hazlehurst is the county seat of Jeff Davis County, which is located in the coastal plains of the southeastern part of the state. It's flat, hot, covered with pine trees, and did I mention hot?

One of my earliest memories of having a dilapidated structure brought to my attention was my Mom pointing out a grey shack in the middle of a plowed field stating that the house she was born in was much like that one. It looked lonely sitting in the middle of that field where the farmer had to sweep his plow around the structure. It obviously meant enough to somebody that the obstacle remained. That is my subject, whether it's a house, a barn or other outbuilding, an old store or service station, mills, signs...etc. Anything that is teetering on the edge of disappearing forever from the landscape. If you know of a good one, let me know, or share your own photos here!

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