Wednesday, September 2, 2009

history mystery

Historical sites, buildings and records have fascinated me for decades. As a child I roamed the back roads and historical traces remaining in my home town. A colonial era roadway, stone arch bridge, miller's house ruin, mill and mill pond was one of the sites I intermittently visited. To my enduring dismay, this whole group of sites was destroyed in order to build a major cross town freeway in Greensboro, NC. As historic sites across the nation were decimated in the 1950's, 60's and 70's - I acted in my college town to snatch building parts prior to the bulldozers moving in. Most of these relics were sold in about 1984 before yet another cross country move.

My friend Missy will recall the bandsaw cut railings rescued from an eastern NC building - some used for a restoration in Raleigh, NC, and the remainder given to a restoration effort in Little Rock, AR. All of our marriages ended - in the 70's 80's and 2000's.

I found recently a fabulous Library of Congress site. On this site can be found thousands of Dorthea Lange depression era photographs, ans well as many thousands of other documents. This is truly one of the Federal Treasure troves available.

Pose an historical question - and some unexpected results may follow. Check it out! After reading "Thomas Jefferson, American Sphinx" by Joseph P. Ellis, I searched for photos of Monticello and found a treasure trove. Likewise, in seaching for "turpentining" I found the Dorothea Lange archive.

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1 comment:

John Poole said...

Hi cousin Elinore!

It's really a shame how so many historic structures were systematically destroyed during the urban renewal craze of the 60s and 70s. But I am hoping that now with the current emphasis on sustainability and making use of what one has rather than tearing down and building anew, we won't have any repeats of that past destruction.

Interesting -- like you, I also grew up in an historic area..hence my almost embryonic love for old buildings.

Thanks for the links; I will check them out. Hope you are well!

- Cousin John / Cousin Elinore