There’s a reason why the Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State is one of the most photographed spots in West Virginia. No matter what time of year it is the old Mill never fails to please. I was to meet a very special client here a few days ago for portraits and I knew that I had to make the effort to be there early and capture a few shots for my blog. We’re very close to the Peak Color weeks of Fall. The landscape of Appalachia swims in warm colors. The rustic construction of the mill fits perfectly into the mountains. The texture of the cut stone and rough oak beams and planks are artfully assembled using techniques that are centuries old. Every stone tells a story about how gentle taps with a hammer and chisel free the blocks from the stone quarry. How they are shaped by the same hands who lovingly tap away. I was blessed to have met a man at art show a couple of weeks ago who told me about how his father cut some of the oak that was used to make the chute that carries the water which turns the wheel to grind the flour. As I look at the mill and imagine how in the days before store bought bread how many hands were needed to feed a community. Hands that worked the stone. Hands that cut the lumber. Hands that built the wheel. Hands that put it all together. Hands that grew the grain. Hands that milled the flour and hands that baked the bread. It’s very fitting that these same hands would come together to break that bread on special occasions. Even in the old days nobody had all the skills needed to thrive on their own. Places like the mill were community effort and a community is an extension of family.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Glade Creek Grist Mill in Fall 1”. The feature image is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.
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Tonight I have a summer shot of Lover’s Leap Rock. As I understand it this is the rock that the lovers lept from. Some research has shown me that a lot of places have a “Lover’s Leap” with the same legend of forbidden love so deep that the couple couldn’t live without each other. The tail is even reflected in the Longstocking Tales that gave rise to the Last Of The Mohicans. As I stand out on the edge of the adjoining cliff and look into the depth of the canyon I understand how desperate the lovers must have been. In some versions of the legend the lovers are changed into birds and fly away together. That’s the version I like best. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. 💘
Today is June 20th 2018. It’s a state holiday. Today is the 155th anniversary of West Virginia becoming a state of it’s own. The American Civil War was raging when Abraham Lincoln separated us from Virginia. We’re the only state in the union to be created from another one. The T.V. and internet if full of trivia and history about West Virginia.
Rather than cover what’s already covered so well by mainstream sources I want to talk about today. West Virginia is still a frontier. I’m not just talking about the “hills and hollers” that are seldom seen by human eyes. I’m talking about the unwritten future. Yesterday’s post about what it must be like to step outside time-space and actually be able to view all the past, present and future maybes was meant in part to help people see that the future is the product of our choices. On this day of remembering history and pride in our state I want to ask what June 20th 2026 will be like? How about June 20th 3018? As we look to our past and remember the greatness of our ancestors let’s not forget that the responsibility of future history is in our hands today. If we want our descendants to be proud Mountaineers we have to create that history today. Today’s challenges go by different names than our ancestors faced but the solutions are ultimately the same. Namely, innovation, self motivation and gumption. Our ancestors built a lifestyle that we are proud of because they didn’t wait for someone to do it for them and we’re not going to pass on that heritage by waiting for someone else to fix our economy or solve the drug problem or any other challenge of modern life. West Virginians are a culture of doers. In the past we lit up the world one lump of coal at a time and today we can do so much more if we’ll just put our hearts into it. The way I see it, West Virginia Day 3018 is looking pretty good.