|Courtesy of Library of Congress|
As I look at this Walker Evans photo above, taken in the 1930s, I wonder if this building is still standing? To me it is a cultural icon representing the early part of the 1900s -- reflecting early vehicles, advertisements, architecture, community, general stores, postal conveniences, all wrapped up in a place . A place where everyone knew who you were which kept most people honest.
General stores at one time, in this country, had meaning. It was a way of life in small communities to have such stores down the road usually within walking distance. Settlements in agricultural areas clustered near such stores. They acted as newspapers for the settlements -- casting out news gleaned from one source then dispersing it to others as they arrived at the store. Examples of such news items might be; who just had a baby, the wind storm that blew down part of Jacob's barn, auction of Mable's estate, and who needs a little help.
Below are a few photos of vacant general stores that exist today in central Kentucky. What will become of them? Will they ever return to the iconic ways present in the Walker Evans photo?
I notice these general stores as I ride the back-roads. How many of these once small diverse stores have been removed from the landscape? Time brings increasing demolitions to our older buildings.
|UPDATED BUT EMPTY, GENERAL STORE NEAR BEREA.|
|BARELY STANDING IN ITS ORIGINAL STATE. |
GENERAL STORE IN THE
RED LICK AREA.