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Thursday, April 7, 2011

SIMPLE SOUTHERN WOODEN COUNTRY CHURCH -- A HUNDRED YEARS OLD

OLD VERNACULAR COUNTRY CHURCH
On a soldier blue sky day, I found this intriguing southern wooden church in the area of Paint Lick, Kentucky. And, at the same time a large ferocious dog found me as I opened up my truck door to go have a "look see."  Whoa, I thought and "go home" I shouted at the dog as his bark almost turned into a snarl. I must have some look of authority as the dog backed off and slowly trotted away -- but from a distance he never let me out of his sight. Oh well, I thought, just another day in  my life of finding and taking photos of unique places and people of the folk kind. I headed toward the church but kept an eye on Rover as I walked. 


The church was apparently deserted from the broken panes in various windows and the lack of worn footpaths around the church.




The church was certainly a simple style and could have been featured in a movie about early settlements. It did have some traits that added a bit of a flair to it. Its front facing gable fell under the Greek Revival influence and its doors and windows were certainly Gothic Revival style. 

Vernacular builders borrow styles from the past -- ones that they are familiar with. Greek Revival was popular in the mid 1800s as well as the Gothic Revival style.The vernacular builder or builders would have been local folks with their own interpretation of what the church should look like. Their pick of 'familiar to them" styles formed the mixture found in the this church's simple look. 

The colored glass panes are considered a "poor man's"  style for church windows as the more "well-to-do"  had stained glass. 

STONE PLATE IN CHURCH FOUNDATION
I noticed that a stone slab had been inserted in the chiseled limestone foundation. It read 1st Baptist Church, W.D. Thompson, Pastor 1901. I believe this stone was placed in the foundation as it was being built and is more than likely the age of the building. 


There was an old white wooden outhouse that belonged to the church sitting nearby. I wanted to take a photo of it but I could see that Rover was getting restless and I thought I had better move on. I filed a note in my mind as I drove away -- that if I ever got back this way to remember to bring Rover a bit of appeasement -- possibly some dog biscuits. 

24 comments:

  1. Barbara, you have a truck? Cool!
    The gothic windows and coloured glass are commonplace in old churches up here, but I can't think of a single Greek Revival version like yours. Very nice. It's very helpful when there is a date stone! The pastor's name is a bonus. Glad you braved the dog.

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  2. Oh, I love this! Old churches really tug on my heart strings. I've always had such good feelings walking into most of them; it's as though you can feel the love and joy and sometimes the sorrow that happened within it's walls. Wonderful post Barbara!

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  3. Old barns, churches, schools. Wonderful bits of Americana. I love this.

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  4. Sheri -- Oh I have a great Toyota Tacoma basic truck that I have had for 6 years and before that a Toyota truck for 12 years. I love trucks. No fancy stuff -- just a 4 cylinder.

    The colored glass windows are commonplace in the rural areas around here too. It was nice to find the date stone. Not all rural churches have them.

    If that dog only knew how much I like dogs he probably would not have given me such a difficult time -- Thanks -- barbara

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  5. Mama-Bug -- I remember an old simple church in a rural Georgia field that a friend and I found while out running errands. I didn't have the camera bug like I do now so I didn't have my camera with me. It was filled with old pews -- it looked like everyone had just got up and walked out one day. It made me realize the stories that old rural churches had to tell but now are lost.

    Thanks for the warm expressive feelings about old country churches. -- barbara

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  6. Tess -- I'm glad you love pieces of Americana. I always look at -- not just the architecture -- but the stories they have to tell. Thanks for the nice comment -- barbara

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  7. I love these old churches! Thanks for braving the unfriendly dog to get these shots!

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  8. What a fabulous find! I love these old buildings, standing tall showing the aging of days of old. Nice post, Rover might go for them biscuits, at least give you another moment or two.

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  9. Love your meanderings and sharing what you find, Barbara! The church looks like so many right around here.

    Elora

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  10. I love old churches, in fact we attend one. I believe it was built in the late 1890s. It has been improved upon through the years, though. But it was only last year that we added indoor plumbing. The old outhouse is still standing near the parking places. We took up the old wooden floor a few years ago, because the floor was on a slant. Those boards were huge! I believe they were whole tree trunks carved to make floorboards. My son was lucky enough to get some of the wood and he made an absolutely beautiful gun case from them. All the knotholes and imperfections show through and add to its character.

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  11. Vicki -- Glad you stopped by. I love dogs but respect their feeling of territory. He sure was one big beautiful dog! -- barbara

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  12. Reflections -- I am always amazed at the excellent skills that go into building old vernacular buildings. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  13. Hi Elora -- It's getting tougher to meander with the price of gas. I will just have to plan better so I don't use so much gas. Thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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  14. Janet -- What an interesting story about your church. Did you record the changes that were made to your church. Would make a nice addition to the church's history. I knew your son was a skilled carpenter from reading your posts. Wonderful that he made use of the old flooring. I bet it was virgin timber. Maybe put of a photo of what your son made out of the flooring in the church's history. Thanks for the story -- barbara

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  15. Old churches and abandoned houses attract me as well. Thanks for sharing this adventure.

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  16. Great post! And as for the dog, I have a wonderful cocker spaniel who is just as sweet as can be until he sees a uniform and then even dog treats wouldn't deter him (one of my FedEx drivers always leaves treats even though I never let my dogs out because I don't know that Chauncey would even stop to notice the treats). And I know a number of my UPS/FedEx drivers are big animal lovers. Go figure. Have no idea what the dog you encountered thought, but Chauncey is obviously protecting me even when I don't need it.

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  17. daphnepurpus -- I know the dog was anxious as s/he had not encountered me before. I really am quite nonthreatening -- short, gray haired lady in tennis shoes. I understood the dog -- he just didn't understand me. thanks -- barbara

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  18. Barbara, I really like how you explain how vernacular builders thought about their designs. What a great church this is. I love the gothic windows, a details not found very often in my area.

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  19. NCmountainwoman -- well I'm finally back online after yesterday's shooting. Someone shot the transformer on our line and left me without a pnone or online service. But the phone company was great -- they came out today and fixed it even though it was Sunday. I do believe I ive in the wild west sometimes.

    I too, as my posts show, love abandoned houses as well as all vernacular architecture. This area has beautiful examples of it all but it is slowly disappearing from the landscape.

    Thanks -- barbara

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  20. Farmchick -- I feel I am fortunate to live in this area of central Kentucky -- lots of vernacular architecture abounds. It's not in your face but it can be found with a bit of investigation. I know that you love old architecture too. We certainly live in the right state to find the old country places. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  21. lines and shades -- thanks for stopping by -- I appreciate vernacular architecture from all over the world. -- barbara

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  22. Wow!! You really do uncover some interesting tidbits. There are a few old structures left around here, and you are inspiring me to get out and do some photography. I will start with the ancestral home of my SIL which sits up the street about six blocks away. Even though Bil's family remained loyal to the Union, the old homestead was seized by Union Soldiers during the Civil War and used as a field hospital. Today it is a half-way house owned by Arlington county. Bill's grandfather came back to the area and built a house next door at the end of the 19th century that has an intersting tin roof. More on this when it stops raining and the semester ends. Dianne

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  23. Dianne -- The family ancestral home sounds intriguing. Would be quite a story to hear about the Union soldiers and their involvement with the homestead. Also, the grandfather's house next to it would be of interest. Wonderful that you have it so close. Hopefully I will hear about it when you finish school. -- barbara

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