Friday, March 29, 2013


A small barn with a red door will soon be hidden from view by the leafing out of the large trees that surround it. Sometimes we pass places that are hidden from view but with a bit of really looking we can discover some interesting sights. 

Have you ever discovered hidden places?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Early 1900s postcard of Waco, Kentucky,

While heading down route 52 in Madison County, Kentucky toward an old pottery I  spotted a town from the past. When I say town I guess I mean -- place -- sort of a four corners. 

Before I could think straight I was pulling into a parking spot behind one of the old buildings in town. I jumped out of my truck and started snapping photos of an old general store type of building. It looked original to when it was built.

The present proprietor, Garnette Davis, soon came out of the store and I had to explain to him what I was doing. He was very hospitable after I told him I liked to record folkways. He  invited me inside to give me a lowdown on all the old buildings that sat at or near the four corners -- all of them original to the postcard he gave me of the town taken in the early 1900s. Even his general store (third building from the left in the postcard) was in the photo sitting on its corner with the same form it has today. 

The back of this former general store, now called Davis Hidden Treasures, had an old addition with a nice set of original double doors. 

Preserved in situ, Waco's commercial buildings offered me about six old original commercial buildings to photograph. It was quite a find!

With the postcard in hand and comparing it to what I could view with my eyes I figured that there were about nine or ten commercial buildings when the postcard was produced --  compared to about six extant ones now.  

No development of note has come to Waco's four corners. It remains in a time warp of the early 1900s. 

This was a day I stepped back in time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


A lovely red barn in Madison County.

Although yesterday was rather chilly and blustery, I felt that spring was in the air. I packed up my camera and hit the trail. Found lots of good material for my camera and talked with some of the country folks I met along the way. Southerns are some of the nicest folks. 

Today I even met a horse at one of my stops along a back-country road. It seems that horses are always interested in what I am doing when I stop by their pasture. Today this one was even giving me low sounding snorts -- whatever that means in horse language.

Got home late -- just as the sun was setting in a rosy colored sky. Soon it was dark and I heard a large flock of migrating Canadian geese flying overhead. I stepped out on my front porch and listened quietly to their honking as they flew north over my home.

A nice ending to a beautiful spring day. 

A beautiful spirited horse checking out what I'm doing with that black box I keep putting up to my face.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The original one story vernacular Federal home that was later 
enlarged with a Greek Revival
 two-story home addition.

When I landed here in Kentucky I felt like I was in another land. I arrived from a long stint in the areas of  New Mexico and Oregon and found that the architecture here was so different. In fact different from any place I had lived such as the Midwest and the far West. Since part of my background includes Historic Preservation, my eyes couldn't get enough of  Kentucky's old building stock.

One of the houses that initially stood out was this early 1800s home. I call it a "planter's home." It is very historic --  it sits alone on a hill overlooking a large parcel of land.  Although I have lived in the area for a few years I  have never seen any signs of occupancy. 

The original one-story home with two-story home attached

I would love to open one of the doors and take my own personal tour of the interior. But this is not to be. It is not a house that folks can walk the grounds or open the doors. It just stands there holding secrets in its own private memories.

Even the few locals I asked about the house didn't really know anything.

Front facade of the two-story house 
with portico entrance porch

Close-up of front portico Greek Revival porch

Obviously this was the home built by wealth. I recently found out that the one-story house was originally owned by Joseph Miller, the son of the founder of Richmond, Kentucky. Another family member owned it by 1850 when the tw0-story house became part of the one-story. 

Named "Hedgeland" from my research online -- could not find out why it was called this.

These photos are five years old. There is probably  more information in other archives but for now it might have to wait awhile before I get back to it again. 

I wrote this post today as I felt that I owed it to the home.

Sometimes a certain place or places can grab you with questions and this was one of those places for me.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Mr. Lamb

Mr Lamb was full of stories about his place in Madison County. He had lived almost his entire life in the same place. He could tell you how he rode to school on a horse, he could name all the wildlife that visited his place in the holler -- he was full of local history and enjoyed talking to you about it. He always had a welcome smile when I stopped for a short chat on his sittin" porch in warm seasons. He recently passed away -- he was in his late 70s.

Welcome gate to his comfortable sittin' porch
(Above photo taken when Mr Lamb lived on the property.)  

I wrote a couple posts about his birds and squirrels and you can find them here and here.

One of his large sugar maples
 with squirrel feeders and squirrel house.
(Above Photo taken when Mr Lamb lived on the property.) 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Now the property has been sold and it is quickly changing. All the beautiful old maples have been topped off in an ugly fashion. The old house appears to be in the process of change with builders and trucks swarming around it. 

Here is one of the topped off maple trees with a squirrel house still hanging on -- I'm sure it's wondering what is happening and I am sure the squirrels have headed for the back woods along with other  wildlife

Here is the back of the property showing signs of a new building -- perhaps a new house. The yard has now become one big mud pie. The smoke is from a large brush pile in front of a newly erected foundation. 

This is what is happening everywhere in our country. One minute you have  a nice old house and land and within a couple months it is sold to a developer and new ideas march in -- tearing and turning everything upside down. 

If only  new changes could be done with sensitivity and integrity -- to the land, to the wildlife, to the plants, to the buildings, I think we would be more forgiving of developers? 

Saturday, March 9, 2013


About a week ago I was out wandering the roads in an area I had not been in before. I just picked a road and followed it north. As it happens so many times, I found some rather interesting places in my photo quest. 

This old former gas station was one of the places I found. It sat beside the road I was travelling on. The gas pumps that had once stood on the cement platforms were gone. There were all sorts of equipment pieces and also hand tools lying around so I figured that the place was some type of repair shop now, although there was no one around to tell me so.

But what I did notice was this old Massey Ferguson tractor that was sitting up under the front roofed area. I also noticed the gas station windows in back of the tractor that told me  the place was built in the early 1900s. So I was thinking old place, old tractor. I have an idea of how old the building is but how old is the tractor? And even though I didn't know its age I thought it had both charm and status.

I noticed some new wiring attached around the engine part and some newer type hand tools lying on the engine cover and thought perhaps it was getting a spring tune up?  Then, while standing there taking my photos a gut feeling rushed into my mind -- I felt as if someone was watching me as I  took photos of the tractor -- I wasn't afraid -- I just thought it was time to move on down the road.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


There is a narrow black top road that runs through a place called Davis Hollow, a lowland area lying  between a segment of low mountainous parts of Appalachia. Sparsely populated, it has very few homes along its main roadway. 

Local linguistics pronounce Hollow -- Holler. You would get a big smile from locals  if you said Hollow instead of Holler. I know. 

When you turn onto the blacktop into Davis Hollow there is a sign warning you that there is no outlet.  I turned down it anyway as I always am curious about such roads. As I rode down the "no outlet" road  I noticed  a sign saying FARM MACHINERY. Now I have never noticed a sign such as this before when I have been out and about. I took the sign to mean watch out for traveling farm machinery. There was a large farm near the sign so perhaps the farmer put it there however the sign looked mightily official. 

So I snapped a photo of the sign. There is always a reason to click your camera's shutter no matter how important or irrelevant. 

Friday, March 1, 2013


I, as an older woman, have long witnessed the upsurge of women demanding equality in all phases of their lives. For centuries forces of power have created unfair and inhumane practices toward women around the world. Some headway has been made but it has been slow. There is much work yet to be done. 

Yesterday, in Congress,  the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized that included new provisions giving protections for gay, lesbian, transgender and Native American women of domestic violence. Here is an informative short article from the LA Times about the reauthorization.

As March is Women's History Month I am including a fine letter wrote by Ela Bhatt, member of the Elders. a group of independent voices not bound by any nation, government or institution. 

"Dear friends,

Many years ago, Mahatma Gandhi said: “Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex.”

Even in 2013, Gandhiji’s words ring too true. On 8 March we mark International Women’s Day, a day to remind our communities that women and girls still face so many obstacles: violence, discrimination, traditions that hold us back. Yet it is also a day of celebration, of recognition that if we can break down these obstacles, women can – and will – transform our societies.

I am inspired by the women peacebuilders from Sudan and South Sudan, with whom my fellow Elder Mary Robinson spent time last month. Even though they were separated by conflict and excluded from formal negotiations, they refused to be silenced. For years, they worked together to bring their communities’ concerns to their political leaders. And when their two countries have been mired in disagreements and hostilities, it is the women who have shown what peace looks like on the ground.

Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is a condition enjoyed by a fair society; a condition which renders war useless. In my experience, in India and elsewhere, it is women who are essential to building this kind of peace. As I have said before, focus on women and you get a provider, an educator, a networker, a forger of bonds. Involve women, and you get the strong, equal, sustainable communities that give people an incentive to plan for the future and maintain a stable society.

We all want to live in a world that is freer, healthier, more prosperous and sustainable. As International Women’s Day approaches, let us ask how our sisters and our daughters can build it, from the ground up.

With best wishes,

Ela Bhatt"

View video below to find out more about THE ELDERS