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Category Archives: Photography

Clairemont, Texas

The afternoon was late and the light was perfect. Once parked, I noticed before me in the pasture several manufactured buildings that had not been there before. Years past showed an empty pasture. A large black crow lifted off the fence post as I stepped out of my car.

The first time I drove through Clairemont, TX was 2006. It was either to or from Lubbock where I worked for the week. There have been other times I’ve taken the 380 a few times since then and always stop by to look inside. People must leave their mark.

There is an unpaved road across the highway from the jail house. It stretches westward behind the Kent County courthouse. I had to wait a few minutes for a convoy or dirt haulers to pass through turning left onto the 380. I pulled out onto the road as the tractor trailer moved forward. I moved slowly onto the dirt road relieved it was not someone’s private driveway. There were too many shadows and nothing eye catching worth shooting.

Tweny days has passed since I shot this image. The jail house is on the east side, the Kent County courthouse is on the west side. There’s not much else to see in Clairemont, TX and I intended to visit with someone, anyone who lived there. But Covid….that virus I chose not to expose to self or anyone else. I’m going to have to be creative and gather my information through interview in another safer manner. Sure, I could look it up on the web but I like collecting information through personal interviews.

This image is shot with a 590 IR converted Nikon D610 November 2020.

2006

ClairemontJailDoor
ClairemontJailHouse

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2020 in Photography, Texas

 

Thoughts This Tuesday

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2018 in home, Photography

 

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Carpenter’s Bluff Bridge, 2018

It’s been cleaned up a bit since I was there last.  When I first discovered Carpenter’s Bluff bridge, it was a holiday and my sister and I and our kids took a stroll along the very edge as a car would occasional pass through.  Although it was built as a railroad bridge it was then used for many years for vehicles to cross the Red River.   Each had to wait their turn to cross this one lane bridge.  And if you were walking, you had to share the narrow space with car/truck and the edge.  It also has a a dilapidated wagon shelf on the east side.  I would not dare walk on that side.  Graffiti was scattered from top to bottom across the span of the bridge and some on the roadway.

This time, 2018, I took my husband who has never seen the bridge along with my son to Carpenter’s Bluff just to explore and wander through the countryside with cameras and time.  It’s changed a bit.

July 2017, the new Carpenter’s Bluff Bridge was open to traffic.  This is a two lane concrete bridge that allows for people on both sides of the river to cross more easily.  The old bridge is left for those of us who seek a quiet historic walk.

ATW_7596bw

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2018 in Photography, small towns, Texas

 

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Larissa, Texas

From my driveway to “X-marks-the-spot” in East Texas is roughly a five hour drive.  It takes me seven  hours or more because there is plenty to see along  US 69.  It is a lovely scenic drive once in the Piney Woods region, otherwise a pleasant stretch of open countryside with cows and horses grazing in the fields pass by.  There are plenty of historical markers on the way and if you stop at all of them and read them the drive may take an additional hour or two.  It all depends if you meet others along the way with similar interest in the Lone Star State’s story.

I’ve driven this route for the past 12 years and I must add I never tire of it.  That’s because each time I take a trip there, I look for something new to visit.  East Texas offers a rich historical heritage that swings way back to the early years of Civil War.  I’m not going to write the history of Texas here right now.  Or ever.  But I will share one little treasure I found while seeking “ghost towns” on the internet last month for my week long excursion to visit family.

North Cherokee County has a tucked away and pretty much abandoned rural townsite known as Larissa.  The town is about 20 miles northwest of Rusk.  If you search for information on anything north, west, south, etc of Rusk, you will be delighted to find plenty to explore but you must gather information for there are no large billboards or adverts welcoming tourists to these areas.  These are the back roads of the back roads.

Larissa is known for the Killough Massacre that occurred October 5, 1838 and documented as “believed to have been both the largest and last Native American attack on white settlers in East Texas”.  The purpose of this blog entry is to share with you my journey and my picture(s) and not to go on about the history.  You can look that up yourself.  I will tell you how to get there for it’s not shown on many maps and did not pop up on any of my GPS maps.

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This was shot with an IR converted Nikon D70 in case you are wondering why the trees and grass are white.  The effect gives a more eerie feel.  The site is located far back in the woods and appears to be well maintained although it is apparent that over the years some vandalism and partying have taken place as evidenced by a condom package and a few flattened beer cans scattered across the empty parking lot.

IMG_20170221_150712752[1] A chain link fence surrounds the memorial and a maintained road and parking lot lie to the north.  And the entrance is shown in the photo below.  The site is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  I spent about half an hour there reading all the markers and enjoying the cool air of the February Monday. Nothing could be heard but the breeze soughed through the tall pines with a cawing of a hawk overhead.  For a moment I had forgotten the rest of the world, the daily routine, who was where and why.  I sat on a large rock and looked over my shoulder toward the dense forest of brush and pine imaging the life of the settlers in the 1800’s starting anew, building from scratch as they migrated West.  My phone rang.  I had to get to Lufkin in time for supper.

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How do you get to this monument?  Follow me.  North of Jacksonville on State Highway 69, hop onto the 855 in Mt. Selman.  Drive West.  Turn left on FM 3405.  I saw no sign about the Killough Massacre but another blogger wrote there was one there.  Once on the 3405, drive a short distance and look for the 3411.  The sign is clear.  Turn right.  Keep going until you reach a split.  This will be the 3411 and the 3409.  Stay on the 3411 veering to the left.  You are going to drive a bit and begin to feel like you have driven too far.  Keep driving.  The road is going to curve to the right a bit and then to the left and you’ll pass some farms.  It all looks the same in the woods doesn’t it?  Keep your eyes open on the left for the gate.  It’s CR 3431 with a sign for the Killough Massacre site.  Enjoy your visit.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Photography, Texas

 

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Aside

Image

Also known as “The Castle In The Cornfields” this gorgeous building dates back to 1930.  I have driven past it for years and in 2012 I finally stopped in front but only briefly to take this shot.  This section of Decatur is where corn processing takes place and it smells of it too.  It is now called Tate and Lyle, one of the largest processors of corn in the United States. 

As with most buildings I post on this blog, there lurks a ghost story, conspiracy or some sort of mystery that I rarely write about for I don’t take enough time to get all the facts.  This is drive-by shooting and not ghost mystery-1000.  Perhaps I start a new blog when I have time to interview locals and sneak down into the basement to collect information.  If you google E.A. Staley there you will find stories of the building and business over the past 84 years.

If you are ever in Decatur, stop and look around.  It’s all about farming out there.  Don’t get lost amongst the cornfields.

 

A.E. Staley Building, Decatur, Illinois

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Illinois, Photography, small towns

 

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