Aging Gracefully: Old Churches #2


I did not take this image. Someone–a blog reader from long ago–sent it to me. The snapshot was underexposed, lacked saturation and depth. I could not resist tweaking it to bring out those qualities in Photoshop.

The person who sent it had labeled it Mt. Carmel Church. I don’t even remember what state. My recollection is that it was taken on a motorcycle trip in the rural parts of either Virginia or North Carolina.

Does anybody have a location for this handsome old structure? The grounds have been attended or there would be vines and trees overtaking it. The windows are shuttered and the walls unpainted for some while. But the windows over the doors appear intact. Maybe it is still in use, after all?

Someone who knows their architecture could probably date this within a couple of decades.


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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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