I came across this abandoned building in Lost River, WV. I couldn’t help but note the irony. This once impressive structure now stood abandoned, indeed, even fenced in only a few feet from the banks of the Lost River. As I marveled at its weathered beauty, I wondered about its original purpose. Was it a store, a residence, or some combination?
A close look revealed that the clapboard framed building had most recently been used as a barn, noting the rotting straw in the missing siding. The former entrance was boarded up and fenced off by newly strung barbed wire. Both its history and utilitarian purpose seemed lost. And yet, its stark beauty was alluring, especially given the setting.
Perhaps I’m too sentimental. But I both admire and marvel at structures like this one. What stories does it hold? What social function did it fulfill? Will the answers forever be lost in the little crossroads burg of Lost River, WV?
It was unseasonably warm and unusually bright for late November in Ohio’s Amish country. The angle of the late morning sun gave depth to the barn in the foreground and created an artistic display of the windmill’s shadow upon the starched white clapboard farmhouse.
In one way, this is a typical one room Amish school. In another, it’s not.
The school is plain white, as is the custom among the Amish. This particular one was once a public school until the school consolidation wave hit Ohio in the late 1950s and early 1960s. When the local schools were closed, the Amish often bought them and started their own schools. That way their students weren’t far from home and could walk to school.
The atypical aspect of this school, at least structurally, is that it has a metal roof. Most Amish schools have shingled roofs. A metal roof would cost substantially more than a shingled one.
Another point of interest is that this school was closed yesterday, a Wednesday, when I took the photo. Why? It’s harvest time, and the school was closed for three days so the youngsters could help husk corn at home. Apparently most of the students who attend this school live on farms. Otherwise the school board, made up of five fathers of the students, wouldn’t have closed the school in the middle of the week.
I love to look for patterns in photos. There are plenty on display here, even if you only look at the various textures of the roofs on the congregated buildings. Also note the details that enhance the plain red and white buildings. Did you see the brown horse against the barn wall? How about the Rock Doves, aka pigeons, on the roof of the outbuilding in the foreground? Or the smoke coming out of the chimney?
See how many other details you can find as you explore this photo.
Having photographed yet another beautiful sunset over Lake Erie, I headed back to our vacation apartment in Lakeside, Ohio. well satisfied with the shots I had taken. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught the glow of another kind of light, not that dissimilar to the ever-changing hues in the evening sky.
The warm reds, yellows and oranges, accented by a few cool pastels mimicked the stunning sunset I had just witnessed. The white flowers on the steps invited passersby in past the posts and pillars to the festive porch.
I have lived among “the plain people,” as the Amish are sometimes called, for more than 30 years. Over the years, I have marveled at the groupings of their nondescript buildings, the simple beauty of the textured angles. Of course, I am likely romanticizing their architectural practicality.
This farmstead is a good example. The combination of a fresh snowfall in the foreground and a bright blue sky in the background nicely framed this cluster of farm buildings at this Old Order Amish homestead.
I pass by this Amish farm on my regular morning walk. The arrangement and angle of each piece, farm implement, tractor wheel, corncribs, barn, lean-to, outbuilding, caught my attention individually and as a group. The soft morning light illuminated the barnyard setting, especially the corncobs.
With all of the various shapes, lines and angles, the photo titled itself: Amish Geometrics.