History

I’ve been enjoying a Facebook community called “Photographic History of Pittsylvania County.” Members of the community post old pictures and other reminders of our county’s past. I’ve learned things, had old memories rekindled, and been entertained. It’s one of those placesΒ that makes the internet worthwhile.

Recently I’ve started contributing a few photos to the site. One of my “winter projects” is to sort through the boxes of old photos and documents I have. The site has motivated me to make that a priority.

This morning I thought I’d share a few of the photos I’ve posted to the site, in the hope that some folks might enjoy seeing them.

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A five dollar note dated May 16, 1861, from the short-lived Bank of Pittsylvania.

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My grandmother and one of her sisters, looking spiffy back in the day.

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Our homeplace, before and after a little work.

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An early photo of the house

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Cooper and Alice White. They built the house.

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A younger, and thinner, Cooper White.

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On the road between Chatham and Java. This one comes from the Smithsonian Depression-Era collection

I’m looking forward to sharing more as I dig them out.

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30 comments on “History

  1. gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

    Even by 1949 (I was four or five) almost all roads where I grew up in NC were unpaved. However, down our way (rural route Graham, NC) the roads had “side ditches” and were crowned (high in the middle, sloping down each side.

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    • Bill says:

      There are still a few unpaved roads around here, but only a few. I remember a few creeks where the road went across a ford rather than over a bridge. They’re all bridged now though.

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  2. Leslie McConachie says:

    Love old pictures. About what year is the one of your grandmother? I’m surprised at the sleeveless arms. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Bill says:

      I’m not sure what year the picture was taken, but she was born in 1908 and she’s a young woman in the photo (she’s the one on the left) so I’d guess late 1920’s.

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  3. In the last picture I was stuck by what it meant to go everywhere by a drawn buggy, and was thinking how much people must have seen by being in a buggy as opposed to a car.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres says:

    I envy you having those family photos. For whatever reason, we just didn’t have many. It’s fascinating to look at them, and imagine what dreams and frustrations they had — quite apart from the circumstances of their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

      this 3 May, Mama Rachel died. There are what seem like suitcases of negatives and prints (even the old, old “type”s and other photographic and audio) – with eight children, the two executor / executrix struggling what to do with all. Seems to me it could be contributed to local history collection(s) such as land-grant college library.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      We don’t have many either (certainly not by comparison to today). And sadly most of the pictures I’ve found aren’t labelled so we can’t know who they are, where they were taken, etc. Still I do feel fortunate to have the ones that have survived. Cataloging them in some way is a long-term project of mine.

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  5. Laurie Graves says:

    Love those photos! In the older photos, everyone looks so stiff because, well, they had to stand stiff and straight. Otherwise, the pictures wouldn’t come out well. Your grandmother and her sister were very lovely. I think my grandmother, born in 1911, must have come from the same generation. The changes they would live to see!

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    • Bill says:

      My grandmother was born in 1908, so yes they were contemporaries. You’re right about the old photos. They had to sit very still. Smiling was probably out of the question. πŸ™‚

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      • Laurie Graves says:

        And who would feel like smiling after sitting or standing still for such a long time? I thought our grandmothers must be contemporaries. In old photos I have, the style of clothes my grandmother was wearing looked so similar to what your grandmother was wearing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, what treasures you have of your family history. I have access to some of the family history with pictures but not back as far as you do. My Dad’s family had a genealogist that tracked the family back to Germany. He published a book for the family mainly about every thing he found. John is long gone now but the book lives on and all the history within the covers. One of my cousins took on the task of researching my Mom’s side of the family and has so far traced it back about five or six generations but I don’t think she has made it back to the European country yet. I have to admire my ancestors. They not only lived through the months of crossing the ocean but then traveled half way across the country to live in mud soddy houses. Wood was a rarity in the Midwest. Burning Buffalo chips (dried buffalo dung) to stay warm doesn’t really make me want to be a pioneer. They were rugged people that fought the weather, the wild animals, and the Native Americans. My family were farmers from the get go and even the cattle ranchers didn’t really care for farmers much. Back when my ancestors came to the Midwest just about every thing was dead set on killing you. I guess it’s where I get my strong and bull dog determination when I set my mind to do something. I can only hope, if the world still exists, that many generations down the road, my ancestors will look back with admiration on me as well.

    Have a great family history day.

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    • Bill says:

      We were pioneers too, but much earlier. This area was dangerous wilderness once upon a time too. But it took a special kind of heartiness to settle in the midwest, with your temperature extremes. Like you I’m grateful for the comforts of our lives, but I deeply admire our predecessors who got along without them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

        In Atlanta (archives) in 1966, I saw a 1596 Portuguese map of east coast (North America) which once one gets any distance from the Atlantic shore (and Chesapeake), there is “fort this” and “fort that” and a prominent river (now branch of Cape Fear) named “Saxapahaw” (the textile village where I went to elementary school) – later (apparently) shortened – “Haw River.” I am having two kinds of DNA (ancestryDNA done, GenoGraphic – being done “as we speak.”) http://www.dnaexplain.com/publications/pdfs/wherehavealltheindiansgone8-30-09joggv3.2.pdf

        Liked by 1 person

  7. How fun! and great to have those photos. The $5 note is “priceless”.

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  8. Dearest Bill,
    That is quite rewarding for being able to post such valuable photos on that FB Page and here on your blog. Love your Grandmother and her sister’s photo; so elegant. Those women lived in a period with so little compared to our conveniences and LOOK what they still managed?!
    The Before and After photos of your Homeplace look incredible. That was more than a ‘little’ work!
    Sending blessings your way.
    Mariette

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks Mariette. I’m fond of those pictures. The old house looked even worse up close. I’m sure plenty of folks around here thought we were a little crazy when we started fixing it up. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have lots of pictures similar to these and I love them too! Loved this post. πŸ™‚ ❀

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks Natalie. The website has given the motivation to start going through the boxes of photos and documents I have. I know there are some treasures in there that should be shared. πŸ™‚

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  10. Those photos are priceless. Good to get them scanned and saved/shared. What great photos of the house. So interesting to see its stages.

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    • Bill says:

      You can’t tell from this copy, but the actual photo revealed that the roof was originally cedar shakes and the house was painted multi-colors (as was popular in the Victorian age).

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  11. EllaDee says:

    What a great project, sorting the old photos. I love those you’ve shared, and also have scanning and saving ours on my to-do list.

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    • Bill says:

      I’ll confess that I don’t know how to scan yet. Whenever I want something scanned I’ve asked Cherie to do it for me. Hopefully I’ll learn it soon and get serious about getting more of the old photos and documents scanned.

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  12. Great photos, Bill! Of course, I was attracted by the title of the post, “History,” and I wasn’t disappointed! Keep up the great work!

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  13. associatedluke says:

    THIS IS AMAZING!! Thanks for posting. Love the before and after of the house. Wonderful work.

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