Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the category “HISTORY”

Central Academy in Patrick County

I recently learned of a Facebook page called “Abandoned in Virginia” and with some excitement I went to the page and discovered wonderful images of days gone by.  I had a thought about a month ago that I needed to narrow my focus in my photography.  At least that’s what a lot of the pros say.  Find your passion and specialize.  I have never done that because I find too many subjects of a variety of themes that draw me in depending upon my mood, or even where I might be on a given day.  So, as I went to my photography catalog and began looking for shots showing abandonment, I began to feel rejuvenated about my photography.  A trip back to my hometown a few days later gave me perfect opportunities.  Here are a few images of a place I didn’t know existed in the county where I spent the first seventeen years of my life.  This is Central Academy, a school operated by the Presbyterian Church from 1910-1932.  It was a boarding school with a main adminstration building, where classes were held, and  boys’ and girls’ dormitories.  It became a county elementary school until the mid-1950s and some of my friends recall their parents and siblings talking about attending school there. One friend reported that it must have been a good school because her parents studied Latin there, were on the debate team, and had told her the school had a marching band! Today it is a privately owned property. One dormitory has been restored and it is their residence.  The other is vacant.  The main building with classrooms burned in the late 1930s, and all that remains are four pillars under some huge pine trees. Thanks to my friends from the area for providing me with this information. Here are the photos from the property.

Academy Ivy Central Academy Dormitory Dormitory with pillars in background Pillars and Pine trees Grove of trees Remains of the admin building

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Voices of the Land

I’ve been away from my blog for several months as I completed a project for the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy.  Called “Voices of the Land,” it is a mini-documentary of the last working dairy farm in Greene County, Virginia.  Photographs of the farm, both from a distance and from within, provide viewers with an opportunity to see how a dairy operates and to experience the beauty of the land that supports the dairy operation.  Originally the project was designed to be twelve aesthetic photographs, but with the title “Voices of the Land” I felt that there needed to be accompanying audio recordings by the brothers who own the farm. Interviews with the brothers revealed their love of the farm and the animals, and their great memories as children of growing up in an environment where hard work was the norm.  Milking cows cannot be done “when you feel like it.”  It is done twice a day on a regular schedule.  As children, the brothers went to work at dawn, then went to school (where sometimes they fell asleep at their desks), and in the afternoon, they returned to the farm to work past sunset.  If there was time and energy left, schoolwork was completed.  Commitment is the operative word of a dairy farmer.

As the project took shape, a slideshow emerged.  Using the (now) thirteen original photographs as the foundation, the voices of the farmers were added, then supplemental photographs completed the story.  The final product was a 25-minute slideshow with a history of the farm and descriptions of how the farm operates, as told by the brothers who have lived on the farm for over sixty years.  An additional feature of the project are QR codes that accompany each of the thirteen printed and displayed photographs, which allows access to a short clip by using a QR reader on a smart phone.  Below is the first image in the slideshow, and the QR code which accompanies it.  In this clip you will hear the history of Fairview Farm as told by one of the brothers.  Prints of ten of the images and copies of the DVD are available for purchase via the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy website:  www.blueridgefoothillsconservancy.org.

Fog over Fairview Farm qrcode.photo10

The Battle of Jacks Shop

Local historian, writer and researcher Harold Woodward, Jr. of Madison County, uncovered the story of the Battle of Jacks Shop, which took place on September 22, 1863 in Madison County, VA.  Yesterday in Madison there was a Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the battle, which included reenactors from the local area and around Virginia.  There were also many displays with people in period costume who described their wares.  The Pallas Athena, Ladies Aid Society, had a fantastic display of personal articles that were made available to soldiers on the battlefield, care packages of today.  Here are a few of the photographs I took at the campsite, at the cavalry demonstrations and of the displays.

Campsite Around the camp fire Boy on a horse Charging Cavalry Children at Cannon General Lee Lewis Gibson Susan Davidson Telling your daughter goodbye Woman

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