Wednesday, January 21, 2015



Its been so long since I've posted to the blog that I almost forget how to do it.  I've been on Face Book for the past couple months trying to learn the processes there.  Face Book has a different feel to it that than does a blog as I feel hurried there for some reason and there's a sort of obligation to everyone that hovers over entries folks post.  I like it but I like the blog too.  The blog is a much better forum to put stories and detailed dialog on.  Oh well.
I decided to take Shade and Clarissa Sharp down to the old state park that I call the Ruins.  Its the old Carson/McGhee homestead located at Vonore, TN.  The history of the place is covered else ware on this blog and I won't bother with it here. I used to go there every day when I lived in that area but visit infrequently now.  It was and is a perfect place to take my girls (dogs).  Clarissa has never been there and I really love her company so she shared the truck seat with Shade and me.
Old Carriage Road to the McGhee/Carson House. (Ruins Now)

Overall, the place is the same but I can instantly notice changes as I walk the lane that leads to the old ruins and eventually dead ends into the lake.
I notice some of the enormous old trees have met their fate over the years and lay, still dominant figures, where they have fallen.
And, some old trees stand strong against the test of time.
A tiny cluster of dried leaves stands out far away in a field of solid brown and I try to make something out of nothing with the camera.  Its a frivolous activity.
You don't want to brush against these.
Speaking of time tested trees --- Wow!
 A detour toward the right off the main trail leads to the old McGhee cemetery.
Final resting place for souls long gone and eventually, if left unattended, even the stones will be enveloped back into the earth removing all traces of what lays beneath them.
 I don't know why these ancient cemeteries are ignored here in Tennessee.  I run across many that are in disarray and many that will be no more if not protected soon.  History receives such little attention on the importance ladder here in Tennessee for some reason.  Bottom rung it seems.
The old foundation (Ruins) is showing wear and tear from the elements.  Again, I won't go into the history of this place now as I have covered it in previous blog entries over the years.  There is a search engine on the blog front page that can be used to find things.

 The house was enormous with a porch that went around the whole thing with four sets of marble steps to the porch on each side of the house.  I posted an actual picture on the blog that I retrieved from the internet showing a man and a lady in the yard.  It wasn't a great picture but it did show the house as it stood back during the Civil War.
 The property that was to become a state park was given to the state park people by TVA when Tellico Dam was built.  The park people figured the old house would make a dandy park headquarters so they ran power to it, threw the switch and promptly burned it to the ground.  I don't know when care stopped at the park but the entire park property fell to ruin at some point and it is used now by TWRA to grow fields of grain for critters.  Its a lovely place to get away from the world, except in hunting season.
The old tree that Douglas, my Golden Retriever, used to play at is still standing and is inhabited by a woods fairy.  I was lucky enough to capture the critter as it was exiting the old tree.
 Douglas used to stand up and practically crawl into that big hole in the tree every time we came here.  Now, I see that a woods fairy has taken up residence in the old tree.  As luck would have it she (appears to be female) was home today.

 Shade instantly ran to the woods fairy and sought out treats.  Fairy's have been known to make cookies in trees and leave them laying about for the Haints.  In return the Haints would leave the woods fairies alone.

 I approached the woods fairy and it, she, ran away instantly and disappeared into the surrounding forest.  No luck.....
I showed Clarissa the old farm buildings that are hidden in the woods behind the old foundation.  This is a fascinating place where one's mind can run wild about history.  Imagination plays a large part of keeping history interesting.  I think that is a part of the problem in schools these days as far as history is concerned.  Kid's imaginations are not energized about history.  Its not their fault but the fault of a sorry education system in the lower grades.

As usual, I break everything I see down into parts and photograph the individual parts.  Its a habit now that I can't break.  Even cattle are sectioned into hoofs, neck, head, ears, eye, tail etc.  Its worse with old wood or brick buildings.  

 An old hand made gate, below, is made of pipe and a fancy piece of metal across the top with circles.  Note the ole pipe elbows to make the bends.  Its a fence gate.
I like these twisting vines, as you all know.

 Wood fitment on a log corner

This is without a doubt the creepiest door I have ever seen.  Scary!
How can one not wonder what happened in these old places.  I can sit and just see daily activity in my mind.  Amazing times back then!
 Douglas, my Golden, and I spent a solid hour in the building below while escaping the ravages of a Sunday afternoon storm six years ago.  The place is still standing but in sad shape.  It won't be long until it is gone forever.

 The exterior door you see here is an interesting piece of architecture.  The wood is obviously old but the colors in the wood grain are varied and give the piece an antique quality.  Hell - it is an antique.  
 Look at that old door latch.  Thats different.

 A heavy vine outlines the door and curves around to the right under the eves and across the top of the window.  Crazy!
 Gotta love and appreciate hinges.   Old rusty fossils that hold doors to frames, nailed on with all kinds of hardware including screws - sometimes wired on.
 The door, hinge and cross bracing below are beautiful to my eyes.  This is history in wood.
 The following shots are exciting and beautiful in their antiquity.  Rusty nail heads, intensely darkened wood with course grain, hand fitted and nailed with square nails.
 The shot below is fascinating and if you're into art - should hold your eye for a time.  What a combination of wood and metal!

Time to go.  Clarissa had a great day and I think you'll see the pictures she took on her Face Book page.  I probably will only post here.  I did post pics of Shade on Face Book as she enjoyed herself in the lake down at the old abandoned state park.

 What a great time she's having.

Thats it for this trip.  I may stick another shot or two on here before closing.  Thanks for looking in and I'll try to do better on the blog.