I'm going to share some photos from the weekend excursion up one of the rivers in the area. I anchored the sailboat and rowed the dinghy so that I could get some photos of an old coal mining depot along some abandoned tracks. The sun was just starting to set so the light was good. And in one of the photos, the moon is on the rise.
The strange statue sitting on top of a tiled chimney was really interesting. I wonder who built it and what it signifies.
I talked to a friend who had been to this old coal loading station a while ago and he said that he heard someone typing in the building on an old typewriter. He decided that he didn't want to find out who it was as it was entirely too creepy. Sounds like fodder for a good story to me.
These old abandoned buildings have an interesting story. The coal tipple opened around 1915 as evidenced by the date on the facade. Its machinery could pick up a coal car and turn it over. The coal would tumble into a chute that led to a conveyer belt that led to a waiting ship. According to an article I read, the process took just a few minutes, and when things were working right, it could load up to 2,000 tons of coal onto a ship per hour.
The tipple was owned by the Southern Railway Co. who eventually shut it down in 1952. Much of the tipple was dismantled, although the pier and buildings were left. The pier and trestle was the site of a huge fire in 1976 that blackened the skyline of the city for hours.
About the only hope remaining is prospects of legislation to restore the buildings and pier and designate them a National Historic Landmark. But in these tough economic times, in a state that has had huge budget cuts, skyrocketing unemployment, and a host of other problems, I think that it's doubtful that anything will be done.
I suppose that this post has to do with potential recovery of old buildings. I hate to see part of local history lost. There is something appealing about old buildings that once had a place in another age.
I'm too tired for metaphors today. Yet, it seems that the older I get, the more nostalgic I become for "what used to be". I have a tendency to romanticize days gone by--not my own but general societal changes. I used to think that I would have been better suited for another era. But now I realize that I'm okay to be exactly where I am. Today is beckoning to me.