16 August 2010

Going to Illinois Soon!

It is almost time for me to escape the sweltering Southern sun for a summer with lightning bugs, a sky brimming with stars, and gardens full of deliciousness.  Every year we go up to visit relatives in time to enjoy the annual county fair -- on the same fairgrounds since 1888.

In honor of the impending trip, here are some of my favorite photos over the years.

Candy Kitchen, Greenup, IL

4H fowl judging

Thoroughbred racing

Canned goods

Harness racing

Moonshine, Illinois

Will Rogers Theater in Charleston, Illinois

Yoyo ride, Cumberland County Fair

If you want to see more from our trips to Illinois, check out A Week In Rural Illinois.

08 August 2010

Restoration of the Kennedy Pharmacy

It's been about a year since the Kennedy Pharmacy reopened as a meeting and reception space for the Historic Savannah Foundation.  In addition, the upstairs is a rented apartment.  The restoration was spearheaded by preservationist Jim Abraham.  Jim is a dear friend and I would occasionally walk over to check out the progress that he and his team of students had achieved.  It's a great place, with plenty of stories to tell.

Old "billboard" for antimigraine medicine

The main floor still has original marble aisle and wooden floors.  Light fixtures are electric but made to look like gas lamps.

Floor detail

Upstairs hall lamp

Students stripped and sanded years of paint off of this mantlepiece

A corner of the planter was left exposed to show the original work

Transom windows share light throughout all the rooms

Upper hall, before it was entirely finished
Preservationist Jim Abraham
Read more about the restoration in my article in Connect Savannah.

06 August 2010

A Trip to Middleton Place

By the time I reached college, I was tired of the the cold winters.  I convinced my family to let me travel to Savannah and Charleston for spring break.  I was never much for the party scene.  I preferred poking around libraries, museums and old houses any day.  
I was determined to see an historic plantation that was not a theme park.  No ladies in hoop skirts, "acting" on the lawn.  Luckily, I found Middleton Place Plantation.  Since then, I have moved south and often take visitors up to this lovely, idyllic place.

Among other distinctions, Middleton Place has acres of gardens and grounds, which include the oldest livincamellia plants, live oaks estimated to be 1000 years old, and hidden gardens.

The plantation was at one time a profitable rice farm.  The farmyard is now a "working" museum with stables, blacksmith, weaver, and corral.  Sheep and peacocks wander the lawns.

Bud the horse

The plantation sits on a bend on the Ashley River, about 14 miles upriver from Charleston and is a sanctuary for plenty of wildlife.  Eagles are often seen as are plenty of water fowl, and the occasional alligator!

For more information, check out their site: http://middletonplace.org/

04 August 2010

Sleeper train from Savannah to DC

A few years ago, my parents lived in Virginia, near Washington DC.  Rather than make the drive alone, I took the sleeper car from Savannah to Union Station in DC when I visited for Christmas.  I didn't sleep very well and was up early in the morning.  So I snapped a few pictures of the towns we passed through.
I was interesting to see a town center or a crossing from other side.  It was like looking in a 2-way mirror.  These were the buildings and storefronts that serve (or served) a purpose when train travel (and shipping) was king.  Now, many of these are warehouses, or empty.  Rusting, dilapidated and nearly forgotten.  All captured from the window of a moving train.

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