Friday, October 2, 2009

Cataloochee - Church And School

Palmer Chapel was completed in 1898 on land donated by Mary Ann Palmer.

Sunday service was generally held once a month by visiting circuit rider preachers.

I'll take a window seat please. I see God out there.

The cemetery was a ways behind the church on a hill overlooking the valley. Level ground had better uses and this gave the departed a nicer view anyway.

I have not read or seen Cold Mountain by the Asheville born author Charles Frazier. Cold Mountain is a real place in Haywood County on the SE side of Waynesville. It seems the "War of Northern Aggression" reached into Cataloochee too.

Now I have to think there must have been a different aesthetic for portraits back then. I can not imagine no matter how hard we might think their lives are to us today, that there was not plenty of joy and laughter in their lives. It could not have been all that dour.

I think you had to remain perfectly still for an inordinate amount of time to be photographed back then. Try doing that now and see what you get.

I will and did take the window seat during most of my schooling when it was possible.

This sadly was a horribly dominant problem in all the preserved structures in the park. People carved, painted, inked, chalked and marked their names and dates in every conceivable place. It was so bad there were large signs requesting people not to permanently deface historic structures. Yet there were fresh names and dates from May of 2009.

Now I have to wonder who carries a pen, pencil, chalk or magic marker with them while walking or hiking in a national park. I can visualize a small pocket knife in someone's pocket. Then I have to wonder what is the thought process that makes scrawling your name in a historic structure acceptable. I just don't get it.

It kind of mars the experience of getting to know the people of Cataloochee a bit for me. I'm sure they had much better manners than that.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

It makes me cringe when I see trees scared by people carving into them. Why don't people carry a notebook or sketch book and carry out their scribbles?? That's what I do.

Lola said...

I say leave nothing but your foot prints.
I've seen the movie {very moving}. I have both books but haven't read them yet. Now I can as I can see.
Is Sylvia SE of Waynesville? I have no sense of direction.

Christopher C. NC said...

Now that is an interesting thought Lisa. Some people may just be naturally predisposed to scribbling. then carrying a notepad would be a good solution.

Lola I did read Frazier's Thirteen Moons. It was quite good and very descriptive of place. Boy did it rain a lot in his book.

Christopher C. NC said...

Oh Sylva is about twenty miles SW of Waynesville. Just a short drive.

Siria said...

I too cannot understand why people do this. So much hard work has been done over the years to preserve these beautiful places for us to enjoy and for future generations to enjoy and then some selfish person comes through and defaces it!

I also have Cold Mountain (and the movie). I'll have to add it to your stack of books for winter reading. Cold Mountain will have to be added to your "day trips". You can get to the summit of Cold Mountain via the Art Loeb trail. I understand it is pretty strenuous and about 5 miles from the trailhead. We haven't done it yet, but it's on our list of things to do.

Kate said...

I've always wondered why folks look so dour in those old photographs...

Your photos, however, are quite lovely.

Pam said...

Did you watch Burns' National Park series on PBS last week? It was quite nice - I missed some of it, and hope it is on again soon. It makes you want to get a list of the 58 (or somewhere around there) parks and hit the road and see them all...perhaps three a year might be feasible? Just daydreaming.

Annie in Austin said...

This series from Cataloochee is terrific, Christopher!

When it was new I paid for/read/endured the Cold Mountain novel and a few years later paid for/watched/endured the Cold Mountain movie. Some parts were interesting but as an experience it seemed interminable. Maybe it was bad timing.

If anyone is interested, a descendant of the Confederate soldier Warren Lockman has some genealogy pages about him.

It's not something any of us might do, but that urge to carve is human - we saw graffiti from the early 1800's at Mammoth Cave and some pretty well-known people left their marks when visiting Egypt.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Christopher C. NC said...

Siria, I have looked at the Google map several times of Cold Mountain to try and figure out where it is in the view plus I wanted to drive into the hollers where the story would have actually taken place. On the to do list. It really is disrespectful in this day and age to be carving your name into historic buildings.

Hi Kate. Yes, this is not the first time I noticed that dour look in old group portraits. There must be some logical explanation.

Hi Pam. I saw most of the series on the western parks, but missed the one on the Smokies. I'm sure it will be rerun at some point. Once your new house is built you could take your house on the road to see the parks.

Thanks Annie. I should have had you do some of the writing for these posts for even more info and entertainment.

I take it Cold Mountain left you feeling a bit cold.

So graffiti has a noble history of its own.

Annie in Austin said...

Naaah... You keep writing, Christopher- you're producing poetry while my comments are closer to accounting.

Your idea that they had to stay still makes sense - who could smile that long? And maybe because photos were taken so rarely there was a sense of solemnity or ceremony when the camera appeared? We've got some dour looking photos from the turn of the century.


Pam/Digging said...

Christopher, thanks for adding your links to my celebration of national parks. I've enjoyed reading through your posts again. The Smokies were my childhood park, and we made many visits over the years. It formed my idea of natural beauty.

Speaking of graffiti, it was mentioned in the Ken Burns series in the part on learning how to behave in parks. At first there were no rules, and people did what people do: scrawled their names everywhere, walked on fragile formations, polluted natural pools, etc., etc. Essentially loving the parks to death. Now we know better---at least some of us do.