All Images are Copyrighted.
Please feel free to pin to Pinterest - but kindly ask if you wish to otherwise copy or reproduce the images from this blog.

Thank you for visiting my site.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

global and local ...

As with many states, West Virginia is speckled with more smaller towns than large cities. Towns that pop up out of no where; just a cluster of houses on a hill, a church, and small grocer on the side of the road. 
Towns that leave you wondering who would ever live there, or why. 

 I suspect many if not most of these communities developed in response to an industry that came and went, 
leaving behind a shell of what was or what could have been.


 In Southern West Virginia, a good many of those little towns came about as a result of coal mining. An industry that created billionaires and incredible poverty at the same time.

I grew up in the Eastern portion of this tiny state and while coal was not our main source of industry, we were none-the-less reliant on the stabilization it provided to our state's finances (no matter how shaky it might be). And just like the little coal towns that now sit with mountains of coal, increased unemployment, and uncertainty for future prosperity,
my home town hangs on by a thread.
Is it because of faith, stubbornness, ignorance, or just plain laziness that people stay behind
when it would appear all livelihood has up and run off?
Who knows!
But many of these communities remain and function; 
adding character to the demographic of the state,
and sometimes turn out some pretty amazing people: 
Superstar athletes (Randy Moss, Jerry West, Mary Lou Retton ...),
intellects and educators (Booker T. Washington),
leaders in aviation (Chuck Yeager),
and Nobel Prize winners, (John Forbes Nash, Jr.).

. . .

linking up with:


  1. Always sad to see the small towns of yesteryear struggle to stay viable. But delightful to see your sweet photos of these small towns. LOVE the church photo!!

  2. Look very similar to the coal region towns here in PA. Just hanging on, but so full of history. Hate to see them vanishing away like that.

  3. It is really sad to see how small town continue to shrink as the industry that created them change. Many times, the people managing the plants / mines do a poor job with the change... but they are mostly likely the first to leave!
    WVA is still a beautiful state and your photos demonstrate that!

  4. So sad to hear of small towns that struggle to survive. Your photo's of this one are wonderful and I just loved the Church photo.

  5. I too grew up in one of these small towns and it has almost disappeared...It is sad.

    I love your photo of the church...

  6. The town I grew up in in Southern Ohio hasn't really gotten that much smaller but it has fallen on hard times. Seems to be coming out of it somewhat now. Got to hope for the best because I still have family there. But the idea of towns springing up out of nowhere really hit home to me when we were in Norway. All along the coast there are little towns that at a glance looks like they would have no reasonable means of support, but there must be something there. Thought-provoking post today.

  7. that first shot reminds me of some of the small towns in northern Idaho. They're the kind that blink-twice-and-you've-missed-them, but the same clinging to the sides of the mountain feel.

  8. I love that last shot - it has so much meaning. Oh the stories all these little communities could tell! Thanks for sharing a little of them.

  9. Lovely shots and thought provoking commentary.

    I've realized and accepted, for a while now, that the life of any one person is a pretty short span but I'm beginning to realize just how temporary just about everything that man makes is. Towns and whole industries, that once seemed necessary, and stable, and sure, can practically disappear in a decade it seems.

  10. The houses stacked on the hill are so picturesque. We just looked through photos of the ruins of downtown Detroit. So sad. It looks like this town is in better shape. It certainly has character!

  11. Wonderful post. I grew up in a small town in Southern Ohio. Left there 20+ years ago but hear it is struggling. I love the shot of the church.

  12. I visited WV in 1999 during a motorcycle trip and was smitten with the homes nestled in the hills. Beautiful!

  13. Such gorgeous images and so many wonderful things about WV! Thanks for sharing!