Thursday, July 5, 2012


We begin today with a (belated) birthday wish:


From our site at the RV Park, we took a few photographs of the fireworks display at the park in Big Stone Gap (VA).


A few days ago, we had taken a drive to Appalachia, VA, described in informational brochures as "a largely intact 'era' town of the late 1800s, early 1900s."

"At one time, the town was the center of a booming coal mining culture. The town was the 'hub' of eight 'coal camps' located along the outskirts of the town."

A walk along the three blocks of downtown Appalachia took us past buildings that showed the wear of many years.

But a closer look at the architectural details revealed signs of a bolder past and possibilties of what could be brought back to life.

Images of other towns whose downtown shopping districts had been "abandoned" in the drive to malls and big box stores just beyond the city limits came to mind.

One of the buildings that is bringing both the arts and, presumably, the citizens and visitors interested in the arts back to downtown is the Appalachia Cultural Arts Center. Its art exhibits, musical entertainment, theatrical productions, and other local events were announced on posters in the windows.

We wondered what the facades would look like if they were brought back to life and wished that the revitalization of the downtown were that simple to accomplish.

I thought that this colorful fire hydrant was an example of the effect a little color can have on brightening up a sidewalk.

The Appalachia United Methodist Church seems to fit that ideal of a cleaned-up exterior that reveals the life that is still in the buildings--and in the downtown area that has celebrated many birthdays..

And just down the street from the Church were some of the more interesting structures.

On the left.

----------------------------(to be continued)----------------------------

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