Burnside Photographic "The question is not what you look at, but what you see." – Henry David Thoreau

October 31, 2011

Hallowe’en 2011

Barclay Cemetery

Barclay was an old mining town in Bradford County.  It is, of course, completely abandoned now, and all remaining vestiges of the once thriving village are gone, save one – the town cemetery.  After all, you can tear down all the buildings, pull up all the railroad tracks, but how can you remove a cemetery?  A breakdown of the 1880 census indicates that by far the majority of the town’s 2600 people were immigrants – primarily from Ireland and Scotland. In 1877, nearly one third of the town was children.  There were three schools, but most children left school by the time they were teenagers to work in the mines.

Disease was commonplace, and a great number of people were victims of diphtheria.  The majority of them were children.

So here is this cemetery, out in the middle of nowhere, nestled in the hills of southern Bradford County.  The land is now PA State Game Lands, and the cemetery is accessible by driving some pretty scary roads, and then walking perhaps a thousand yards beyond a gate.  I had been there about five or six years ago, and Cousin Rob wanted to see it, so off we went.  It took us two tries, partly because of the gate, which is new since my last visit.  I was SURE we were in the right place, but we couldn’t find it.  On our next attempt, we brought the latitude and longitude with us and found it with no trouble.  We had been within a football filed of it on the first trip.

There’s a sign near the “entrance” that documents the story, as well as the identity of as many of the grave as possible.

I thought it would be appropriate for Halloween.  It is, after all, an abandoned cemetery, and what could be scarier than that?  But in a way, it is a strangely beautiful place, and one has the sense not of death, but of everlasting peace.

Apples, but No Oranges

I set out this afternoon on a drive, thinking about capturing some images of the early snow, but the early snow was mostly gone.  No matter; one of the joys of a ride in the country is the discovery of things which one did not expect to find.

October 29, 2011


Filed under: Antietam,Awareness,Photography,Places,Seeing — Tags: , , , , — Frank Burnside @ 8:11 pm

Burnside's Bridge

With the snow flying around here all day, it seems like an eternity has gone by since I was wandering around the battlefield at Antietam.  Only a week ago, it was a grey and blustery day, which was, in a way, appropriate.  Historic battlefield sites are mostly reincarnated as places of beauty, which is a bit ironic if you think about it, and Antietam is no exception.

But this is not a “tour of the battlefield.”  You may recognize one or two locations, but my object has been to capture the solemn, and sullen, beauty – A Sense of Place.

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