I had to run into town today, so I brought the camera along to give you an idea of the neighborhood. There’ll be more of these, but I thought this would do for starters. If you head east from my house on Cunningham road, you’re driving into an area of plantations constructed during the economic boom prior to the Civil War. If you go west, you’re looking at land that was more or less exhausted by the early plantations of the colonial and revolutionary period. There are no existing structures from that era, but at least one church remains on the site where Cornwallis and his boys set the old one alight.

Today we’re going east.

Grocer's. Recently closed.

Grocer's. Recently closed.

I don’t know how old this structure is, but I’d guess 1920’s. I like the loft as an apartment for the storekeeper and his family. The steep gables are also nice. For awhile after we moved here this place sold white bread, Budweiser, cigarettes, mango-flavored White Owl cigars, sodas, toilet paper, twelve-year old franks seared with a heat lamp, styrofoam coolers and tube-rose snuff. You know, the essentials.

And just across the street….

you may find youself living in one of these.

you may find youself living in one of these.

This isn’t a proper shotgun shack. It more a simple hall and parlor. It’s occupied by an elderly couple, and I like driving by it in winter to see the woodsmoke drafting from the chimney. It’s just enough house; unlike…

Waverly

Waverly

The big plantation seat here. Built in the 1830’s by people who were apparently fond of Walter Scott novels* They also operated a large community storehouse from around the 1790’s. It’s apparently still in the hands of the Cunningham family, who have maintained it well.

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A brief detour down Mcghee’s Mill Road brings us to this plantation house, owned by a general practitioner who built a number of schools in the area. Most of his wealth came from attending the cluster of wealthy families in Cunningham Township, and probably hawking his traveling sideshow of the pickled results of father-daughter connubiality.*

Columbus Terrel House

Columbus Terrel House

Finally, there’s this antebellum monstrosity in the Italianate fashion, which has received an appropriately troglodite makeover. I only have one further suggestion: Gazing balls.

The satellite dish would look better on the roof.

The satellite dish would look better on the roof.

*There must be hundreds of plantations with this name, because the owners were largely displaced Scots. I’ve read some accounts of life on these places that suggest the patriarchs were all sullen megalomaniacs who bullied everybody who had the misfortune to cross their path. My favorite is an old bastard who lorded it over a couple thousand acres near Warrenton, and insisted his daughters eschew the company of local boys because they were of the “criminal class”. When his daughters asked to be permitted to travel north to attend school he refused because Yankees were “shiftless lazy dogs who would deflower them” (Maybe the deflowering fell to him, by default).

I’ll bet there were some quiet meals in that household.

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