|Orange Plank Road, 1954|
For those of you who would prefer not to watch an old man cry virtual tears, now might be a good time to avert your eyes.
In a piece I wrote last October I broke with tradition and wrote about my own history instead of that of my ancestors. While acknowledging the inevitability of change, I allowed myself the indulgence of mourning the disappearance of the landscape of my boyhood, together with the history attached to it, and its replacement by the current reality in Spotsylvania. Forty years of relentless commercial development has annihilated that ancient landscape and the historical memory that informed it.
Let the record show that I am not one who would chain himself to a tree or an old farm house in an effort to thwart the tide of progress. I am a firm believer in property rights and the free enterprise system.
That said, what has happened to Spotsylvania during the course of my lifetieme is not altogether a cause for celebration and thanksgiving.
For my readers who have never visited Spotsylvania, or have come there after these changes have taken place, the images I am presenting today will probably not mean much.
To those of you who, like me, grew up there and whose families have lived there for generations these photographs will have special significance.
These pictures were taken in the early 1950s as part of an effort to document the Fredericksburg & Wilderness Telephone Company's upgrading to dial service. All of today's images are courtesy of the Colvin Collection. Click on each photo to see the enlarged image.
Once history is erased, can we ever get it back?
|Brock Road with Goshen Church in the distance|
|Rt. 3 looking east, Jackson Monument in the distance|
|Brock Road near the intersection with Orange Plank Road|
|Rt. 3 at Five Mile Fork, looking east|
|Fredericksburg & Wilderness building at Five Mile Fork|
|Old Plank Road looking east toward McLaws Drive|