MARDI GRAS - NEW ORLEANS, LOUSIANA

Mardi Gras, that maddest of all mad days when every man may be a king, or, if he prefers, a tramp or a clown or an Indian chief, and dance in the streets. 

New Orleans City Guide (WPA, 1938)

If you didn’t come to party, take your bitch ass home,” shouts the man selling t-shirts on Bourbon Street. He adds, “I have size sexy for the ladies.”

The main street for Carnival Season partying in New Orleans has a distinct aroma—a mix of sweat, crawfish, Daiquiri puke and just-starting-to-rot garbage. All around the senses are assaulted with beads thrown from above, shoes getting stuck to the sticky wash that covers the street, drummers drumming, people shouting and bursts of purple, gold and green. Mardi Gras has been taking place in New Orleans since before 1835. It is a time for the loud, the grotesque, the strange and excess. While this might sound awful, it is intoxicating. The season has lasted all these years because it is what you make it.

Everyone has a different experience because no one is in charge and the celebration spreads throughout the city. If you came to party, you will find one on Bourbon. I saw lots of tits, a couple asses, hundreds of hollow plastic legs dangling around people’s necks filled with red liquor, people tumbling after one too many and too many crazy outfits to count.

The balcony people taunt the crowds below. Some put fancy trinkets on fishing wire to yank the items out of greedy, eager hands. They lay in wait to judge who is deserving of the beads. Sometimes it requires a dance or a flash and sometimes they take pity on a cute nine-year-old who is getting quite an eyeful.

Just one street over, there is the opportunity for family friendly fare. Royal Street, which turns into St. Charles when heading Uptown, is filled with jugglers and street musicians, and is also the main parade route for the bigger parades. Smartly, the first couple rows of people have chairs and right behind, people set up ladders with elaborate boxes for children to sit in for a better view. There is definitely alcohol, but people try to keep it together a little more here.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat are playing at the Spellcaster Lodge with Jello Biafra in attendance and Big Freedia is bouncing at VASO. There are fancy balls with high society that are by invitation only and parades that are solely for the people who know where they start and stop.

It can also be a time for the political. Different Krewes head different parades, all with unique themes for the year. The Krewe d’Etat is known for its biting satire and this year was no different with floats criticizing the sex trade and prison system. The Zulu Parade, that goes through the neighborhood torn apart by the freeway, celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela this year.

For me, Mardi Gras was cruising the city by bicycle and taking in the sites and sounds. The majority of the time it was a delight. Walking and making photographs, I was moved to tears during the Talladega College Marching Band’s version of Get Lucky and was surprised to find how amazing it is to make eye contact with someone on a giant float and catching the beads thrown right at me. And I already miss the smell.

Mark Twain said: “I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi-Gras in New Orleans.” 

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Tammy Mercure is a State Guide to Tennessee. She was named one of the “100 under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art” by Oxford American magazine.

Follow on Tumblr at tammymercure or on her website, TammyMercure.com. Support her work at TCB Press.

RELIGION - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Soon after the war, the Negroes, who had been members of white churches, began establishing their own congregations. They had no funds with which to build and found that sites were difficult to obtain. For a time they were forced to meet in any available building…
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941)

Religion, specifically Christianity, plays a vital role in rural Alabama life. Traditionally, the church served as a central meeting place and social nucleus for country dwellers. Today, a disproportionate number of churches dot the verdant landscapes surrounding small, one-stoplight towns.
In winter the scant foliage reveals even more of these worship centers, which seem to materialize out of the wilderness. You’ll find these squat, whitewashed structures on backwoods roadways, perched atop remote hillsides, and nestled at the end of quiet dirt roads.  
Though many congregations long abandoned their traditional church structures for newer buildings. The old edifices are rarely demolished. Relics of a bygone era, the abandoned buildings slowly fade into the landscape. Ravenous kudzu vines devour their facades.
While there has been a great deal of progress in Alabama as far as race-relations are concerned, most places of worship remain fairly segregated along racial lines. Even in the smallest towns, churches with majority white congregations are situated a short distance from black churches of the same denomination. These divisions are holdovers from slavery and segregation. Most parishioners see their fellow church members as a sort of extended family; historically, this extension rarely crossed racial boundaries.
During segregation, church was one of the few places where black Alabamians felt safe and free to cultivate an identity. For many African-Americans, church served as a community headquarters for mobilizing against Jim Crow laws. Worship services allowed them a brief reprieve from the troubles of the world around them. These sanctuaries were also home to some of the first black schools.
With the music and message alternating between uplifting and woeful, the order of Sunday services haven’t changed much since the 1950s. While today’s services are shorter and, thanks to air conditioning, more comfortable, the devotionals at a number of black churches are still slow, meditative sessions of mournful humming and call-and-response singing. The spirit and tone of many devotional songs were carried over from the fields. While most slaves were punished for talking while they worked, it was common for overseers to allow singing.   
After devotion, the spirit of the service grows more and more uplifting. The choir sings songs of promise. The sermon—which starts with the reading of a few verses— crescendos into a high-energy show of jumping and shouting. Churchgoers stand and match the minister’s enthusiasm. They wave their hands, jump up and down, stomp their feet, shout things like “amen,” “yes,” and “preach!” This type of enthusiastic service still occurs at a number of churches across central Alabama. These services, like the old worship structures speckling the rural landscape, attest to how closely linked the past and the present are in the increasingly complicated palimpsest that is the American South.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Hale County, Alabama.
 * * *
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
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RELIGION - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Soon after the war, the Negroes, who had been members of white churches, began establishing their own congregations. They had no funds with which to build and found that sites were difficult to obtain. For a time they were forced to meet in any available building…
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941)

Religion, specifically Christianity, plays a vital role in rural Alabama life. Traditionally, the church served as a central meeting place and social nucleus for country dwellers. Today, a disproportionate number of churches dot the verdant landscapes surrounding small, one-stoplight towns.
In winter the scant foliage reveals even more of these worship centers, which seem to materialize out of the wilderness. You’ll find these squat, whitewashed structures on backwoods roadways, perched atop remote hillsides, and nestled at the end of quiet dirt roads.  
Though many congregations long abandoned their traditional church structures for newer buildings. The old edifices are rarely demolished. Relics of a bygone era, the abandoned buildings slowly fade into the landscape. Ravenous kudzu vines devour their facades.
While there has been a great deal of progress in Alabama as far as race-relations are concerned, most places of worship remain fairly segregated along racial lines. Even in the smallest towns, churches with majority white congregations are situated a short distance from black churches of the same denomination. These divisions are holdovers from slavery and segregation. Most parishioners see their fellow church members as a sort of extended family; historically, this extension rarely crossed racial boundaries.
During segregation, church was one of the few places where black Alabamians felt safe and free to cultivate an identity. For many African-Americans, church served as a community headquarters for mobilizing against Jim Crow laws. Worship services allowed them a brief reprieve from the troubles of the world around them. These sanctuaries were also home to some of the first black schools.
With the music and message alternating between uplifting and woeful, the order of Sunday services haven’t changed much since the 1950s. While today’s services are shorter and, thanks to air conditioning, more comfortable, the devotionals at a number of black churches are still slow, meditative sessions of mournful humming and call-and-response singing. The spirit and tone of many devotional songs were carried over from the fields. While most slaves were punished for talking while they worked, it was common for overseers to allow singing.   
After devotion, the spirit of the service grows more and more uplifting. The choir sings songs of promise. The sermon—which starts with the reading of a few verses— crescendos into a high-energy show of jumping and shouting. Churchgoers stand and match the minister’s enthusiasm. They wave their hands, jump up and down, stomp their feet, shout things like “amen,” “yes,” and “preach!” This type of enthusiastic service still occurs at a number of churches across central Alabama. These services, like the old worship structures speckling the rural landscape, attest to how closely linked the past and the present are in the increasingly complicated palimpsest that is the American South.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Hale County, Alabama.
 * * *
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
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RELIGION - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Soon after the war, the Negroes, who had been members of white churches, began establishing their own congregations. They had no funds with which to build and found that sites were difficult to obtain. For a time they were forced to meet in any available building…
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941)

Religion, specifically Christianity, plays a vital role in rural Alabama life. Traditionally, the church served as a central meeting place and social nucleus for country dwellers. Today, a disproportionate number of churches dot the verdant landscapes surrounding small, one-stoplight towns.
In winter the scant foliage reveals even more of these worship centers, which seem to materialize out of the wilderness. You’ll find these squat, whitewashed structures on backwoods roadways, perched atop remote hillsides, and nestled at the end of quiet dirt roads.  
Though many congregations long abandoned their traditional church structures for newer buildings. The old edifices are rarely demolished. Relics of a bygone era, the abandoned buildings slowly fade into the landscape. Ravenous kudzu vines devour their facades.
While there has been a great deal of progress in Alabama as far as race-relations are concerned, most places of worship remain fairly segregated along racial lines. Even in the smallest towns, churches with majority white congregations are situated a short distance from black churches of the same denomination. These divisions are holdovers from slavery and segregation. Most parishioners see their fellow church members as a sort of extended family; historically, this extension rarely crossed racial boundaries.
During segregation, church was one of the few places where black Alabamians felt safe and free to cultivate an identity. For many African-Americans, church served as a community headquarters for mobilizing against Jim Crow laws. Worship services allowed them a brief reprieve from the troubles of the world around them. These sanctuaries were also home to some of the first black schools.
With the music and message alternating between uplifting and woeful, the order of Sunday services haven’t changed much since the 1950s. While today’s services are shorter and, thanks to air conditioning, more comfortable, the devotionals at a number of black churches are still slow, meditative sessions of mournful humming and call-and-response singing. The spirit and tone of many devotional songs were carried over from the fields. While most slaves were punished for talking while they worked, it was common for overseers to allow singing.   
After devotion, the spirit of the service grows more and more uplifting. The choir sings songs of promise. The sermon—which starts with the reading of a few verses— crescendos into a high-energy show of jumping and shouting. Churchgoers stand and match the minister’s enthusiasm. They wave their hands, jump up and down, stomp their feet, shout things like “amen,” “yes,” and “preach!” This type of enthusiastic service still occurs at a number of churches across central Alabama. These services, like the old worship structures speckling the rural landscape, attest to how closely linked the past and the present are in the increasingly complicated palimpsest that is the American South.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Hale County, Alabama.
 * * *
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
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RELIGION - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Soon after the war, the Negroes, who had been members of white churches, began establishing their own congregations. They had no funds with which to build and found that sites were difficult to obtain. For a time they were forced to meet in any available building…
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941)

Religion, specifically Christianity, plays a vital role in rural Alabama life. Traditionally, the church served as a central meeting place and social nucleus for country dwellers. Today, a disproportionate number of churches dot the verdant landscapes surrounding small, one-stoplight towns.
In winter the scant foliage reveals even more of these worship centers, which seem to materialize out of the wilderness. You’ll find these squat, whitewashed structures on backwoods roadways, perched atop remote hillsides, and nestled at the end of quiet dirt roads.  
Though many congregations long abandoned their traditional church structures for newer buildings. The old edifices are rarely demolished. Relics of a bygone era, the abandoned buildings slowly fade into the landscape. Ravenous kudzu vines devour their facades.
While there has been a great deal of progress in Alabama as far as race-relations are concerned, most places of worship remain fairly segregated along racial lines. Even in the smallest towns, churches with majority white congregations are situated a short distance from black churches of the same denomination. These divisions are holdovers from slavery and segregation. Most parishioners see their fellow church members as a sort of extended family; historically, this extension rarely crossed racial boundaries.
During segregation, church was one of the few places where black Alabamians felt safe and free to cultivate an identity. For many African-Americans, church served as a community headquarters for mobilizing against Jim Crow laws. Worship services allowed them a brief reprieve from the troubles of the world around them. These sanctuaries were also home to some of the first black schools.
With the music and message alternating between uplifting and woeful, the order of Sunday services haven’t changed much since the 1950s. While today’s services are shorter and, thanks to air conditioning, more comfortable, the devotionals at a number of black churches are still slow, meditative sessions of mournful humming and call-and-response singing. The spirit and tone of many devotional songs were carried over from the fields. While most slaves were punished for talking while they worked, it was common for overseers to allow singing.   
After devotion, the spirit of the service grows more and more uplifting. The choir sings songs of promise. The sermon—which starts with the reading of a few verses— crescendos into a high-energy show of jumping and shouting. Churchgoers stand and match the minister’s enthusiasm. They wave their hands, jump up and down, stomp their feet, shout things like “amen,” “yes,” and “preach!” This type of enthusiastic service still occurs at a number of churches across central Alabama. These services, like the old worship structures speckling the rural landscape, attest to how closely linked the past and the present are in the increasingly complicated palimpsest that is the American South.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Hale County, Alabama.
 * * *
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
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RELIGION - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Soon after the war, the Negroes, who had been members of white churches, began establishing their own congregations. They had no funds with which to build and found that sites were difficult to obtain. For a time they were forced to meet in any available building…
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941)

Religion, specifically Christianity, plays a vital role in rural Alabama life. Traditionally, the church served as a central meeting place and social nucleus for country dwellers. Today, a disproportionate number of churches dot the verdant landscapes surrounding small, one-stoplight towns.
In winter the scant foliage reveals even more of these worship centers, which seem to materialize out of the wilderness. You’ll find these squat, whitewashed structures on backwoods roadways, perched atop remote hillsides, and nestled at the end of quiet dirt roads.  
Though many congregations long abandoned their traditional church structures for newer buildings. The old edifices are rarely demolished. Relics of a bygone era, the abandoned buildings slowly fade into the landscape. Ravenous kudzu vines devour their facades.
While there has been a great deal of progress in Alabama as far as race-relations are concerned, most places of worship remain fairly segregated along racial lines. Even in the smallest towns, churches with majority white congregations are situated a short distance from black churches of the same denomination. These divisions are holdovers from slavery and segregation. Most parishioners see their fellow church members as a sort of extended family; historically, this extension rarely crossed racial boundaries.
During segregation, church was one of the few places where black Alabamians felt safe and free to cultivate an identity. For many African-Americans, church served as a community headquarters for mobilizing against Jim Crow laws. Worship services allowed them a brief reprieve from the troubles of the world around them. These sanctuaries were also home to some of the first black schools.
With the music and message alternating between uplifting and woeful, the order of Sunday services haven’t changed much since the 1950s. While today’s services are shorter and, thanks to air conditioning, more comfortable, the devotionals at a number of black churches are still slow, meditative sessions of mournful humming and call-and-response singing. The spirit and tone of many devotional songs were carried over from the fields. While most slaves were punished for talking while they worked, it was common for overseers to allow singing.   
After devotion, the spirit of the service grows more and more uplifting. The choir sings songs of promise. The sermon—which starts with the reading of a few verses— crescendos into a high-energy show of jumping and shouting. Churchgoers stand and match the minister’s enthusiasm. They wave their hands, jump up and down, stomp their feet, shout things like “amen,” “yes,” and “preach!” This type of enthusiastic service still occurs at a number of churches across central Alabama. These services, like the old worship structures speckling the rural landscape, attest to how closely linked the past and the present are in the increasingly complicated palimpsest that is the American South.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Hale County, Alabama.
 * * *
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
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RELIGION - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Soon after the war, the Negroes, who had been members of white churches, began establishing their own congregations. They had no funds with which to build and found that sites were difficult to obtain. For a time they were forced to meet in any available building…

—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941)

Religion, specifically Christianity, plays a vital role in rural Alabama life. Traditionally, the church served as a central meeting place and social nucleus for country dwellers. Today, a disproportionate number of churches dot the verdant landscapes surrounding small, one-stoplight towns.

In winter the scant foliage reveals even more of these worship centers, which seem to materialize out of the wilderness. You’ll find these squat, whitewashed structures on backwoods roadways, perched atop remote hillsides, and nestled at the end of quiet dirt roads.  

Though many congregations long abandoned their traditional church structures for newer buildings. The old edifices are rarely demolished. Relics of a bygone era, the abandoned buildings slowly fade into the landscape. Ravenous kudzu vines devour their facades.

While there has been a great deal of progress in Alabama as far as race-relations are concerned, most places of worship remain fairly segregated along racial lines. Even in the smallest towns, churches with majority white congregations are situated a short distance from black churches of the same denomination. These divisions are holdovers from slavery and segregation. Most parishioners see their fellow church members as a sort of extended family; historically, this extension rarely crossed racial boundaries.

During segregation, church was one of the few places where black Alabamians felt safe and free to cultivate an identity. For many African-Americans, church served as a community headquarters for mobilizing against Jim Crow laws. Worship services allowed them a brief reprieve from the troubles of the world around them. These sanctuaries were also home to some of the first black schools.

With the music and message alternating between uplifting and woeful, the order of Sunday services haven’t changed much since the 1950s. While today’s services are shorter and, thanks to air conditioning, more comfortable, the devotionals at a number of black churches are still slow, meditative sessions of mournful humming and call-and-response singing. The spirit and tone of many devotional songs were carried over from the fields. While most slaves were punished for talking while they worked, it was common for overseers to allow singing.   

After devotion, the spirit of the service grows more and more uplifting. The choir sings songs of promise. The sermon—which starts with the reading of a few verses— crescendos into a high-energy show of jumping and shouting. Churchgoers stand and match the minister’s enthusiasm. They wave their hands, jump up and down, stomp their feet, shout things like “amen,” “yes,” and “preach!” This type of enthusiastic service still occurs at a number of churches across central Alabama. These services, like the old worship structures speckling the rural landscape, attest to how closely linked the past and the present are in the increasingly complicated palimpsest that is the American South.

Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Hale County, Alabama.

 * * *

April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.

Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.

THE DESCENT OF CIVILIZATION - AMERICAN BISON, SOUTH DAKOTA

These animals have largely forsaken the nomadic tendencies of their ancestors and are generally content to remain the year around on the home range. Only occasionally does one wander away. Such was the case in 1936 when an old buffalo appeared in a farmer’s yard near Witten in the Rosebud country. The children screamed and climbed the windmill; the excited parents called the neighbors on the party telephone line and soon all were there with automobiles. Using cars, the farmers chased the decrepit old buffalo until he fell exhausted and died.

A South Dakota Guide (WPA, 1938)

Before Alexander Hamilton’s visage graced the ten dollar bill, it was Andrew Jackson’s mug leering from the note. But just preceding Old Hickory, for an all-too-brief period of 13 years, the sawbuck sported a far worthier American symbol—the bison. When the Treasury released the “Buffalo Bill” in 1901, there were only a few hundred living animals remaining. 

The American bison was one of the first and best cases for conservation in the United States, largely because their near incalculable numbers were relentlessly exterminated within an incredibly short span of time. White buffalo hunters, government policies targeting American Indians, the Transcontinental Railroad, and even telegraph companies were all drivers behind the bison’s systematic annihilation.  

In 1889, William Hornaday, the first director of the Bronx Zoo, wrote, “Of all the quadrupeds that have lived upon the earth, probably no other species has ever marshaled such innumerable hosts as those of the American bison. It would have been as easy to count or to estimate the number of leaves in a forest as to calculate the number of buffaloes living at any given time during the history of the species previous to 1870.”

Today there are about 500,000 bison in North America (some 10 percent of which belong to Buffalo Bill wanna-be Ted Turner) and the animals continue to be a source of controversy. In Montana, ranchers fear the spread of brucellosis from roaming bison to their cattle herds, and are trying to stop the restoration of wild buffalo to the land. One state legislator remarked, “Why do you want to spread this creeping cancer, these wooly tanks, around the state of Montana? We’ve got zero tolerance left in our bones.”

All wrangling aside, when you round a bend and see for the first time the hulking black masses dividing flat green from flat blue, it is heart-stopping. A shadow play of the Great Plains myth moving slowly across the horizon, never to be forgotten. 

Guide note: During the summer months Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop Road is packed with RVs and minivans, but it’s also a good place to get the merest hint of what bison herds must have been like in the 19th century. And if you’re up for roughing it in the primitive camping area of the park, you may wake up to the snorts, snuffles and bellowing grunts of a herd surrounding your tent.

Further reading: 

Ghost Dances: Proving Up On the Great Plains by Josh Garrett-Davis begins at the Bronx Zoo’s bison enclosure and unspools the deeply layered history of the Great Plains alongside a memoir of growing up in South Dakota.  

The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley contains (amongst other fascinating conservation tales) the story of Roosevelt and William Hornaday’s attempts to save the bison from extinction.

Images - Erin Chapman & Tom McNamara; Words - Erin Chapman; Archive - Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Burton Historical Collection - Detroit Public Library

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Erin Chapman and Tom McNamara are co-editors of The American Guide. 

BLACK CHURCHES & FRATERNAL SOCIETIES - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
The church has long been at the heart of African-American life in Brooklyn, once known as the “city of churches.” In the 1760s, Captain Thomas Webb, a British convert to Wesleyan Methodism, began holding outdoor services in downtown Brooklyn before purchasing land on Sands Street in 1794 for what would become the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Brooklyn. The church was notable for its integrated white and black congregation, highly unusual for the time; however, African-American parishioners soon grew displeased with the discriminatory treatment they endured from the majority-white congregation. In 1818, blacks from the Sands Street church sent a delegation to Philadelphia to meet with Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that city. After gaining recognition from the AME Church and the State of New York, the breakaway group founded the First African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, later known as the Bridge Street Church after it moved to that locale in 1854. The present Bridge Street Church is located on Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where it continues to be a vital part of the community.
During the Civil War, Brooklyn’s small free black population was given a boost by the exodus of African Americans from Manhattan following the notorious Draft Riots. Small black communities, clustered near the waterfront in Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Fort Greene, were gradually drawn further out to areas like “Crow Hill” (Crown Heights) and Weeksville, the latter being the speculative venture of James Weeks, an African-American real estate developer. Successive waves of migrants from the post-Emancipation South were followed by immigrants from the Caribbean after World War I. By the mid-twentieth century, de facto segregation, government policies, and “redlining” by banks and real estate agencies had combined to concentrate people of African descent in Central Brooklyn, particularly in the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.
Church life continues to play a highly visible role in black Brooklyn, even as Bloomberg-era gentrification and high rents compound decades of neglect and threaten to displace older residents. While some of the images here—particularly those of the storefront churches which proliferated with the spread of various Pentacostal and Evangelical Protestant denominations—suggest a kind of picturesque decay, many congregations, such as Concord Street Baptist (founded 1847) and First AME Zion (1885) continue to thrive.
An interesting analogue to the black church has been the contemporaneous development of African-American fraternal societies, most famously the Prince Hall Freemasons, members of which continue to meet at the Enoch Grand Lodge on Nostrand Avenue (various Prince Hall lodges also utilize the larger Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene). Masonic insignia featuring the square and compass with the letter “G” abound on the building, seen in its stained glass and on its flagpole, and reflected on license-plate holders, window decals and the awning of a deli across the street. Founded by Prince Hall, a free African American who chartered an “African Lodge” during the Revolutionary War, the Prince Hall Masons formed part of a vital network linking antebellum free black communities, fostering close ties to the churches and taking an active part in antislavery agitation. In the Reconstruction South, black politicians and ministers organized Masonic lodges alongside AME churches and Republican Party clubs. Despite being excluded from the mainstream, whites-only iterations of fraternal societies, blacks formed their own lodges of Prince Hall Masons as well as of fraternal offshoots like the Odd-Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Order of the Eastern Star. Membership in these organizations exploded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as part of a general mania for secret societies and associations of all kinds. But for African Americans, the benevolent and charitable functions of these groups only grew in importance as segregation forced them to rely increasingly on institutions within their own communities for mutual aid and support.
One such organization, the all-female Grand United Order of Tents, was established in Norfolk, Virginia in 1866 by two former slaves, Annetta Lane and Harriet Taylor (the group may in fact have originated before the Civil War as part of the Underground Railroad organized to shelter runaway slaves). Their somewhat forlorn-looking former headquarters on MacDonough Street, in the former mansion of an Irish-American railroad magnate and banker, bears silent testimony to this now often-overlooked facet of African-American associational life.
Words - Sean Griffin; Images - Leah Frances
In order of appearance - top to bottom, left to right:
1) Vision Pentecostal Church of God - 1050 Utica Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203
2) Glorious Trinity Baptist Church - 285 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
3) Up South Missionary Baptist Church - 553 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
4) The Most Worshipful Enoch Grand Lodge of the Order of Masons - 423 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
5) The Almighty God Ministries International - 329 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
6) Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church - 228 Decatur St, Brooklyn, NY 11233
7) Church of God Victory - 658 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
8) South Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist Church - 1313 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216-2928
9) Eastern District Grand Tent #3, Grand United Order of Tents - 87 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
10) Lovely Hill Baptist Church - 375 Throop Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
11) The Greater New Harvest Church of Christ - 210 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
12) First AME Zion Church - 54 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
13) Bridge Street AME Church - 277 Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
14) The Concord Baptist Church of Christ - 833 Gardner C. Taylor Boulevard (formerly Marcy Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11216
15) Grace Baptist Church - 1200 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* * *
Sean Griffin is a Ph.D student in U.S. History at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
BLACK CHURCHES & FRATERNAL SOCIETIES - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
The church has long been at the heart of African-American life in Brooklyn, once known as the “city of churches.” In the 1760s, Captain Thomas Webb, a British convert to Wesleyan Methodism, began holding outdoor services in downtown Brooklyn before purchasing land on Sands Street in 1794 for what would become the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Brooklyn. The church was notable for its integrated white and black congregation, highly unusual for the time; however, African-American parishioners soon grew displeased with the discriminatory treatment they endured from the majority-white congregation. In 1818, blacks from the Sands Street church sent a delegation to Philadelphia to meet with Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that city. After gaining recognition from the AME Church and the State of New York, the breakaway group founded the First African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, later known as the Bridge Street Church after it moved to that locale in 1854. The present Bridge Street Church is located on Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where it continues to be a vital part of the community.
During the Civil War, Brooklyn’s small free black population was given a boost by the exodus of African Americans from Manhattan following the notorious Draft Riots. Small black communities, clustered near the waterfront in Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Fort Greene, were gradually drawn further out to areas like “Crow Hill” (Crown Heights) and Weeksville, the latter being the speculative venture of James Weeks, an African-American real estate developer. Successive waves of migrants from the post-Emancipation South were followed by immigrants from the Caribbean after World War I. By the mid-twentieth century, de facto segregation, government policies, and “redlining” by banks and real estate agencies had combined to concentrate people of African descent in Central Brooklyn, particularly in the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.
Church life continues to play a highly visible role in black Brooklyn, even as Bloomberg-era gentrification and high rents compound decades of neglect and threaten to displace older residents. While some of the images here—particularly those of the storefront churches which proliferated with the spread of various Pentacostal and Evangelical Protestant denominations—suggest a kind of picturesque decay, many congregations, such as Concord Street Baptist (founded 1847) and First AME Zion (1885) continue to thrive.
An interesting analogue to the black church has been the contemporaneous development of African-American fraternal societies, most famously the Prince Hall Freemasons, members of which continue to meet at the Enoch Grand Lodge on Nostrand Avenue (various Prince Hall lodges also utilize the larger Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene). Masonic insignia featuring the square and compass with the letter “G” abound on the building, seen in its stained glass and on its flagpole, and reflected on license-plate holders, window decals and the awning of a deli across the street. Founded by Prince Hall, a free African American who chartered an “African Lodge” during the Revolutionary War, the Prince Hall Masons formed part of a vital network linking antebellum free black communities, fostering close ties to the churches and taking an active part in antislavery agitation. In the Reconstruction South, black politicians and ministers organized Masonic lodges alongside AME churches and Republican Party clubs. Despite being excluded from the mainstream, whites-only iterations of fraternal societies, blacks formed their own lodges of Prince Hall Masons as well as of fraternal offshoots like the Odd-Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Order of the Eastern Star. Membership in these organizations exploded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as part of a general mania for secret societies and associations of all kinds. But for African Americans, the benevolent and charitable functions of these groups only grew in importance as segregation forced them to rely increasingly on institutions within their own communities for mutual aid and support.
One such organization, the all-female Grand United Order of Tents, was established in Norfolk, Virginia in 1866 by two former slaves, Annetta Lane and Harriet Taylor (the group may in fact have originated before the Civil War as part of the Underground Railroad organized to shelter runaway slaves). Their somewhat forlorn-looking former headquarters on MacDonough Street, in the former mansion of an Irish-American railroad magnate and banker, bears silent testimony to this now often-overlooked facet of African-American associational life.
Words - Sean Griffin; Images - Leah Frances
In order of appearance - top to bottom, left to right:
1) Vision Pentecostal Church of God - 1050 Utica Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203
2) Glorious Trinity Baptist Church - 285 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
3) Up South Missionary Baptist Church - 553 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
4) The Most Worshipful Enoch Grand Lodge of the Order of Masons - 423 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
5) The Almighty God Ministries International - 329 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
6) Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church - 228 Decatur St, Brooklyn, NY 11233
7) Church of God Victory - 658 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
8) South Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist Church - 1313 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216-2928
9) Eastern District Grand Tent #3, Grand United Order of Tents - 87 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
10) Lovely Hill Baptist Church - 375 Throop Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
11) The Greater New Harvest Church of Christ - 210 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
12) First AME Zion Church - 54 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
13) Bridge Street AME Church - 277 Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
14) The Concord Baptist Church of Christ - 833 Gardner C. Taylor Boulevard (formerly Marcy Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11216
15) Grace Baptist Church - 1200 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* * *
Sean Griffin is a Ph.D student in U.S. History at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
BLACK CHURCHES & FRATERNAL SOCIETIES - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
The church has long been at the heart of African-American life in Brooklyn, once known as the “city of churches.” In the 1760s, Captain Thomas Webb, a British convert to Wesleyan Methodism, began holding outdoor services in downtown Brooklyn before purchasing land on Sands Street in 1794 for what would become the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Brooklyn. The church was notable for its integrated white and black congregation, highly unusual for the time; however, African-American parishioners soon grew displeased with the discriminatory treatment they endured from the majority-white congregation. In 1818, blacks from the Sands Street church sent a delegation to Philadelphia to meet with Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that city. After gaining recognition from the AME Church and the State of New York, the breakaway group founded the First African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, later known as the Bridge Street Church after it moved to that locale in 1854. The present Bridge Street Church is located on Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where it continues to be a vital part of the community.
During the Civil War, Brooklyn’s small free black population was given a boost by the exodus of African Americans from Manhattan following the notorious Draft Riots. Small black communities, clustered near the waterfront in Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Fort Greene, were gradually drawn further out to areas like “Crow Hill” (Crown Heights) and Weeksville, the latter being the speculative venture of James Weeks, an African-American real estate developer. Successive waves of migrants from the post-Emancipation South were followed by immigrants from the Caribbean after World War I. By the mid-twentieth century, de facto segregation, government policies, and “redlining” by banks and real estate agencies had combined to concentrate people of African descent in Central Brooklyn, particularly in the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.
Church life continues to play a highly visible role in black Brooklyn, even as Bloomberg-era gentrification and high rents compound decades of neglect and threaten to displace older residents. While some of the images here—particularly those of the storefront churches which proliferated with the spread of various Pentacostal and Evangelical Protestant denominations—suggest a kind of picturesque decay, many congregations, such as Concord Street Baptist (founded 1847) and First AME Zion (1885) continue to thrive.
An interesting analogue to the black church has been the contemporaneous development of African-American fraternal societies, most famously the Prince Hall Freemasons, members of which continue to meet at the Enoch Grand Lodge on Nostrand Avenue (various Prince Hall lodges also utilize the larger Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene). Masonic insignia featuring the square and compass with the letter “G” abound on the building, seen in its stained glass and on its flagpole, and reflected on license-plate holders, window decals and the awning of a deli across the street. Founded by Prince Hall, a free African American who chartered an “African Lodge” during the Revolutionary War, the Prince Hall Masons formed part of a vital network linking antebellum free black communities, fostering close ties to the churches and taking an active part in antislavery agitation. In the Reconstruction South, black politicians and ministers organized Masonic lodges alongside AME churches and Republican Party clubs. Despite being excluded from the mainstream, whites-only iterations of fraternal societies, blacks formed their own lodges of Prince Hall Masons as well as of fraternal offshoots like the Odd-Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Order of the Eastern Star. Membership in these organizations exploded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as part of a general mania for secret societies and associations of all kinds. But for African Americans, the benevolent and charitable functions of these groups only grew in importance as segregation forced them to rely increasingly on institutions within their own communities for mutual aid and support.
One such organization, the all-female Grand United Order of Tents, was established in Norfolk, Virginia in 1866 by two former slaves, Annetta Lane and Harriet Taylor (the group may in fact have originated before the Civil War as part of the Underground Railroad organized to shelter runaway slaves). Their somewhat forlorn-looking former headquarters on MacDonough Street, in the former mansion of an Irish-American railroad magnate and banker, bears silent testimony to this now often-overlooked facet of African-American associational life.
Words - Sean Griffin; Images - Leah Frances
In order of appearance - top to bottom, left to right:
1) Vision Pentecostal Church of God - 1050 Utica Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203
2) Glorious Trinity Baptist Church - 285 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
3) Up South Missionary Baptist Church - 553 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
4) The Most Worshipful Enoch Grand Lodge of the Order of Masons - 423 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
5) The Almighty God Ministries International - 329 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
6) Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church - 228 Decatur St, Brooklyn, NY 11233
7) Church of God Victory - 658 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
8) South Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist Church - 1313 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216-2928
9) Eastern District Grand Tent #3, Grand United Order of Tents - 87 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
10) Lovely Hill Baptist Church - 375 Throop Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
11) The Greater New Harvest Church of Christ - 210 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
12) First AME Zion Church - 54 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
13) Bridge Street AME Church - 277 Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
14) The Concord Baptist Church of Christ - 833 Gardner C. Taylor Boulevard (formerly Marcy Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11216
15) Grace Baptist Church - 1200 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* * *
Sean Griffin is a Ph.D student in U.S. History at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
BLACK CHURCHES & FRATERNAL SOCIETIES - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
The church has long been at the heart of African-American life in Brooklyn, once known as the “city of churches.” In the 1760s, Captain Thomas Webb, a British convert to Wesleyan Methodism, began holding outdoor services in downtown Brooklyn before purchasing land on Sands Street in 1794 for what would become the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Brooklyn. The church was notable for its integrated white and black congregation, highly unusual for the time; however, African-American parishioners soon grew displeased with the discriminatory treatment they endured from the majority-white congregation. In 1818, blacks from the Sands Street church sent a delegation to Philadelphia to meet with Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that city. After gaining recognition from the AME Church and the State of New York, the breakaway group founded the First African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, later known as the Bridge Street Church after it moved to that locale in 1854. The present Bridge Street Church is located on Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where it continues to be a vital part of the community.
During the Civil War, Brooklyn’s small free black population was given a boost by the exodus of African Americans from Manhattan following the notorious Draft Riots. Small black communities, clustered near the waterfront in Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Fort Greene, were gradually drawn further out to areas like “Crow Hill” (Crown Heights) and Weeksville, the latter being the speculative venture of James Weeks, an African-American real estate developer. Successive waves of migrants from the post-Emancipation South were followed by immigrants from the Caribbean after World War I. By the mid-twentieth century, de facto segregation, government policies, and “redlining” by banks and real estate agencies had combined to concentrate people of African descent in Central Brooklyn, particularly in the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.
Church life continues to play a highly visible role in black Brooklyn, even as Bloomberg-era gentrification and high rents compound decades of neglect and threaten to displace older residents. While some of the images here—particularly those of the storefront churches which proliferated with the spread of various Pentacostal and Evangelical Protestant denominations—suggest a kind of picturesque decay, many congregations, such as Concord Street Baptist (founded 1847) and First AME Zion (1885) continue to thrive.
An interesting analogue to the black church has been the contemporaneous development of African-American fraternal societies, most famously the Prince Hall Freemasons, members of which continue to meet at the Enoch Grand Lodge on Nostrand Avenue (various Prince Hall lodges also utilize the larger Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene). Masonic insignia featuring the square and compass with the letter “G” abound on the building, seen in its stained glass and on its flagpole, and reflected on license-plate holders, window decals and the awning of a deli across the street. Founded by Prince Hall, a free African American who chartered an “African Lodge” during the Revolutionary War, the Prince Hall Masons formed part of a vital network linking antebellum free black communities, fostering close ties to the churches and taking an active part in antislavery agitation. In the Reconstruction South, black politicians and ministers organized Masonic lodges alongside AME churches and Republican Party clubs. Despite being excluded from the mainstream, whites-only iterations of fraternal societies, blacks formed their own lodges of Prince Hall Masons as well as of fraternal offshoots like the Odd-Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Order of the Eastern Star. Membership in these organizations exploded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as part of a general mania for secret societies and associations of all kinds. But for African Americans, the benevolent and charitable functions of these groups only grew in importance as segregation forced them to rely increasingly on institutions within their own communities for mutual aid and support.
One such organization, the all-female Grand United Order of Tents, was established in Norfolk, Virginia in 1866 by two former slaves, Annetta Lane and Harriet Taylor (the group may in fact have originated before the Civil War as part of the Underground Railroad organized to shelter runaway slaves). Their somewhat forlorn-looking former headquarters on MacDonough Street, in the former mansion of an Irish-American railroad magnate and banker, bears silent testimony to this now often-overlooked facet of African-American associational life.
Words - Sean Griffin; Images - Leah Frances
In order of appearance - top to bottom, left to right:
1) Vision Pentecostal Church of God - 1050 Utica Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203
2) Glorious Trinity Baptist Church - 285 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
3) Up South Missionary Baptist Church - 553 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
4) The Most Worshipful Enoch Grand Lodge of the Order of Masons - 423 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
5) The Almighty God Ministries International - 329 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
6) Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church - 228 Decatur St, Brooklyn, NY 11233
7) Church of God Victory - 658 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
8) South Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist Church - 1313 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216-2928
9) Eastern District Grand Tent #3, Grand United Order of Tents - 87 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
10) Lovely Hill Baptist Church - 375 Throop Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
11) The Greater New Harvest Church of Christ - 210 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
12) First AME Zion Church - 54 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
13) Bridge Street AME Church - 277 Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
14) The Concord Baptist Church of Christ - 833 Gardner C. Taylor Boulevard (formerly Marcy Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11216
15) Grace Baptist Church - 1200 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* * *
Sean Griffin is a Ph.D student in U.S. History at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
BLACK CHURCHES & FRATERNAL SOCIETIES - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
The church has long been at the heart of African-American life in Brooklyn, once known as the “city of churches.” In the 1760s, Captain Thomas Webb, a British convert to Wesleyan Methodism, began holding outdoor services in downtown Brooklyn before purchasing land on Sands Street in 1794 for what would become the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Brooklyn. The church was notable for its integrated white and black congregation, highly unusual for the time; however, African-American parishioners soon grew displeased with the discriminatory treatment they endured from the majority-white congregation. In 1818, blacks from the Sands Street church sent a delegation to Philadelphia to meet with Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that city. After gaining recognition from the AME Church and the State of New York, the breakaway group founded the First African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, later known as the Bridge Street Church after it moved to that locale in 1854. The present Bridge Street Church is located on Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where it continues to be a vital part of the community.
During the Civil War, Brooklyn’s small free black population was given a boost by the exodus of African Americans from Manhattan following the notorious Draft Riots. Small black communities, clustered near the waterfront in Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Fort Greene, were gradually drawn further out to areas like “Crow Hill” (Crown Heights) and Weeksville, the latter being the speculative venture of James Weeks, an African-American real estate developer. Successive waves of migrants from the post-Emancipation South were followed by immigrants from the Caribbean after World War I. By the mid-twentieth century, de facto segregation, government policies, and “redlining” by banks and real estate agencies had combined to concentrate people of African descent in Central Brooklyn, particularly in the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.
Church life continues to play a highly visible role in black Brooklyn, even as Bloomberg-era gentrification and high rents compound decades of neglect and threaten to displace older residents. While some of the images here—particularly those of the storefront churches which proliferated with the spread of various Pentacostal and Evangelical Protestant denominations—suggest a kind of picturesque decay, many congregations, such as Concord Street Baptist (founded 1847) and First AME Zion (1885) continue to thrive.
An interesting analogue to the black church has been the contemporaneous development of African-American fraternal societies, most famously the Prince Hall Freemasons, members of which continue to meet at the Enoch Grand Lodge on Nostrand Avenue (various Prince Hall lodges also utilize the larger Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene). Masonic insignia featuring the square and compass with the letter “G” abound on the building, seen in its stained glass and on its flagpole, and reflected on license-plate holders, window decals and the awning of a deli across the street. Founded by Prince Hall, a free African American who chartered an “African Lodge” during the Revolutionary War, the Prince Hall Masons formed part of a vital network linking antebellum free black communities, fostering close ties to the churches and taking an active part in antislavery agitation. In the Reconstruction South, black politicians and ministers organized Masonic lodges alongside AME churches and Republican Party clubs. Despite being excluded from the mainstream, whites-only iterations of fraternal societies, blacks formed their own lodges of Prince Hall Masons as well as of fraternal offshoots like the Odd-Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Order of the Eastern Star. Membership in these organizations exploded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as part of a general mania for secret societies and associations of all kinds. But for African Americans, the benevolent and charitable functions of these groups only grew in importance as segregation forced them to rely increasingly on institutions within their own communities for mutual aid and support.
One such organization, the all-female Grand United Order of Tents, was established in Norfolk, Virginia in 1866 by two former slaves, Annetta Lane and Harriet Taylor (the group may in fact have originated before the Civil War as part of the Underground Railroad organized to shelter runaway slaves). Their somewhat forlorn-looking former headquarters on MacDonough Street, in the former mansion of an Irish-American railroad magnate and banker, bears silent testimony to this now often-overlooked facet of African-American associational life.
Words - Sean Griffin; Images - Leah Frances
In order of appearance - top to bottom, left to right:
1) Vision Pentecostal Church of God - 1050 Utica Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203
2) Glorious Trinity Baptist Church - 285 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
3) Up South Missionary Baptist Church - 553 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
4) The Most Worshipful Enoch Grand Lodge of the Order of Masons - 423 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
5) The Almighty God Ministries International - 329 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
6) Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church - 228 Decatur St, Brooklyn, NY 11233
7) Church of God Victory - 658 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
8) South Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist Church - 1313 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216-2928
9) Eastern District Grand Tent #3, Grand United Order of Tents - 87 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
10) Lovely Hill Baptist Church - 375 Throop Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
11) The Greater New Harvest Church of Christ - 210 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
12) First AME Zion Church - 54 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
13) Bridge Street AME Church - 277 Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
14) The Concord Baptist Church of Christ - 833 Gardner C. Taylor Boulevard (formerly Marcy Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11216
15) Grace Baptist Church - 1200 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* * *
Sean Griffin is a Ph.D student in U.S. History at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info

BLACK CHURCHES & FRATERNAL SOCIETIES - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

The church has long been at the heart of African-American life in Brooklyn, once known as the “city of churches.” In the 1760s, Captain Thomas Webb, a British convert to Wesleyan Methodism, began holding outdoor services in downtown Brooklyn before purchasing land on Sands Street in 1794 for what would become the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Brooklyn. The church was notable for its integrated white and black congregation, highly unusual for the time; however, African-American parishioners soon grew displeased with the discriminatory treatment they endured from the majority-white congregation. In 1818, blacks from the Sands Street church sent a delegation to Philadelphia to meet with Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in that city. After gaining recognition from the AME Church and the State of New York, the breakaway group founded the First African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church, later known as the Bridge Street Church after it moved to that locale in 1854. The present Bridge Street Church is located on Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where it continues to be a vital part of the community.

During the Civil War, Brooklyn’s small free black population was given a boost by the exodus of African Americans from Manhattan following the notorious Draft Riots. Small black communities, clustered near the waterfront in Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Fort Greene, were gradually drawn further out to areas like “Crow Hill” (Crown Heights) and Weeksville, the latter being the speculative venture of James Weeks, an African-American real estate developer. Successive waves of migrants from the post-Emancipation South were followed by immigrants from the Caribbean after World War I. By the mid-twentieth century, de facto segregation, government policies, and “redlining” by banks and real estate agencies had combined to concentrate people of African descent in Central Brooklyn, particularly in the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.

Church life continues to play a highly visible role in black Brooklyn, even as Bloomberg-era gentrification and high rents compound decades of neglect and threaten to displace older residents. While some of the images here—particularly those of the storefront churches which proliferated with the spread of various Pentacostal and Evangelical Protestant denominations—suggest a kind of picturesque decay, many congregations, such as Concord Street Baptist (founded 1847) and First AME Zion (1885) continue to thrive.

An interesting analogue to the black church has been the contemporaneous development of African-American fraternal societies, most famously the Prince Hall Freemasons, members of which continue to meet at the Enoch Grand Lodge on Nostrand Avenue (various Prince Hall lodges also utilize the larger Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene). Masonic insignia featuring the square and compass with the letter “G” abound on the building, seen in its stained glass and on its flagpole, and reflected on license-plate holders, window decals and the awning of a deli across the street. Founded by Prince Hall, a free African American who chartered an “African Lodge” during the Revolutionary War, the Prince Hall Masons formed part of a vital network linking antebellum free black communities, fostering close ties to the churches and taking an active part in antislavery agitation. In the Reconstruction South, black politicians and ministers organized Masonic lodges alongside AME churches and Republican Party clubs. Despite being excluded from the mainstream, whites-only iterations of fraternal societies, blacks formed their own lodges of Prince Hall Masons as well as of fraternal offshoots like the Odd-Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Order of the Eastern Star. Membership in these organizations exploded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as part of a general mania for secret societies and associations of all kinds. But for African Americans, the benevolent and charitable functions of these groups only grew in importance as segregation forced them to rely increasingly on institutions within their own communities for mutual aid and support.

One such organization, the all-female Grand United Order of Tents, was established in Norfolk, Virginia in 1866 by two former slaves, Annetta Lane and Harriet Taylor (the group may in fact have originated before the Civil War as part of the Underground Railroad organized to shelter runaway slaves). Their somewhat forlorn-looking former headquarters on MacDonough Street, in the former mansion of an Irish-American railroad magnate and banker, bears silent testimony to this now often-overlooked facet of African-American associational life.

Words - Sean Griffin; Images - Leah Frances

In order of appearance - top to bottom, left to right:

1) Vision Pentecostal Church of God - 1050 Utica Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203

2) Glorious Trinity Baptist Church - 285 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213

3) Up South Missionary Baptist Church - 553 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

4) The Most Worshipful Enoch Grand Lodge of the Order of Masons - 423 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

5) The Almighty God Ministries International - 329 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

6) Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church - 228 Decatur St, Brooklyn, NY 11233

7) Church of God Victory - 658 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

8) South Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist Church - 1313 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216-2928

9) Eastern District Grand Tent #3, Grand United Order of Tents - 87 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216

10) Lovely Hill Baptist Church - 375 Throop Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221

11) The Greater New Harvest Church of Christ - 210 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213

12) First AME Zion Church - 54 MacDonough St, Brooklyn, NY 11216

13) Bridge Street AME Church - 277 Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221

14) The Concord Baptist Church of Christ - 833 Gardner C. Taylor Boulevard (formerly Marcy Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11216

15) Grace Baptist Church - 1200 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

* * *

Sean Griffin is a Ph.D student in U.S. History at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Northeast Regional Guide Leah Frances was born in a small fishing village off the west coast of Canada and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In pursuit of a graphic design career she moved to New York City in 2005 and now calls Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. She spends her days in the production departments of magazines and her evenings studying at the International Center of Photography. Weekends you will find her in the back of a Greyhound bus, map in hand. Leah posts daily at americanroads.tumblr.com. 

FISHERFOLK - NEW ENGLAND

The hardihood of the fisherfolk and the sailors is still evident, and the mores of an insular colony remain constant. Manhood, for instance, is determined not by legal age but by the first fishing trip. When a stripling passes this initiation, he takes to smoking a corncob pipe and is recognized as a man, no matter what his age.
—Rhode Island, A Guide To the Smallest State (WPA, 1937)

* * *
Michael Cevoli is your Guide to New England. He was born and raised in Norfolk County, Massachusetts and now lives and works on the water in the seafaring town of Warren, Rhode Island. He’s a commercial and editorial photographer and you can follow his work on Tumblr, or on his website.
Zoom Info
FISHERFOLK - NEW ENGLAND

The hardihood of the fisherfolk and the sailors is still evident, and the mores of an insular colony remain constant. Manhood, for instance, is determined not by legal age but by the first fishing trip. When a stripling passes this initiation, he takes to smoking a corncob pipe and is recognized as a man, no matter what his age.
—Rhode Island, A Guide To the Smallest State (WPA, 1937)

* * *
Michael Cevoli is your Guide to New England. He was born and raised in Norfolk County, Massachusetts and now lives and works on the water in the seafaring town of Warren, Rhode Island. He’s a commercial and editorial photographer and you can follow his work on Tumblr, or on his website.
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FISHERFOLK - NEW ENGLAND

The hardihood of the fisherfolk and the sailors is still evident, and the mores of an insular colony remain constant. Manhood, for instance, is determined not by legal age but by the first fishing trip. When a stripling passes this initiation, he takes to smoking a corncob pipe and is recognized as a man, no matter what his age.
—Rhode Island, A Guide To the Smallest State (WPA, 1937)

* * *
Michael Cevoli is your Guide to New England. He was born and raised in Norfolk County, Massachusetts and now lives and works on the water in the seafaring town of Warren, Rhode Island. He’s a commercial and editorial photographer and you can follow his work on Tumblr, or on his website.
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FISHERFOLK - NEW ENGLAND

The hardihood of the fisherfolk and the sailors is still evident, and the mores of an insular colony remain constant. Manhood, for instance, is determined not by legal age but by the first fishing trip. When a stripling passes this initiation, he takes to smoking a corncob pipe and is recognized as a man, no matter what his age.
—Rhode Island, A Guide To the Smallest State (WPA, 1937)

* * *
Michael Cevoli is your Guide to New England. He was born and raised in Norfolk County, Massachusetts and now lives and works on the water in the seafaring town of Warren, Rhode Island. He’s a commercial and editorial photographer and you can follow his work on Tumblr, or on his website.
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FISHERFOLK - NEW ENGLAND

The hardihood of the fisherfolk and the sailors is still evident, and the mores of an insular colony remain constant. Manhood, for instance, is determined not by legal age but by the first fishing trip. When a stripling passes this initiation, he takes to smoking a corncob pipe and is recognized as a man, no matter what his age.
—Rhode Island, A Guide To the Smallest State (WPA, 1937)

* * *
Michael Cevoli is your Guide to New England. He was born and raised in Norfolk County, Massachusetts and now lives and works on the water in the seafaring town of Warren, Rhode Island. He’s a commercial and editorial photographer and you can follow his work on Tumblr, or on his website.
Zoom Info
FISHERFOLK - NEW ENGLAND

The hardihood of the fisherfolk and the sailors is still evident, and the mores of an insular colony remain constant. Manhood, for instance, is determined not by legal age but by the first fishing trip. When a stripling passes this initiation, he takes to smoking a corncob pipe and is recognized as a man, no matter what his age.
—Rhode Island, A Guide To the Smallest State (WPA, 1937)

* * *
Michael Cevoli is your Guide to New England. He was born and raised in Norfolk County, Massachusetts and now lives and works on the water in the seafaring town of Warren, Rhode Island. He’s a commercial and editorial photographer and you can follow his work on Tumblr, or on his website.
Zoom Info
FISHERFOLK - NEW ENGLAND

The hardihood of the fisherfolk and the sailors is still evident, and the mores of an insular colony remain constant. Manhood, for instance, is determined not by legal age but by the first fishing trip. When a stripling passes this initiation, he takes to smoking a corncob pipe and is recognized as a man, no matter what his age.
—Rhode Island, A Guide To the Smallest State (WPA, 1937)

* * *
Michael Cevoli is your Guide to New England. He was born and raised in Norfolk County, Massachusetts and now lives and works on the water in the seafaring town of Warren, Rhode Island. He’s a commercial and editorial photographer and you can follow his work on Tumblr, or on his website.
Zoom Info

FISHERFOLK - NEW ENGLAND

The hardihood of the fisherfolk and the sailors is still evident, and the mores of an insular colony remain constant. Manhood, for instance, is determined not by legal age but by the first fishing trip. When a stripling passes this initiation, he takes to smoking a corncob pipe and is recognized as a man, no matter what his age.

Rhode Island, A Guide To the Smallest State (WPA, 1937)

* * *

Michael Cevoli is your Guide to New England. He was born and raised in Norfolk County, Massachusetts and now lives and works on the water in the seafaring town of Warren, Rhode Island. He’s a commercial and editorial photographer and you can follow his work on Tumblr, or on his website.

THE APRON MUSEUM - IUKA, MISSISSIPPI
Aprons have always been a backdrop in the culture of the kitchen. Mostly worn by women, aprons have evolved to provide people all over the world with a layer of protection against mess and dirt. Aprons are used in food service, carpentry work, the medical field, hair salons, construction and even mechanical work. There is not much history known about the origin of the apron. Paintings dating back to the 1300s depict women in aprons, but we really don’t know precisely when and where the apron was invented.
Since 2006, Carolyn Terry of Iuka, Mississippi has owned and curated the world’s only apron museum. With over 3,000 aprons, she is proud to explain where some of her most prized collections have come from. Estate sales, donations, and her private collection cover the walls and racks of the right side of the store. On the left side, aprons and vintage collectables are for sale starting as low as $3.00. Each apron has it origin and date received on it for collecting purposes.
Carolyn is most proud of her Claudia McGraw aprons. Claudia, from Black Mountain, North Carolins, had a popular tea room where she hung some of her hand made aprons on the wall. Within hours of hanging them they all sold. She became one of the most popular apron makers in history providing aprons for Greta Garbo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Vanderbilt and many others. (Searching online for a Claudia McGraw biography is not easy.)
What makes the mystery of the apron so interesting is how the information is found only through talking to an apron enthusiast. If you Wikipedia apron you don’t get a historical account, timeline or specifics.
Stories passed down through generations and memories are what we have as origins for this piece of clothing known as an apron.
* * *
Tennessee State Guide Lindsay Scott is an East Nashville based photographer, writer, drinker and ponderer. You can find her on any random night, porch sitting with a side of story telling and a camera in hand. Follow her on Tumblr at lindsayscottphotography.tumblr.com or on her website, lindsayscottphoto.com.
Zoom Info
THE APRON MUSEUM - IUKA, MISSISSIPPI
Aprons have always been a backdrop in the culture of the kitchen. Mostly worn by women, aprons have evolved to provide people all over the world with a layer of protection against mess and dirt. Aprons are used in food service, carpentry work, the medical field, hair salons, construction and even mechanical work. There is not much history known about the origin of the apron. Paintings dating back to the 1300s depict women in aprons, but we really don’t know precisely when and where the apron was invented.
Since 2006, Carolyn Terry of Iuka, Mississippi has owned and curated the world’s only apron museum. With over 3,000 aprons, she is proud to explain where some of her most prized collections have come from. Estate sales, donations, and her private collection cover the walls and racks of the right side of the store. On the left side, aprons and vintage collectables are for sale starting as low as $3.00. Each apron has it origin and date received on it for collecting purposes.
Carolyn is most proud of her Claudia McGraw aprons. Claudia, from Black Mountain, North Carolins, had a popular tea room where she hung some of her hand made aprons on the wall. Within hours of hanging them they all sold. She became one of the most popular apron makers in history providing aprons for Greta Garbo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Vanderbilt and many others. (Searching online for a Claudia McGraw biography is not easy.)
What makes the mystery of the apron so interesting is how the information is found only through talking to an apron enthusiast. If you Wikipedia apron you don’t get a historical account, timeline or specifics.
Stories passed down through generations and memories are what we have as origins for this piece of clothing known as an apron.
* * *
Tennessee State Guide Lindsay Scott is an East Nashville based photographer, writer, drinker and ponderer. You can find her on any random night, porch sitting with a side of story telling and a camera in hand. Follow her on Tumblr at lindsayscottphotography.tumblr.com or on her website, lindsayscottphoto.com.
Zoom Info
THE APRON MUSEUM - IUKA, MISSISSIPPI
Aprons have always been a backdrop in the culture of the kitchen. Mostly worn by women, aprons have evolved to provide people all over the world with a layer of protection against mess and dirt. Aprons are used in food service, carpentry work, the medical field, hair salons, construction and even mechanical work. There is not much history known about the origin of the apron. Paintings dating back to the 1300s depict women in aprons, but we really don’t know precisely when and where the apron was invented.
Since 2006, Carolyn Terry of Iuka, Mississippi has owned and curated the world’s only apron museum. With over 3,000 aprons, she is proud to explain where some of her most prized collections have come from. Estate sales, donations, and her private collection cover the walls and racks of the right side of the store. On the left side, aprons and vintage collectables are for sale starting as low as $3.00. Each apron has it origin and date received on it for collecting purposes.
Carolyn is most proud of her Claudia McGraw aprons. Claudia, from Black Mountain, North Carolins, had a popular tea room where she hung some of her hand made aprons on the wall. Within hours of hanging them they all sold. She became one of the most popular apron makers in history providing aprons for Greta Garbo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Vanderbilt and many others. (Searching online for a Claudia McGraw biography is not easy.)
What makes the mystery of the apron so interesting is how the information is found only through talking to an apron enthusiast. If you Wikipedia apron you don’t get a historical account, timeline or specifics.
Stories passed down through generations and memories are what we have as origins for this piece of clothing known as an apron.
* * *
Tennessee State Guide Lindsay Scott is an East Nashville based photographer, writer, drinker and ponderer. You can find her on any random night, porch sitting with a side of story telling and a camera in hand. Follow her on Tumblr at lindsayscottphotography.tumblr.com or on her website, lindsayscottphoto.com.
Zoom Info
THE APRON MUSEUM - IUKA, MISSISSIPPI
Aprons have always been a backdrop in the culture of the kitchen. Mostly worn by women, aprons have evolved to provide people all over the world with a layer of protection against mess and dirt. Aprons are used in food service, carpentry work, the medical field, hair salons, construction and even mechanical work. There is not much history known about the origin of the apron. Paintings dating back to the 1300s depict women in aprons, but we really don’t know precisely when and where the apron was invented.
Since 2006, Carolyn Terry of Iuka, Mississippi has owned and curated the world’s only apron museum. With over 3,000 aprons, she is proud to explain where some of her most prized collections have come from. Estate sales, donations, and her private collection cover the walls and racks of the right side of the store. On the left side, aprons and vintage collectables are for sale starting as low as $3.00. Each apron has it origin and date received on it for collecting purposes.
Carolyn is most proud of her Claudia McGraw aprons. Claudia, from Black Mountain, North Carolins, had a popular tea room where she hung some of her hand made aprons on the wall. Within hours of hanging them they all sold. She became one of the most popular apron makers in history providing aprons for Greta Garbo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Vanderbilt and many others. (Searching online for a Claudia McGraw biography is not easy.)
What makes the mystery of the apron so interesting is how the information is found only through talking to an apron enthusiast. If you Wikipedia apron you don’t get a historical account, timeline or specifics.
Stories passed down through generations and memories are what we have as origins for this piece of clothing known as an apron.
* * *
Tennessee State Guide Lindsay Scott is an East Nashville based photographer, writer, drinker and ponderer. You can find her on any random night, porch sitting with a side of story telling and a camera in hand. Follow her on Tumblr at lindsayscottphotography.tumblr.com or on her website, lindsayscottphoto.com.
Zoom Info
THE APRON MUSEUM - IUKA, MISSISSIPPI
Aprons have always been a backdrop in the culture of the kitchen. Mostly worn by women, aprons have evolved to provide people all over the world with a layer of protection against mess and dirt. Aprons are used in food service, carpentry work, the medical field, hair salons, construction and even mechanical work. There is not much history known about the origin of the apron. Paintings dating back to the 1300s depict women in aprons, but we really don’t know precisely when and where the apron was invented.
Since 2006, Carolyn Terry of Iuka, Mississippi has owned and curated the world’s only apron museum. With over 3,000 aprons, she is proud to explain where some of her most prized collections have come from. Estate sales, donations, and her private collection cover the walls and racks of the right side of the store. On the left side, aprons and vintage collectables are for sale starting as low as $3.00. Each apron has it origin and date received on it for collecting purposes.
Carolyn is most proud of her Claudia McGraw aprons. Claudia, from Black Mountain, North Carolins, had a popular tea room where she hung some of her hand made aprons on the wall. Within hours of hanging them they all sold. She became one of the most popular apron makers in history providing aprons for Greta Garbo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Vanderbilt and many others. (Searching online for a Claudia McGraw biography is not easy.)
What makes the mystery of the apron so interesting is how the information is found only through talking to an apron enthusiast. If you Wikipedia apron you don’t get a historical account, timeline or specifics.
Stories passed down through generations and memories are what we have as origins for this piece of clothing known as an apron.
* * *
Tennessee State Guide Lindsay Scott is an East Nashville based photographer, writer, drinker and ponderer. You can find her on any random night, porch sitting with a side of story telling and a camera in hand. Follow her on Tumblr at lindsayscottphotography.tumblr.com or on her website, lindsayscottphoto.com.
Zoom Info
THE APRON MUSEUM - IUKA, MISSISSIPPI
Aprons have always been a backdrop in the culture of the kitchen. Mostly worn by women, aprons have evolved to provide people all over the world with a layer of protection against mess and dirt. Aprons are used in food service, carpentry work, the medical field, hair salons, construction and even mechanical work. There is not much history known about the origin of the apron. Paintings dating back to the 1300s depict women in aprons, but we really don’t know precisely when and where the apron was invented.
Since 2006, Carolyn Terry of Iuka, Mississippi has owned and curated the world’s only apron museum. With over 3,000 aprons, she is proud to explain where some of her most prized collections have come from. Estate sales, donations, and her private collection cover the walls and racks of the right side of the store. On the left side, aprons and vintage collectables are for sale starting as low as $3.00. Each apron has it origin and date received on it for collecting purposes.
Carolyn is most proud of her Claudia McGraw aprons. Claudia, from Black Mountain, North Carolins, had a popular tea room where she hung some of her hand made aprons on the wall. Within hours of hanging them they all sold. She became one of the most popular apron makers in history providing aprons for Greta Garbo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Vanderbilt and many others. (Searching online for a Claudia McGraw biography is not easy.)
What makes the mystery of the apron so interesting is how the information is found only through talking to an apron enthusiast. If you Wikipedia apron you don’t get a historical account, timeline or specifics.
Stories passed down through generations and memories are what we have as origins for this piece of clothing known as an apron.
* * *
Tennessee State Guide Lindsay Scott is an East Nashville based photographer, writer, drinker and ponderer. You can find her on any random night, porch sitting with a side of story telling and a camera in hand. Follow her on Tumblr at lindsayscottphotography.tumblr.com or on her website, lindsayscottphoto.com.
Zoom Info

THE APRON MUSEUM - IUKA, MISSISSIPPI

Aprons have always been a backdrop in the culture of the kitchen. Mostly worn by women, aprons have evolved to provide people all over the world with a layer of protection against mess and dirt. Aprons are used in food service, carpentry work, the medical field, hair salons, construction and even mechanical work. There is not much history known about the origin of the apron. Paintings dating back to the 1300s depict women in aprons, but we really don’t know precisely when and where the apron was invented.

Since 2006, Carolyn Terry of Iuka, Mississippi has owned and curated the world’s only apron museum. With over 3,000 aprons, she is proud to explain where some of her most prized collections have come from. Estate sales, donations, and her private collection cover the walls and racks of the right side of the store. On the left side, aprons and vintage collectables are for sale starting as low as $3.00. Each apron has it origin and date received on it for collecting purposes.

Carolyn is most proud of her Claudia McGraw aprons. Claudia, from Black Mountain, North Carolins, had a popular tea room where she hung some of her hand made aprons on the wall. Within hours of hanging them they all sold. She became one of the most popular apron makers in history providing aprons for Greta Garbo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Vanderbilt and many others. (Searching online for a Claudia McGraw biography is not easy.)

What makes the mystery of the apron so interesting is how the information is found only through talking to an apron enthusiast. If you Wikipedia apron you don’t get a historical account, timeline or specifics.

Stories passed down through generations and memories are what we have as origins for this piece of clothing known as an apron.

* * *

Tennessee State Guide Lindsay Scott is an East Nashville based photographer, writer, drinker and ponderer. You can find her on any random night, porch sitting with a side of story telling and a camera in hand. Follow her on Tumblr at lindsayscottphotography.tumblr.com or on her website, lindsayscottphoto.com.

MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
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MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info
MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info
MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info
MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info
MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info
MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info
MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info
MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info
MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.
—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.
I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”
* * *
West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.
Zoom Info

MINER PRIDE IN THE TUG VALLEY - MINGO COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA, and PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

The southern miner, his face and overalls coated with coal dust, slow of speech yet cursing fluently to pad his thin conversation, tenaciously holding to the ideas of his father’s religion, and striking boldly for what he considers justice in social, economic, and political life.

—West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Miner decals, they range from the straightforward to the humorous. Some even imbue overtly sexual connotations. All are an outward declaration, a statement, of miner pride.

I’ve driven through mall parking lots and stopped at gas stations to find them. The first one I remember seeing was while driving through Logan County, West Virginia. It said “Friends in Low Places.”

* * *

West Virginia Guide Roger May is a proud Appalachian and documentary photographer currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but born and raised in the Tug Valley region of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. He’s currently enrolled in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he’s also a part time instructor. Find him on Twitter at walkyourcamera and keep up with his writing and photography at walkyourcamera.com.

TORREYA TAXIFOLA - NORTH FLORIDA

Left from Rock Bluff on a dirt road to TORREYA STATE PARK, 15.5 m. on the Apalachicola River. This 520-acre park was named for the evergreen Torreya taxifola, rarest species of the genus Torreya, found here and for 10 miles south along the eastern bank of the river. Because of the unpleasant odor when bruised, the tree is known as ‘stinking cedar.’ Two other varieties grow in Japan and California, but both differ in size, leaves and color of fruit from the Florida tree, which rises in pyramidal form to a height of 40 feet.

Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State (WPA, 1939) [Find it at a library near you.]

Torreya State Park is about an hour west of Tallahassee, the state’s capital in northwest Florida, where I currently live. The park opened in 1935, a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal, public work relief program. Its namesake, the Torreya taxifolia, or “gopher wood,” is a small coniferous tree that is currently listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN). The numbers are staggering: “Before the start of the decline in the early 1950s, the population was estimated to have been more than 600,000 […] The current population is estimated to be between 500 and 600 trees.” Efforts to preserve and maintain the tree range from academic studies from conservation biologists [PDF] to a citizen biodiversity protection group who are “rewilding” the tree in and around Asheville, NC and other select locations.

The Florida Torreya is one of the many native Florida plants that are indigenous to the Big Bend—one of the the nation’s most biodiverse ecosystems. Many of the indigenous flora and fauna are endangered due to overdevelopment.

Guide Note: This dispatch was inspired by a personal project: an experiential auditory piece meant to invoke the physical and aural sensation of observing the T. taxifolia in its native landscape, the limestone hills of the Apalachicola River Basin, while it slowly disintegrates as a species. The author is collaborating with Josh Mason (Jacksonville) and Michael Diaz (Tallahassee). Photographs by Michael Diaz, images courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory project.

***

Micah Vandegrift is a Floridian who has not once been to Miami. He fell into academic librarianship after finishing a degree in American and Florida Studies wherein he wrote a thesis on Gainesville’s post-punk music scene. His dream vacation is to take an airboat ride through the Everglades, stop off in Gibsonton, catch a show at Weeki Wachee Springs, camp in the Dry Tortugas National Park, hang out with the bison on Paynes Prairie, catch a flick at the Silver Moon Drive In,  walk the trees at the Myakka River Canopy, and finish the trip with an Dipped Cone at Del’s Freez in his hometown of Melbourne, FL. Micah can be discovered all around the web, mostly rousing rabble about librarianship in the digital age. Find him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.
—North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.
Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.
* * *
Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.
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EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.
—North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.
Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.
* * *
Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.
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EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.
—North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.
Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.
* * *
Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.
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EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.
—North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.
Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.
* * *
Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.
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EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.
—North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.
Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.
* * *
Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.
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EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.
—North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.
Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.
* * *
Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.
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EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.
—North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.
Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.
* * *
Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.
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EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.
—North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.
Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.
* * *
Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.
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EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina was strongly influenced by the “Great Revival” that swept the country after the Revolutionary War and lasted intermittently until the War between the States… This emotional preaching, interspersed with stirring hymns, induced physical manifestations known as “the exercises.” These included the phenomena known as jerking, wheeling, dancing, laughing, barking, and falling down.

North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State (WPA, 1939)

Eden, North Carolina is a city in Rockingham County that nearly borders Virginia. It’s where the Smith and Dan Rivers converge. It began as a utopian colony founded by William Byrd II and was later sold to some planters by Byrd’s son to pay off his gambling debts.

Guide note: One of the best photographic gifts I’ve been given was a viewing of Tod Papageorge’s “Passing Through Eden" read alongside some passages from the book of Genesis. Since then, I’ve been struck with some depictions of this biblical state of mind.

* * *

Aaron Canipe is a State Guide to North Carolina. He was born and raised in Hickory, North Carolina and received his BFA in photography from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. Aaron also helps operate Empty Stretch, a DIY-publisher and blog. He’s exhibited work throughout the South and has been published in the Washington Post and the Oxford American’s “Eye on the South” blog. Follow him on Tumblr at mysteriesmanners and see more work on his website, aaroncanipe.com.

TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
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TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
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TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
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TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
Zoom Info
TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
Zoom Info
TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
Zoom Info
TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
Zoom Info
TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
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TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
Zoom Info
TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

—California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 
There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.
* * *
Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblr, Instagram, or through her website.
Zoom Info

TREASURE ISLAND - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The site of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 is Treasure Island, created by dredging the bay near Yerba Buena Island. … Treasure Island, once the exposition has closed and its temporary structures have been removed, will serve as a terminal for trans-Pacific flying clipper ships, which will take off and land in the sheltered lagoon between its southern edge and Yerba Buena Island. 

California, A Guide To the Golden State (WPA, 1939)

Once a novel, then a naval base, now a resting place for the intentionally or necessarily cheap of the Bay Area, Treasure Island is the San Franciscan neighborhood you’ve never heard of. Probably because it lives, alone, surrounded by the cold Pacific. Straight across the Bay, take a left at Alcatraz, and if you’ve hit Oakland, turn back—you’ve gone too far. Or, you can take the 108 bus from the Transbay Terminal, and you’ll face a stomach-dropping view of San Francisco—the whole of it laid out before you, bookended by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate, and rivaled only by the sunset spreading behind it. Grand. 

There is a single bar on the island. A single grocery store. A single hot dog stand. And plenty of singles. The population is diverse, but the housing is row after row of the same white two-story. Except, of course, for the housing blocks that have been sectioned off by fencing and marked with radioactivity warning signs. This is where I live. With four roommates and two hairless cats. Feeling stuck. In the middle of the Bay.

* * *

Grace Mendenhall is a sci-fi lover and yoga enthusiast who gets paid to edit videos sometimes. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Philosophy, then studied documentary photography and multimedia at the Salt Institute in Maine. She’s a native of Austin, Texas, but has lived all over the States. Now, she spends most of her time in the Bay Area, enjoying the sunshine and artisan toast. You can find her on tumblrInstagram, or through her website.