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.
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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.