Saint Calamine #13978

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The Story

This empty and abandoned country church with the door left open sat very close to the edge of a narrow two-lane lane blacktop road. It was one of those roads lucky to have seen asphalt, a favorite meander of mine to travel. Out in the boonies on a get-lost ramble with the camera, I went sailing right past this place. I hit the brakes and pulled off into the churchyard grass and walked back with the camera and tripod.

The half-open church door with tracery above was perfectly framed by the large overgrown green leaves. Even more, I loved the weathered wood siding in wilted white that went with the green. There was nothing to change or move and the light was just right. Luckily, this was a wonderful ready-made story and all I had to do was simply set up and take a few shots. I didn’t touch a thing and clicked the shutter. Trust me, they don’t often come as easily as this perfect rustic setup of weathered nostalgia.

Surprisingly, the church sat so close to the road I had to set the tripod in the middle of it. I was actually standing on the yellow line while taking this picture to get backed up far enough to frame it. To me, asphalt right to the stoop served proof this abandoned country church was from the horse and buggy days. I had to listen carefully for cars as I concentrated on the shot and the camera, but it wasn’t much trouble being this far out in the boonies.

Later, after getting home and putting the image up on the computer, I realized this was one huge poison ivy plant! No wonder the door could hang open with no one bothering the old abandoned church! It was unusually large, I’ve never seen poison ivy like this. And that’s the very true story within a story of how this image easily came to be called Saint Calamine

Here are two more old wooden churches in the same county you may enjoy: Portal #4725 is here, and a surprising pioneer era leftover Old Log Church #9106 from 1806 is here.

Location: rural Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Image and text © Andrew Dierks

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