Rocky Springs

Rocky Springs-A Town That Isn’t

Rocky Springs is, or should I say was, a town in Mississippi. I say was because it’s no longer there. All that remains of this once thriving small community is a church, cemetery and two rusted safes.

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A Growing Population

The settlement of this little hamlet along the Old Natchez Trace, began in the late 1790’s. Among those that thrived here over the years were carpenters, doctors, clergy, teachers, cabinet makers, cotton gin makers and blacksmiths. Parts of the 440 miles of the original Natchez Trace can still be seen here and you can walk on that section of history. The lovely little Church was erected in 1837. All in all the town flourished by 1860 to a population over 4000 people including slaves that are, sadly, not actually mentioned in the population statistics.

 

Bad Luck Strikes

Unfortunately there were three elements of bad luck destined to strike at the heart of this little burg and seal its fate. The Civil War, which began in 1861 and lasted almost exactly four years, killed many of its inhabitants. U.S. Grant himself came to Rocky Springs in 1863 and used the church as his headquarters for a short time. His desk was set up where the pulpit now stands. He planned much of his campaign here while the war raged on and put this poor town on the road to destruction with it.

After the war, Yellow Fever devastated the town in 1878, further killing many townsfolk including numerous small children. The cemeteries in the area, heavy with sadness, are filled with headstones that read ‘infant’ or have an angel or cherubim atop with dates that span only a year or so.

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A short time later, in the early 1900’s, the boll weevil killed crops and put the final nail in the coffin of this town. Interestingly, after everything that happened here, the spring and namesake for the town dried up. Did the spring know the town and the people were gone?

The last store closed sometime in the early 1930’s and all that proves this place was here are the church, and a lonely and worn cemetery with dates disappearing on the stones through the harsh hand of time.

Cemetery Stroll

If you visit here, and I recommend you do, there is no longer any evidence of a spring, but it was once as strong as the town. Pouring out fresh water for the people and the crops. A spring powerful enough to have thousands of people build their entire lives around it. Only to have it dry up and disappear with the town itself. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting and beautiful place to visit; quiet and peaceful with the ghosts of the past on the wind. Take some time to walk the deserted paths and enjoy some reflective time in nature. Sit in the church and enjoy reverence in a place visited by many from the past, but not so many now.

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An Afternoon In A Forgotten Place

We enjoyed walking through what remains of Rocky Springs. As many more years pass, there will be absolutely nothing left of this place to find. Walking the paths, we were moved by the history of roaming on some of the original pieces of the Natchez Trace. Covered in trees and brush in some places, it was hard to see where the path used to be. Those paths that were crossed by slaves, traders, and bandits. We noticed the earth eroding all around where this town and its inhabitants once worked, loved, and made lives. Tread slowly and listen to the wind in the trees. Going into the church one could be still and hear nothing but the echoes of people now gone. There are no cars, no city around for miles. If one listens hard enough you may hear the footsteps of the townspeople, soldiers from the war, people baptizing their children, or having funerals here to bury them. The people of this town, and the town itself, are now long gone, but I enjoyed being here in this place. A small reminder that life; whether during good times or bad, is precious and to enjoy every moment you can before it disappears.

Sistine Chapel

 

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, Rome, Italy is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

The first time I saw it, I was overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry.

If you haven’t seen it, then you are truly missing out on one of the most magnificent pieces of art ever created.

But it’s in danger.

The Vatican has put in a new A/C system, but if it doesn’t cut down on the damage that pollution is doing to the fresco, they may have to limit visitors.

Either way, it’s a tragedy.

If you get to Rome…go see this treasure.

While your there, say a prayer that they find a way to save it.

Cusco, Peru

As it says in the article, most people only stop over in Cusco long enough to settle in then head to Machu Picchu.

I myself have always thought it would be nice to spend a week there before heading up to the mystical mountain.

It’s a UNESCO site and my research has shown that they have numerous churches that I will want to visit.

If you have doubts, take a look at this article on Cusco, Peru and if you plan to go there, plan to stay awhile.

Doors to the soul

I LOVE religious places and art.

These places make you stop and think. Reflect.

Places quiet enough for you to look inward for answers and to listen to an inner voice guiding you, or perhaps a higher voice (which I personally believe).

This blog, by another photographer has some gorgeous pictures. He calls them ‘Doors To The Soul‘.

Thought you might enjoy them on this lovely Sunday morning.

I did.

Have a wonderful, peaceful day.

 

Churches

I love photographing churches. It’s definitely my favorite subject. Recently I photographed this lovely historic church in downtown San Diego, California. The First Presbyterian Church. The stained glass windows alone I could have sat there and stared at them for hours. How does anyone pay attention to the service when you have beauty like this to be captivated by?

 

 

 

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