The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

We've moved! Please check out, the new home for our 'Tales of supernatural horrors!'

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Forgotten forests

I thought this photo captured a haunting quality about these two young girls, daughters of a lumberjack who lived in the Pennsylvania forest where trees were harvested in the late 1890s. The photographer was probably William Townsend Clark travelled logging camps. His photos detail images of the life of the loggers that I never would have thought of. For instance, the wives and children lived with the loggers in rough hewn huts. I had always thought of the loggers as living in bunk houses, away for months from their families. The forest people developed their own cultures and amusements and he documented them well with his camera. From The Smithsonian:

Lois Barden was rummaging through a toolshed near Rochester, New York, when her eyes fell on a grime-coated crate half hidden in a dark corner. Glancing into it, Barden saw dozens of discarded windowpanes. Or were they? She held one up to the light, squinted at a filthy smudge—and was astonished to see ghostly faces staring back at her. She looked more closely. There were men, women, children and horses in a woodland setting. They were all locked in a shadowy wash of silver nitrate, for what Barden discovered was a trove of old 8x10-inch glass-plate photograph negatives. snip Reportedly an enthusiastic photographer since his early youth, Clarke began documenting life in logging communities. He stayed in Betula and Conrad, in north-central Pennsylvania, where he returned periodically to develop negatives and print photographs. He sold “sets of views” to the people he had photographed and earned money from the logging firms that hired him to record their operations. For more than three decades, he wandered like a “Pennsylvania lion or panther, with the manner of an alchemist and voyageur,” Shoemaker wrote, looking “into every nook and unfrequented place, ferreting out queer types of people to take their pictures.” He photographed rough-and-ready loggers (who called themselves “wood hicks”) and bark strippers (“bark savages”). He also documented their families, tools, animals, living and eating quarters and entertainments. And then, after a ravenous lumber industry had devoured the forests, Clarke captured the devastated, barren countryside that came to be known as the Pennsylvania desert.
Sounds like a good setting for a spooky story.


Blogger Bella said...

That's pretty cool and yes, they do look very spooky; like The Shinning girls spooky.

2/09/2006 02:16:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home