Thursday, July 9, 2009

Iron Station, North Carolina

The past week or so I’ve been able to spend time with my dad while his wife and my wife are off on a cruise. Both of them enjoying a well-deserved vacation away from us! While the two of us enjoy not having to endure that cruise!

[click photos for larger images]

Iron Station Map Some years ago my father and his wife decided to sell their house OverHome to move South. To the Carolinas. They didn’t make it to South Carolina, settling instead in a small North Carolina town with the intriguing name of “Iron Station.” Just two hours from us in Columbia.

“Iron Station”? Hmmm. That name alone excites the curiosity of historically-minded visitors. Add to that a road named for “Vesuvius Furnace.”

Road Sign For years I’ve wondered about those names. And about the history of 18th and 19th century iron manufacture in this part of the Carolinas. Well, it’s interesting! More on that topic in a later post.

House and Mobile Studio But Iron Station, North Carolina, is more than just a place with a catchy name. It’s a community of delightful neighbors and beautiful scenery. Where people have lived for a very long time.

Raccoon Visitor An area that continues to adapt to its changing environment. Combining traditional values with more modern conveniences. Now, where else would a neighbor be likely to wheel up late one morning in a golf cart to show you the raccoon his wife had just collected in her have-a-heart trap!

Less than two decades ago, the aforementioned Vesuvius Furnace Road was just a dirt track. Well maintained, to be sure. But undeniably dirt. The sort of road on which thoughtful neighbors drive by slowly to minimize the dust.

Curving RoadToday, as you see in the photo above, Vesuvius Furnace Road boasts a solid macadam surface, with a yellow solid double line. Even white guidelines on each side.

Field Barn Yet, walk another three minutes to enjoy the view across this beautiful field, with its curving access road, and the roof of a new barn just visible in the distance. A sight to warm the heart of any country boy.

Dead Tree Another five minutes along the road brings this long dead tree into view. It’s been dead for quite some time. But it still stands.

Old Building Walk closer to see that it survives to safeguard a small crumbling building, with its rusting and torn tin roof. What stories the walls of that building might tell!

Next time we’ll look into the 18th and 19th century iron manufacturing that gave this area its name.

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