Russia’s Wooden Churches Are Vanishing

I was recently turned on to a story out of Russia. It seems their characteristic wooden churches (architectural wonders) are falling by the wayside due to natural disasters and lack of maintenance. Truly a shame to such beautiful buildings.

Be sure to visit http://www.richarddavies.co.uk/woodenchurches/ for Mr. Richard Davies website and for information on his new book ( “Wooden Churches – Travelling in the Russian North “) about the churches. Here is an excerpt of the story and a link to the full story and video. I added a gallery as well of some beautiful churches still standing as well. Maybe if we all turn our attention to this matter we can make a difference. Enjoy!

“The wooden church, one of Russia’s unique architectural treasures, is in danger of extinction. Once dotting the landscape by the thousand, years of harsh weather, fires, war and neglect have not been kind. Today, some 200 churches remain, most dating from the 1700s and located in the northern regions of Arkhangelsk, Karelia, and Vologda. ”

Full story is here http://www.rferl.org/media/soundslide/24564914.html

As always, great praise and thanks to all the photographers featured here. Excellent shots!

Get involved in this cause! The loss of these building would be a irreversible cultural loss.

Maine Lost Towns

I have spent 2 years so far reaching into the remotest areas of Western Maine to find towns that not just anybody travels through. These places offer great intrigue to me from their historical value. I put together a gallery of some of my work so far.

Abandoned In Weld, Maine

Here are some images of a visit I had to one of the best roadside abandoned structures I have seen so far in the state of Maine. Both the house and barn are full of history and have a certain aura about them.

The Hemlock Bridge Of Fryeburg, ME

Tucked away in a spot of the Fryeburg woods in Maine is a living relic of the bygone past. Known as the “Hemlock Bridge”, it is the oldest Paddleford Truss System bridge in the state of Maine. Maine once had many covered bridges and know only lays claim to 8. The beauty of this bridge is not even the bridge itself but its great surroundings. Bordered by fields on two sides and wood on one the site sits on a once very important road. Now the area is all but abandoned, the road does not even get winter maitenance. It is because of this that the bridge has been preserved to the point it is now. Nothing can explain the calm and serenity associated with the bridge and the surrounding area. One can only visit to see.

Abandoned Maine

I myself work as a delivery driver here in the state of Maine. It allows me to see the countryside and all that it holds. A mainstay of the landscape here are abandoned buildings of all sorts. Some have been abandoned what seems 100 years. They can be anywhere, center of town, middle of the woods, they are everywhere. Here are some that I have saved. Check them out.

Fort Baldwin – A Piece Of Maine’s Military History

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I recently visited to document Fort Baldwin in Popham Beach, ME. For those going down to take a look this is a lengthy drive down the penninsula. The site is extremely well preserved and one can walk through almost all of the buildings to explore. Sadly the fire tower was not open at the end of the path. Here is a Wikipedia roundup of it………….

Fort Baldwin, a coastal defense land battery near the mouth of the Kennebec River in Phippsburg, Maine, United States, was named after Jeduthan Baldwin, an engineer for the Colonial army during the American Revolution. The fort was constructed between 1905 and 1912 and originally consisted of three batteries, all of which were removed in July 1924:

  • Battery Cogan with two three-inch guns. Named in honor of a lieutenant in the 5th Continental Infantry during the American Revolution. Cogan, who had also been quartermaster of the 1st New Hamsphire Regiment, died August 21, 1778.
  • Battery Hawley with two six-inch pedestal guns. This battery also housed the fort’s original observation station and electric equipment. Named in honor of Brigadier General Joseph R. Hawley who served with distinction during the American Civil War.
  • Battery Hardman with one six-inch pedestal gun. Named in honor of a Captain in the 2nd Maryland Regiment, Continental Army during the American Revolution. Hardman was taken prisoner at Camden, South Carolina and died while a prisoner of war on September 1, 1780.

During World War I, Fort Baldwin and Fort Popham held a garrison of 200 soldiers including the 13th and 29th Coast Artillery.

During World War II, between 1941 and 1943, D Battery, 8th Coast Artillery protected Fort Baldwin and its Fire Control Tower that could radio the precise position of enemy vessels to batteries in Casco Bay.

 

Boobytown

For some time now I had the knowledge of a mysterious part of Maine’s varied history, this time from Lewiston. I lived almost my entire life in the tri-state region of Massachusetts so upon reading this story I never acted on actually going for an actual visit. I cannot even tell you now that I have been there, I haven’t. What I can tell is the unusual stigma attached to a village in Maine by the name of Lower Dallas.

In the mid 1800’s the prosperous city of Lewiston in Maine had an innovative and at the same time bastardy plan at the same time. The roll call for welfare was quite large during this period. The city needed a way to turn the tide of people depending on the system. Someone, I do not know who, came up with the idea with shipping them off to what is known as Lower Dallas just east of Rangely in the northwest corner of the state. These people were hard up while living in Lewiston and after the move to Lower Dallas things only got worse. Stories of people running off into the fields to eat dandelions raw were the norm. Of all of these welfare afflicted Lewstonians the most prominent family was the Bubiers thus the towns name of “Boobytown” came into being.  The Boobytowners were always known by the people of Rangely as honest and fair trading partners and always had the utmost respect for them. Sad that such a quality of people was shipped away in favor of saving a few dollars (in today’s money mush more).

Today if you can find the way to the location of Lower Dallas you will find a virtual ghost town, complete with newspapers from the period around WW 2 on the floor of some of the structures. It is in these ways that Maine is trully unique as if someone leaves the forest locks it up until later discovery. Last heard, the is only one descendant of the Bubiers still living near Boobytown, Virgil Bubier. If anyone is looking to go there I hear he is one of the best people out there with the history of the place.  It’s an understatement to say that a general feeling of paranormal activity also prevails here according to reports, which can only be imagined with the history of these people stolen from their home. I hope in the future more attention can be brought to this incident in Lewiston’s history and the whole state of Maine in general. I can only hope this article keeps alive the drive for people to find out more about it.

I want to give special credit to Art Sordillo and Yankee Magazine for this other, somewhat related article, definitely a good read.

http://www.outtakes.com/45th/45thnopics.html

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