Revisiting Wesley Chapel

One of my favorite stories I have told here involves Wesley Chapel, an abandoned church just 30 minutes up the road. I hope you’ll revisit that story here.

Meanwhile, I stopped by the other night just to check on the old place and to further mourn its deterioration. Here are some pictures.

Things have worsened a lot since my first visit.

The windows had all been been boarded up but someone has removed some barriers so you can see inside from a few angles.

The piano remains, likely because it was too heavy to carry and impossible to even give away.

Can’t you hear it? I’m imaging an elderly woman named Mabel who pounded those keys with vigor as the congregation sang “Shall we gather at the river.”

This next image will haunt my dreams.

I don’t know why it bothers me so much but I find the sight of that lone chair in an empty and forgotten church entryway incredibly troubling.

The steeple still reaches Heavenward but it looks worse for the wear.

Here’s a closer look at the cross on the other side of the steeple.

Part of me wishes I could stop going there and part of me doesn’t want to try. Meanwhile, go read that first story if you don’t mind. Here’s that link again.

Abandoned

Houses like this one always make me sad. You can tell she was once a beauty and if this old girl could talk, I’m sure she would express shame for her current condition.

Her barn is gone and the remaining shed in the field is collapsing onto itself. Someone still farms here but the house is no longer a home.

Small children once pressed their noses against the upstairs windows, eager to go play in the snow. They slammed the kitchen door on the way out to chase lightening bugs in the summer. That gorgeous front door was once open to neighbors on Sunday afternoon. Gallons of iced tea were consumed on the front porch while the price of hay and the chance of rain were debated.

She unfailingly provided shelter and warmth to generations who needed her but now sits vacant and ignored. Her windows are all broken and she has suffered the indignity of a spray painted message on her face.

What wisdom might she impart if she could speak? What comfort could she provide if fixed up and offered the opportunity?

I’m sure we’ll never know as she is suffering a slow but inevitable demise.

Majestic Behind The Scenes

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Behind the scenes tours are the best, especially when they take you into local landmarks. This is from the third floor ballroom of Chillicothe’s Majestic Theater. The lighting up there is spectacular and the potential for this space is endless.

Isn’t the sign fabulous?

Beauty: Broadening the Definition

Writing about Mansfield this week caused me to revisit pictures of the Ohio State Reformatory where the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed. I already shared some pictures and the story of this visit but have tons of photos from this day.

I have a broad definition of what is beautiful. Frequent flyers of this blog will see pretty sunrise pictures and images of flowers, buildings and trails that have a traditional appeal to most people. But they also know that I tend to see beauty in things that others would consider common eyesores. I love an old truck in a field. The chipped paint of a tractor or a church that’s seen better days  are common subject matter as well.

My cousin Walter paid me the nicest compliment a while back. He sent me a picture on Facebook of an old barn and it said “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” I love that he noticed and that he sees it too.

An old prison isn’t a traditional place to find beauty but here are some pictures that I find appealing and hope you will too.

Sometimes it’s just the light or the lack of light that I find appealing.

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Sometimes it’s the color and texture. Look at those layers of paint, now chipping from the walls, and creating a unique kind of art work. Of course, it’s undoubtedly lead paint so try not to touch it!

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Sometimes you can’t put your finger on the quality you like best. It’s just haunting and you know in your soul that it’s good for your eye to see.

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Are you able to see beauty in the flawed or would you prefer to look the other way? There’s no correct answer to this question –  I won’t be offended if you don’t like this type of thing! It’s not for everyone and that’s ok. It doesn’t have to be.

Wesley Chapel In Black and White

There’s a church on a backroad I frequently travel and it appeals to me so much that I wrote about it earlier this year. Here’s another view of this church- this time in black and white – with an ominous sky.

Check out the original post to read the story of why this church still haunts me.