Bethel, NC.

I love driving the roads of eastern NC. We take a regular trip to Ahoskie each week. The drive is beautiful with farmland and familiar crops growing in the fields. In January we enjoy viewing the snow geese and swans as they migrate. I have been looking at this barn and tree for years now. The tree is especially beautiful in winter. In this image I have chosen to use purple to indicate the feeling of the winter season.

Located in eastern NC near Bethel

Grace Episcopal Church, Bertie County, NC

Grace church was established in1854. In 1831 there was no church in the town of Woodville. There was Old Pugh Chapel at Turner’s Crossroads now called Lewiston. Now the town is called Lewiston-Woodville and Grace Church is near by.

For several years, 1842-1854, the Episcopalians went to St Thomas Church in Windsor, NC for baptisms, and confirmations.

The Praise House

“ In 1830, just after sunset on Daufusky Island, South Carolina, a slender black soul would light a fire outside the door of the weathered clapboard ‘Praise House.’

They came quietly to this only gathering place they knew, to sit on the backless half-log benches outside and inside along the wall. At first there was silence…then one person, probably a woman, began softly to hum a well known tune that had it’s origin in Africa and would eventually become the basis of a well known spiritual, that would express their primitive religious faith. As others joined in, and the music escalated, hands clapped and feet began to stomp.

This setting was the forerunner of the First Union African Baptist Church on Daufusky Island, South Carolina.”

Praise House

The Battle House, Rocky Mount, NC

The Battle Home was constructed in 1835 by Benjamin D. Battle, a son of Joel Battle, founder of Rocky Mount Mills. Rocky Mount Mills was a major supply of material for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. In 1863 Federal cavalry burned the mill but the officer in charge spared the home because he and the superintendent of the mill were both Masons. The home is now used as the mill’s main office. It has been carefully restored to preserve all of the old detail.

This painting is on display at Bel Arts Center, Rocky Mount, and is available for sale.

The Battle House

A Lifetime Ago

Can you see it? The old mill village?

About one hundred years ago a little girl and her family lived in the house.

Look on the front porch and see she and her brother playing while their father worked in the mill. Mother shews the cat on to the porch and begins to sweep the porch with a well-used broom.

I see the family walking a few blocks to the mill church and a closer listen rings the melody of neighbors singing “The Old Rugged Cross.”

I see it. Images from a lifetime ago.

abandoned mill house in Rocky Mount, NC

Watch Out For Snakes

This cabin was built in 1934 It was constructed by the WPA for the mayor of Rocky Mount, NC, J.Q. Robinson. It was used as a quiet retreat. Mr. Robinson had a pet black snake. Apparently this snake liked to shed her skin on the mantle of the fireplace. This routine of the snake continued until the cabin was relocated from the deep woods to a new location by a pond on the edge of the woods in the 1950’s. Unfortunately the little snake was killed by falling fireplace rocks while the cabin was being moved.
Last year a new tenant or maybe two have begun using the cabin. Yes, the snake skins have returned to the fireplace mantle.

Many thanks to our friends Chuck and Carol Taylor for the use of this cabin and this delightful story.


She grew up in a house like this. The last of seven children and the only girl in the family. He passed away when she was still young and all she had were her memories. Her parents were educated at Harvard and her father a professor of English. Both parents were committed to education, love of family, and providing a warm and loving family environment.

Thanks to David McGirt for this reflection from his past upon viewing this painting.