Change brings opportunity and sadness. In this division, change is approached through the four categories shown below. Changing Faces includes photographs and slide shows of the evolving Athens landscape, without much commentary. Different Priorities focuses on examples of change that result from different interests and goals. Whereas priorities are often set strategically, Practicality deals more with unintentional change that may result from a fire or financial exigency. These three categories overlap considerably and placement isn't always obvious. Enjoy browsing.
In the first three categories we have tried to illustrate change without taking a position on whether it was good or bad. Whether change provides an opportunity or leads to lost heritage, or both, is often a matter of perspective. For this reason, the fourth category is a collection of short essays and options contributed by those who have watched and participated in change. You may contribute an option by contacting us here.
Nothing Stays the Same
The backdrop for Change is the rich history of Athens, during which businesses, schools, churches, homes, and organizations were established, grew and sometimes disappeared. Reading historical accounts and viewing the first photographs of Athens reveals a bustling, self-sufficient community where the residents were devoted to making improvements in their lives and advancing common goals. There was no local government to guide or regulate development, and the State legislature was not interested in providing support for town or school building projects. Local citizens did it themselves, and made Athens an educational oasis during a time when schooling was clearly acknowledged as the path to achieving the American Dream. Buildings reflected the priority of education and commerce, but In the early days the town did not have fire protection and several buildings went up in flames. To read more click the Fire of 1910, the Fire of 1912, or the Fire of 1928.
In this section change in rural communities and along country roads around Athens is explored through photographs. Visitors who return to the back roads after being away for a time often notice how some things are about the same and other things are very different. Focusing carefully on the style and condition of buildings such as the old store in Elgood, shown here as photographed in 2011, brings to mind the question of what this store might have been like in its prime. Some may remember, and may contribute written memories by contacting us above.
The objective here is to capture sights from the smaller, unincorporated communities of Speedway, Pipestem, Lerona, Elgood, Lovern, Pisgah, Melrose, and Camp Creek. Additionally, an overview of special places in Princeton and Bluefield, such as Brock's Restaurant and the Granada Theater, is included. Finally, there are photographs of the pictureque countryside around Athens. Read more...