Jamie in Wanderland
Adventures in photographing the back roads of America
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Hey there — I just stumbled upon your blog here after it was linked to a posting on Facebook through LIVEMALLS FB page. Really wild to see some of your photos in Tri-Cities and in Eastern KY. My first job out of college a zillion years ago was with Kraft Foods and they assigned me to that area. I was NOT from that area, so I was fairly intimidated by the very different way of life. I covered about 100 grocery stores there — Tri-Cities area over to Abingdon. Then Eastern KY from Harlan over to Cumberand and back down to Kingsport and everything in between. Things have changed tremendousy since I was there, I know.
I remember the first time I drove over BLACK MOUNTAIN from Clintwood, VA on my way to Cumberland, KY. Somewhere east of Whitesburg it seems that there was an old abandoned department store sitting out in the middle of absolutely NOWHERE! I passed it every week for many months before I finally pulled into the lot to get a closer look. Lo and behold, it had been a Rose’s Department store, but looked as if it had been closed for quite some time. When I tell you it was in the middle of no where, I’m not kidding. Hard to believe they would ever have constructed a department store that far away from a population base and no where near any other retail outlets whatsoever. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Any chance you know the place I’m talking about? It’s probably been bulldozed by now — the last time I saw it was around 1991.
Thanks for your blog. I’ve appreciated reminscing today. Best wishes from Maine!
lol yeah! that building is a factory of some sorts now, it was a Roses and some sort of grocery store. It was in operation when I was a small child, but thats about all I can remember of it. It was on US 119 just north of Cumberland. They called it freeman center. Ill post a link to some pictures of it
Yep! That’s the place! Amazing that it is still standing after so many years — I mean, this place was totally abandonded back around 1990 and looking really beat up! I never dreamed it would still be standing and IN USE 25 years later! Wow, what a pleasant surprise. One of these years, I’d like to make it back there to drive back through some of that beautiful country…
Another really wild memory that I have from there is the trecherous road over Black Mtn crossing over from VA to KY. Someone told me 20 years ago, the road had actually been closed for safety reasons, but I’m not sure that’s true. I distinctly remember hating that crossing since so much of it on the KY side had NO GUARD RAILS! I also remember seeing old busted cars waaaaay down in the steep ravines where cars had gone off the road and been totalled in the deep fall down. I guess it was so hard to get the cars out there, they just left them where they fell. I’d never seen anything like that before nor since.
I’ve enjoyed your blog! Brought back lots of memories of this place.
hi jamie, i was wandering if you could find out anything on the old Middle Fork Elementary School in salyersville kentucky. i went to this school but after it closed,i couldnt find any info. please help me!
Hi Aaron, I dont have any info on this school. Magoffin County is a county that I still need to do some exploring in. The only other schools I have info on my blog from Maggoffin County is Salyer Elementary and Millard-Hensley. Ill have to research the Middle Fork School. Thanks for the comment and letting me know it exists!
When you get time, please try and help me. I’d love to get some info
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