Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Lonesome Road Home

Today I've got a sepia toned image from rural Manitoba - anyone that knows Manitoba at all is likely asking themselves if there is any other sort. I call it the Lonesome Road Home.

The story behind the image (which was captured this past fall), actually begins a couple of years back. It was a gorgeous fall morning; it may not be politically correct to call it so, but Indian Summer had arrived. Seeing as it may be the last nice day of the year (winter's do come early in Manitoba, and are long and at times harsh), my wife and I decided to keep the kids home from school and go for a drive to Oak Hammock Marsh (which I have mentioned in past blogs and is a fabulous place to visit anytime of the year, but is particularly stunning in the fall when the geese flock there by the thousands before heading south to warmer climes).

I was studying slide photography at the time and it was an ideal day to shoot - the leaves were turning, the sky was clear and blue with wisps of clouds gliding across. rather than take the our usual route down the highway, we opted to take a back road that ran parallel. As we continued along past the old farm houses, and quarries, we arrived at a dead end: to the right, we would head back to the main highway and Oak Hammock Marsh, but to the left, sitting amongst the fields was a little white clapboard church with a green roof and trim.

We chose left.

The little church was in fact a cemetary - Victoria Cemetary.

We parked on the side of the road and decided to take a look around. I wanted to photograph the weather vane on the roof of the little church.

Looking around at the old headstones we discovered something interesting - there were Gillespies buried here (I'm a Gillespie just in case you were wondering) dating back to the late 1800's; and Littles and Bowmans -other names from my father's side of the family (other surnames have since emerged, including Williams and Sauers). Now my father had recently passed away and being the last of his family there was no one to inquire about this discovery. But with a little help from my wife and many hours of research - it turns out that we discovered my great great great grandfather's grave - and have since found numerous other family connections to this little cemetary.

I have since developed an insatiable thirst for family histories (well, my family history), and have traced family lines back hundreds of years. And have found numerous questions and mysteries that still require answers.

I don't know why we ended up where we did that fall morning, but it now a regular destination for morning drives. It was as if there was something guiding us that morning, down that lonesome road, home.

I should also mention, that if you are interested in more sepia toned images, visit:



Carletta said...

I opened your blog and thought what a wonderful image you had posted but the story behind it is incredible!
It wasn't until after my own father's death that I finished a family history - eleven generations back to the 1700's.
You took the road not taken and found your own history - how remarkable.

Anonymous said...

A nice picture with a touching post :)
Happy sepia scenes!!

Robin said...

It's a beautiful image, and so much more so for knowing the wonderful story that brought it about. What a marvelous bit of serendipity.

Sreisaat said...

What a wonderful story behind a lovely photo! I think the spirits of your ancestors have brought you in that very place :)

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kden said...

I love your shot and the story behind it really sets the tone.

Julie said...

I like the effects on this shot. It really adds to it. Love the story also.

PJ said...

This is just wonderful, the perspective, the graininess, it looks like it's an old photo.