Slow Decay, Old South


Warm, sunny, early spring days will sometimes find me driving out on the Old Oxford Highway, enjoying a more rural part of Durham county. There is the old Catsburg General store, there is a popular spot on the Eno River, there is bucolic farmland. There is this homestead, the buildings grayed and collapsing, a slow implosion urged on by the merciless elements. Driving by today, I was surprised to see signs of life, an old man tending to his chores, hauling water or something else towards these ancient buildings.


Old Oxford Highway is the Old South, rife with ghosts, slave quarters, skeletal remains of Stagville, the largest plantation in the Southern United States. It is easy to forget in this progressive, liberal oasis of the Research Triangle Park, that we are still very much in the south, evidence of our complicated and despicable past still right here, under our noses, standing in silent witness of past oppression.


One Comment

  1. Eunice Chang on Mar 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I’m enjoying these pictures and words- they’re familiar to me from many a biking trip. Also enjoying your photos.

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