A weekly feature once found here was a Virginia Landmark Contest. I once had hundreds of photos of various Virginia Landmarks, but a crash of the 80 gigabyte external hard drive that they lived on caused me to lose almost all of them. Since then I've been slowly adding new landmark photos to a new collection and I'm bringing back the landmark contest. Just like before, the only award the winner will receive will be the admiration and awe of his or her fellow readers. Note that all pictures will get bigger if you click on them.
This week we are in Southwest Virginia and we'll be looking at several landmarks. First, this building is not on the main street of the town in which it is located. But if you've spent much time wandering the side streets of this town the building's arresting architecture and bright blue shutters should be all the clues you need to identify it.
If you instead prefer to visit this town's many pubs and drinkeries, you may still have some insight into the building's current use.
While not a landmark in the sense that we tend to think of them today, the place on the right was surely a well known landmark and navigational aid to those intrepid explorers who wandered Southwest Virginia around 250 years or so ago.
The water in the river that winds around the base of this formation does not eventually find its way to the Atlantic. Instead, after producing some of the most challenging kayaking rapids in the east, it enjoys a nice slow trip to New Orleans before mingling with the saltiness of the Gulf of Mexico.
Other than that, the only hint I'll add is that it's located about an hour's drive north and west of the building above.
Less than an hour away from the wilderness shown above is a charming little Appalachian town. That is the location for our next stop.
Your mission is to identify the town, the building in the photograph, and the monument on the corner. There are monuments all over Virginia. This is one of the very few that does not feature a guy with a gun.
Your hint for this location is the small street you see going by the building on its left side. Once merely a side street, almost an alley really, it (for now at least) would have to be considered the main street of the business district in town.
You can see a close-up of the monument if you click on the small image on the right.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip through one of my favorite parts of Virginia.
We'll now begin our journey back toward the Blue Ridge and my home.
As we leave the eastern edge of the coalfields though, we'll make one more stop at an historical spot in Southwest Virginia. The photo on the right is obviously a re-creation of a late 18th century settlement. Where is it and what is it's name?
This location also has an important connection to the history of a state park in Kentucky, you can get extra bonus points if you can identify that connection. If you are not aware of that connection, watch this blog. Sometime within the next few days I'll be writing the story of an incredibly strong woman that is the subject of that connection.
If you have a photo that you think would make a good future Landmark Contest feature please send it to me and I'll include it in a future contest.
There have been some very good guesses, and a few correct answers so far. But no one has yet named them all.
There is only one landmark left to be correctly identified. Here's your hint; It's not the Carter Family Fold, go back up and read the paragraph that introduces the final landmark.