Western North Carolina
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
Fewplaces in the United States can compare to the natural beauty and grace
of Western North Carolina, a combination of picturesque mountain ranges,
rolling foothills, and lush valleys. At the turn of the century, the visual splendor
of the Appalachians and clean mountain air drew thousands upon thousands
of visitors, including a large number of photographers, to the region's many
health resorts, hotels, hiking trails, and small towns. Like explorers of old, these
photographers went out into the North Carolina wilderness carrying their bulky
photographic contraptions and glass-plate negatives in hopes of sharing its
spectacular scenes with the rest of the nation.
Using cameras equipped with twin lenses mounted about 2.5 inches apart,
which created almost identical images, these photographers created stereoscopic
views, or stereo views-
double images placed on a rigid card--which were then
viewed through a hand-held stereoscope and resulted in the person experiencing
a three-dimensional effect. In Wester North Carolina: A Visual Journey Through
Stereo Views and Photographs, you will see these professional photographers' hard
work, a wonderful collection of images capturing the unspoiled beauty of the
region, such as pictures of waterfalls, rivers, forests, and mountain ranges; views
of local people at work and at play; snapshots of early railroad construction;
and panoramas of the growing mountain communities, such as Bakersville, Hot
Springs, Lenoir, Old Fort, Hendersonville, and Asheville.
North Carolina public historian Stephen E. Massengill, author of Durham
and Around Southern Pines, has compiled an extraordinary collection of views
that highlights the photographic vision of these pioneering men: Rufus Morgan,
William T. Robertson, Nathaniel W. Taylor, Balduin Von Herff, Thomas H.
Lindsey, and Edward E. Brown. For residents of the Tar Heel State and its many
tourists, Western North Carolina: A Visual Journey Through Stereo Views and
Photographs is a wonderful treasure of vivid, compelling images that truly gives
today's generation a glimpse into yesteryear's "Land of the Sky."