Monday, August 26, 2013

Past & Present

It is hard to imagine that at one point our little village had its very own train station. Below is a photo of the train coming into the station. The figure farthest from the camera & closest to the train is the station master, who happened to be a women. That certainly must have been unusual for the time.

Today the old depot stands empty. Where the train tracks once were is now a busy thoroughfare. But the bones of the old building still exude the same dignified charm.

The old blue enamel sign still announces the point of arrival & departure.

I am very fond of the small out building that once housed the restrooms or perhaps more correctly the public "outhouse". The words "Hommes" & "Dames" are still unmistakable above the doors. Although, someone has taken away the pretty old doors that had remained there until only recently, there is still enough detail to imagine it as it once was. I believe that the center part, which as far as I can tell was always left open, was for some sort of sink or place to wash up after a long journey.

There is one other building that seems to have been some sort of warehouse space or perhaps something to do with the mechanics of the trains. It has a large opening which makes one curious about its use.

The arriving passengers would walk from the station across the old foot bridge, which crossed the river just in front of the château, & into the village.

The thirteenth century château is still standing, looking very much the same. But the little foot bridge is long gone. Although the bridge is no more, the old stone steps which lead to it are still there, now leading to nowhere in particular.

In 1930 the town experienced a great flood, which is still talked about today. It washed away many of the buildings along the river as well as the foot bridge. The waters rose so high that there were actually boats in the town square.

After the flood a new bridge was constructed. The kind gentleman, who shared these photos from his collection of old post cards with me, remembers the day the new bridge was inaugurated. He was five years old. Everyone wore their Sunday best & came from near & far. But what he most remembers, were the tiny pieces of brightly colored paper that they threw into the air. It was the first time he had ever seen confetti.

In comparing the old photo, which was taken soon after the new bridge opened, to the one taken today, it is evident that the street & the houses remain very much the same. In the old photo you can even see the wisteria arbor that runs across the front of the end house on the right.

That arbor is still there, & as beautiful as ever. Above is perhaps a better view, looking in the opposite direction from the bridge towards the end of the street.

The heavy twisting trunk of the wisteria must be some indicator of it's age but there is no question that it can be seen in the photo taken more than 80 years ago.

It weaves its way completely around the house & is magnificent in spring when it is fully in bloom.

Past or present, there is certainly a great deal to appreciate about this little village.

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