While visiting my younger sister and brother-in-law’s cabin in Ashe County, I was introduced to this picturesque little hollow, or holler as pronounced by folks in the Appalachian Mountains, along Buffalo Creek on Hwy 88. The holler was north of West Jefferson, and right below Warrensville. Later in October, I passed by to scout the sun position to determine the best time of day to photograph.
Luckily, there was an older gentleman carrying items in and out of the lower right shed. I walked across the bridge over Buffalo Creek up the hill to introduce myself and asked permission to take pictures on his property. He said yes, and introduced himself as Fred Stike.
I mentioned there were local artists which made paintings of his property. Fred acknowledged his property’s appreciation in the local art community and went on to explain he was born in the lower house and now lived solely on the property by himself. He noted local folk referred to his home as Stike’s Holler, and his sister had previously lived in the house further up on the right, but had moved to a home nearby on Buffalo Creek.
Later in the week, I returned in the morning with my camera, but Fred was either not up or not at home. I wish I had an opportunity to take his portrait. The hill leading up to the barn on the top left and sinking shed on the top right was a bit steeper than it appeared at the base. The stream in the center of the property had a slow trickle of water. I found it fascinating how the structures were built into the hillside.
While photographing the barn and sinking shed at the top of the hill, I could feel the ground was quite soft. Perhaps the rocky soil has over time allowed dirt to wash through causing the shed’s foundation to sink on the uphill side. I took a moment to image what this small mountain farm was like when Fred was a young boy.
I plan to drop some of these photos off the next time I visit Ashe Country and perhaps capture an outdoor portrait of Fred. Thank you for stopping by and Happy Thanksgiving to all especially all my good friends on WordPress! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to experience a high resolution version.