Wednesday, September 23, 2009

House at Dutton

For a long, long time--years even--I've admired this house which sits back off of Route 198 just past Dutton on the left if you're headed out of the county. It draws me in like you would not believe, and I'm really not sure why.

It's old, yes, and I love old. But there is nothing particularly striking about it. The house is rather plain and unadorned, always has been. About the only thing that changes are the colors of the trees, the grass, and the fields surrounding the house. Right now, the lush, green soybeans provide a stark contrast to the dull, weather-worn white and gray. Pretty soon, though, those beans will turn brown and be harvested; the leaves will drop and dry up, leaving the trees looking as withered and dead as the house.

The windows are covered, so no light ever gets inside. The old dirt driveway which once led people straight to the door is now choked with grass. The house is much smaller than most of the two-story farmhouses which are so prevalent here.

And yet this house stands out and beckons to me very loudly. I wish I knew why.


Note: CBW had been wanting to take a picture of this house for 44 years a long time, and the other day on the way home from her second paying job she grew a wild hair to match the couple sprouting off her face and whirled on in here.

Her heart pounded out of her chest when she realized there really was no place to turn around unless she backed directly onto the highway. Yadda yadda yadda, everything turned out just fine, and CBW did not have to offer the explanation she was concocting had for law enforcement personnel in the event they happened to be passing by.

There was a very legitimate reason I had to pull in there. I just can't remember what it was.

Is there a particular place or building or house you're drawn to for no obvious reason? Why do you think we're drawn to particular places? What would you have told a representative of the law if he had pulled up behind you as you stood with one foot in the car, the other on the ground, door open, taking a picture of somebody else's house?


Autumnforest said...

I'm ready all the time to explain to people why I'm some place I shouldn't be taking pictures (I ghost hunt). When you're middle-aged and holding a camera and don't look like a maniac, you generally get let off. You're just a person drawn to take pictures of a pretty place. So long as you're not wearing a trench coat or lugging a huge bag over your shoulder, they let you go. As far as what draws you, it's a combination of things, I think. The thing that struck me at first was the symmetry of it. It has nothing decorative about the house or property, just straight lines vertical and horizontal. Neat, clean, without personality. That drives people nuts. It's like a handsome guy who just stares but never speaks or smiles--lots of mystery. It's what's not shown that makes you wonder. The other possibility is the lack of windows peering out at the landscape like eyeballs--without open windows it seems even more unfriendly and unwelcoming. The more it tries to hide, the more you want to discover... Keep being curious--I adore your pictures--they make my days!

Grandma J said...

There are a couple of places around here that I've been tempted to stop and take some pictures. I haven't because I haven't come up with a good explanation if I get caught. If they were nice places and not run down I guess I could say I was from Better Home and Garden or something.

T said...

I do what Autumnforest does - I have a story of "I just found this place so interesting", slap on a mega watt smile and hope for the best! Usually I just get a "you shouldn't be here", but by then....I already have the picture!

I love the starkness of this place. It makes me wonder - who lived there? Does it have owners now? Was it a home??

Pueblo girl said...

"It draws me in like you would not believe, and I'm really not sure why"

Hmmm, because it's a picture of simplicity itself, sheltered by a big strong tree behind...?

Beautiful picture.

Caution Flag said...

Honestly, there is no local place which calls to me. Sometimes I think it's because life and traffic move so quickly and rudely here that I can't see anything except the road. Okay, now I'm sad.

Mental P Mama said...

I'm drawn to a little red brick house in Virginia....

Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

Yes there is! There are a couple actually. You've inspired me to get out there and take a picture of it and write about it. I have tons of stories in my head about who lives there and who might have lived there in the past. It's just one of "those" places! And to ice the cake, it's right on the water with the pounding shore practically at it's back door.

I so want to be in that house and live the stories that so far, are only in my head!

Word ver. today. Seriously? Only I would get something like this!


Linda said...

I use that it's easier to ask for forgivness than permission;-)

Daryl said...

A big smile usually works ... its been a while since I felt like that ... but I am sure I would like to see that old house in person .. add it to the photo op stops for our next BlogFest!

big hair envy said...

This has nothing to do with anything, but I wanted to share. My mom has some relatives who are Duttons, from Dutton. There were five sisters in this particular family. They all had big butts. Those of us who inherited this particular feature have always been told that we have the "Dutton Butt". I inherited enough "Dutton Butt" for two. I'm not sure I could get through the little door I see in the picture. I'm guessing that the sisters did NOT live in that particular house.

Word Verification: gagul
Looks like we might have a "gagul" of bloggers at Oyster Festival!!! YAY!

Anonymous said...

I think I know which house this is. I've always liked its profile -- the shape of its roof is what my mumma has always called a "saltbox" house. Anybody know what that means? (google here i come!)


PS ever notice that the new construction next door has the same roofline? I don't know if they did that on purpose, but I hope they did!

Angel Mama said...

There are lots of old abandoned homes that draw me, both in Mathews and Gloucester. But, if I hadn't mentioned it yet - hubby BROKE THE CAMERA!!! Yes, I am very frustrated. I didn't even do a blog today, shame on me.

I'm also getting the feeling that everyone in Mathews and Gloucester are related! BHE - I also have Duttons from Dutton on my grandma's side of the family. She was a Dunston.

Anonymous said...

google almost never lets me down!


Ann Marie said...

Seriously CBW.. you know as well as I do .. there are many many places I am drawn to.. having said that I must plead the 5th due to .. well being local and all...

and what i would say... well... nothing cause I can't run and yell at the same time.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

autumnforest-I love your description - "Like a handsome guy who just stares but never speaks or smiles..." Here's the thing - this and a few other places speak to me on a cellular level. I cannot explain it. It's deeper than what's on the surface. I feel an urge to know exactly who lived there, as if perhaps I might know these people and have some sort of connection from the past. IN fact, my mother's family had two homes not far from here so it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility that I might have some family link to the place, but with no info to go on all I have is my cellular/gut-level instincts that tell me I need to know more. (Yes, I'm weird.) The lack of windows is indeed interesting and does make me want to know/see more. Very good!

Grandma J.-You could truthfully tell them you're a movie critic and freelance writer and you're looking for a place to take a good photo for your publication....that sounds so good I might even use it, without the movie critic part.

T-That's exactly how I feel about it. Can't wait to meet you Oyster FEst weekend.

Pueblo Girl - Very good observation. I'm going to ponder that some more...thank you, you have such a great perspective.

CautionFlag-If you need to get away and recharge, you're always welcome to come visit here, no matter if it's a Blog Fest, an Oyster Fest or just a plain old ordinary weekend.


Audrey - You're an excellent writer and story teller - and photographer, so whatever you produce will be fantastic. (I'm still curious to know what Gareth got for his birthday last night...)

Linda- Amen! That quote would look great on a commemorative Oyster Festival Blog Fest t-shirt or bumper sticker...

Daryl - We didn't hit the tip of the iceberg of places to photograph when you were here this summer. MPM is coming to the Oyster Festival - you need to hitch a ride down.

BHE-We've already had it confirmed that we're related (through marriage) so if you're kin to them I must be too...You dutton have a Dutton butt, either.

AMN - No I never noticed that roofline next door but I will be sure to look next time I'm out that way. THANK YOU AND ANONYMOUS MATHEWS NATIVE MOTHER for the saltbox information. I'd never heard that expression before, but I have no doubt that CBMother has. Regardless, thanks for doing the search and providing the link. There are definitely more than a few houses of that style of construction and to be honest I see a resemblance to some of the dependencies/outbuildings/sheds/barns around here too.

AngelMamma-We're all kin around here ultimately. I'll bet your mother knows mine/or my grandmother for sure. Would be interesting to get them together some time.

AnnMarie - You sound like me - can't have a heart attack and think and speak at the same time. Yes, you are drawn to the same sorts of places and you do an exceptional job of capturing them in your pictures. Market Days next year, missy!

Happy, happy Wednesday, everyone.

Annie said...

I know what you mean about getting drawn into a place...Mum and I once went looking for where her Mum was born on a property along the river...and I was drawn to an old place...which did indeed turn out to be the site of her grandparents property...and such an interesting story to tell to go with...thanks for the idea .

..and it was fun looking up salt box houses...I won't spoil your fun for your next post by putting any of it here.

thanks for visiting my flowers...have posted some photos of my sepia tinted life the recent dust storm yesterday here

hope it works for loading all the other prob know all about dust storms (or tornados anyway)