Friday, October 2, 2009


This is a recent shot of an old store down Onemo. To fully appreciate this lesson in how not to take a photo picture, please double click the image. Then you'll be able to see the gargantuan spider web as thick as a hammock just waiting to strangle me any trespassers who venture too close.

Next, you can study the eerie light shooting down the right side of the porch which of course can be attributed to a phantom. Yes, that's it--a ghost. Even though some might say Chesapeake Bay Woman's amateur photography skills are to blame, I'm going to stick with calling it a phantom because this is my fantasy world I can.

Like most of the old country stores, which often housed a post office and the owner's family as well, this store is located at an intersection. I sure hope that intersection was busier back in the day because currently it's possible to stop the car in the middle of the road, roll down your window and take pictures at your leisure. It's so quiet you can practically hear your heart pounding out of your chest when a car pulls up behind you that spider discussing his meal plans with the ghost. With any luck, those meal plans do not involve you.

This excerpt from the book Images of America: Gloucester County, by Sara E. Lewis references neighboring Gloucester but easily applies to Mathews:

"...Water landings and crossroads became natural locations for the scattered residents of Gloucester to gather...The different sections of the county were customarily indicated, not by signposts, but by crossroads that had a general store or gristmill on a corner. By such landmarks one knows when he is passing from one neighborhood to another."

"...Motorized travel over land became more common, and services formerly provided at landings increased in importance at inland crossroads. As travel sped up, the need for as many stores and post offices decreased and many were abandoned."

Many of the old stores are disappearing into their surroundings. Some are being swallowed up by nature, others are falling in on themselves due to neglect. If you look hard enough, though, you can see something there. A glimmer of a life past. A phantom.

Do you have any memories of a country store? Have you seen these killer spider webs that are as thick as hammocks? Any thoughts on Phantom of the Camera, the phenomenon captured above? Have a great Friday, I'll stop rambling talking now.


Autumnforest said...

Perfect picture for October first! That is so cool. It's for sale, huh? Probably can be had for a song and dance. I'm guessing the area probably has a lot of empty buildings. I remember when we summered there in the 60s/70s, there were a lot of abandoned places even back then. It fascinates me when nature takes over a place. It's very humbling and beautiful.

Grandma J said...

That is definitely a ghost,and I wouldn't get within five feet of that spider web. Have you ever had a spidet jump ten feet in the air and land on your face? Me neither, but that's not to say it's not possible.

that place is for much?

Grandma J said...

please excuse my misspelling of the word spider. I was in a hurry trying to beat Annie for a change.

word verification: imbrat

Annie said...

Great photo cbw. It finally enlarged after about ten minutes! I think there is something wrong with my laptop is taking it's time lately.

Anyway, love that photo...and it was a for sale sign there. Thought that was what it said. I finally found the cobweb too!

Are you thinking of buying it? Do the smoke alarms work?

Annie said...

well, you only just made it, Grandma J. How did you know I was lurking around? And why aren't you in bed by now?


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Hey, all. Yes, it's for sale and the spider and ghost do convey with the property. I'll see if I can find out how much it's going for in case Mental P. Mamma wants to live here instead of the brick house on my lane.

Smoke detector is still chirping,but I'm getting used to it. Anonymous Hallieford Resident may be sending over help today, but I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I either need to burn the place down or get used to the chirps.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

What a great shot! It is a ghost I do believe..of a spider. Is there such a thing? We should buy this place and turn it into a Blogfest movie theature.

Mrs F with 4 said...

Send all unwanted spiders to me - I love them! More so than the mice. Oh, hang on, THAT spider looks big enough to EAT the mice?

And the old building? I want to go inside......

Word verification: cifula... a nasty and painful boil caused by spider bite?

Daryl said...

Grandma J made me spew coffee ... it is unfair not to have a warning here in the comment section to be careful with hot liquids near a Grandma J remark

And she made me forget what I was going to say ... sigh, I am sure I will remember it eventually or not .. couldnt have been important ... now I gotta go mop up the spewed coffee

Oh sure and now Annie made me laugh .. girl your comment section is dangerous

Caution Flag said...

You do carry a weapon when you go picture/ghost/spider hunting, don't you? Then again, I'm really sure what answer I want you to give.

Pueblo girl said...

Another super-evocative photo: that web, those shafts of light, the trees...I love it. Me too, I would consider living there. I've only ever seen old stores like that in the films, so my nostalgia is purely for something I've never experienced. Such a shame they can't compete with Walmart.

Mental P Mama said...

I love it. Web and phantom...I cannot wait to come back!

Linda said...

*eyes closed, fingers crossed, turning round 3 times* I believe in ghosts! I believe in ghosts! I believe in ghosts!
Whew! OK, Awesome spider web too. I read/saw somewhere a woman used to spray paint spider webs white/silver or gold and then push a black card stock through the web. Very cool!

Angel Mama said...

I remember going in "Rudy's" in Ware Neck. Way back when Rudy was still around. It was indeed a Post Office, and you could get anything you needed there. The floors were real wood, there was even dirt in between the planks, it was so cool!! Now they call it "Nuttall's" (Rudy's last name), and they actually have fancy wine there!! I've not been there since the changes, but I'm sure I wouldn't like the changes anyway..

foolery said...

I don't go into old building because I get claustrophobic where I *know* there will be man-eating spiders.

But I can appreciate the outside.

Love the bits you add in from the regional books, too, CBW.

big hair envy said...

My great-grandparents ran the Post Office/General Store in Clancy. Homes were built on the surrounding property for my grandmother and her brother when they were married. My grandmother gave me several items that came out of the store when they closed it, and I also have an old postage scale. Priceless!

big hair envy said...

Wait, that sounded like my grandmother and her brother were married!! GAH!!! When my grandmother married MY GRANDFATHER, a home was built for her. When my grandmother's BROTHER married his wife, a home was built for them.

Clear as mud.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

AF- There are many abandoned structures here, and they're all gorgeous. If it's the last thing I do (before being arrested) I intend to photograph as many as I can.

GJ-I don't know about a spider, but a praying mantis and/or grasshopper sure can, and they do, and they have, and didn't you hear my scream today?

Annie-I'm sorry it took so long for the photo to load. The same thing happens when I try to load yours, though not always. If I had the money to buy this (and many others like it), I'd do it in a minute.

CBW-Thankfully the chirping has stopped. So why are you talking to yourself?

NNG-It would make for a wonderful gathering spot, that's for sure. (Hope to see you at Oyster Festival.)

Mrs. F.W/4 - That spider's web could strangle a mouse but I think he's waiting to ensnare a seagull. Seagulls rarely survive cifulas.

Daryl-We need to work on Australian Annie to get her here for next year's Blog Fest. BEtween her and Grandma J. we'd have an unstoppable comedy team.

CF-No weapon other than my scream which is shrill and very, very loud much like my laugh.

PG-What I wouldn't give to go inside this place. Isn't it interesting that a place this size held all that a small neighborhood would ever need (outside the vegetables, chickens, eggs and whatever else the families grew themselves). You could fit two hundred of these inside a Wal-Mutant.

MPM - I'll have the contract drawn up for you next week. AS I said, the spider and the ghost do convey with the property.

Linda-The spider web-painting lady would have a field day here. Right now you can't walk out the house without the noose of a web tightening around your neck.

AM-I knew a Nuttal from Ware Neck - went to school with her from about 1st to 3rd grade. WAsn't that store where Tom Cruise spent some time during the filming of Minority Report? I'll have to make my way in there next time I have time to spin down Ware Neck.

Foolery-We grow 'em extra big around these parts, especially now when they are busy preparing to outdo one another for Halloween.


TSannie said...

My great grandparents country store in Jamestown, MO (population then and now a hefty 123) is still standing and being used. Now as an antiques store, but it's pretty neat to walk in there and know my great grands walked there too. I love your chronicling the history around you and then sharing it.

I've heard too many times from too many folks that unexpected shafts or globes of light are glimpses of souls/folks who are no longer with us, but connected either to us or whatever is being photographed.