Sunday, January 15, 2012

Savannah River Rapids - Augusta, Georgia

Fall Line area
Part of the river lock on the Savannah river was built for three reasons: To establish a standard water level for the Augusta Canal, used for river navigation and to control flooding in the spring months.

The River Walk
For almost a hundred years after the canal was built, the Central Savannah River area still experienced flooding of the river.  It was not until the mid 1930's that  the Federal Works Progress funded and rebuilt the canal system, giving it higher banks, new spillways and straightening most of the canal before arriving to the mill area.

Gate House
The head gates of the canal are still original and functioning to this day from the  ideas of the canal founder and mastermind, Augusta-native Henry Cumming.  The "house" contains the sluice gates, which control the amount of water that enters the canal, and the river lock which allows river navigation from the canal upstream past the rapids.

~Man's Best Friend Leaves lasting Impression~

As the dividing border between Georgia and South Carolina, the river gave a life source to not only the Colonial Americans, but also to the Native Americans which called the Fall Line and the estuary to the Atlantic Ocean.

Augusta Canal
The calm of the canal along with the breeze swinging the spanish moss in trees makes for a great evening walk at the canal's edge.

One of the smaller, but yet many tributaries to the Savannah River.

Hollywood Cemetery - Richmond, Virginia

In memoriam to more than 18,000 enlisted Confederate soldiers that died in the James River area that  now rest here in this cemetery at the banks of the river itself.  This 90 foot rough-cut limestone pyramid is dedicated by the Women of the Confederacy of Virginia in 1869 as a remembrance to their sacrifice. The cemetery acquired it's name from the numerous Holly trees that grow on the rolling hills of the resting place to some of Virginia's and America's notable citizens.

Part from it's rich history since it was established in 1849, the cemetery is a paramount destination of Richmond for the tombs of American Presidents, to also include the only Confederate President.

There are fables and legends within the cemetery walls from that of the little girl at the black iron statue of a dog watching over the graves and the legend of the Richmond Vampire, an unusual tale about the Church Hill Tunnel. 

As the tombstones spatter the rolling hills, it gives the perception of a marble city.

Virginia Historical Society - Richmond, Virginia

Holding Virginia's natural, regional, and historical story all under one roof makes this one of the largest historical societies of the United States!

As one enters the largest exhibit of the Museum, The Story of Virginia, you see the artifacts of the early peoples of the River City.

With collections that have been added to the Society for the past century or so, pieces such as this old print document about Algonquin Indians in German makes for an intriguing dynamic to the Virginia's past.  Numerous letters, pamphlets, and books that changed the face of our Nation can be traced back to Virginia, further more to Richmond!

The Federalist

Another must see exhibit is the American Civil War section.  I was amazed by the display's ability to take the span of that historic mark and tell the story from the major events down to the daily life during the War.

The River City - Richmond, Virginia

Richmond is most definitely a city that you can walk around for three days and still not see most of the city! Voice of experience speaking!  I must recommend the Capital area for it holds alluring architecture of the old city life mixed in with quaint cafes and energizing night clubs.

George Washington Memorial
Richmond - The Monumental City

Throughout the hills and along the boulevards stand memorials to the forefathers of the United States of America.

Contradicting edifices such as the Old City Hall (left) with it's Gothic Revival spires and tri-set windows next to the lily white walls of the State Capitol and it's Italian Renaissance columns and simple Palladian adornments.

Virginia State Capitol
Designed by the third President, Thomas Jefferson along with Charles Louis Clerisseau in 1785 and now is the second oldest state capitol in the United States!

The Richmond Skyline seen through 
the Memorial to the Fallen Soldiers at the Virginia War Memorial.  I wish I could have gone in and toured the visitor center and further explored Virginia's history, but maybe next time!

The Landmark Theater, often called 
The Mosque by locals for it's Moorish Revival.  The Landmark was originally the Shriners Temple until the 1940's and now serves as a local venue of arts and theater to Richmond.
Jefferson Davis Memorial Circle

Monument Avenue

If anyone needs a lesson on the American Civil War, just walk down Monument Avenue.  I joked around after about the fifth massive statue we came to with the comment

       "You think that the Confederates had won 
the War with these statues...

First Baptist Church of Augusta - Augusta, Georgia

The tale of the First Baptist Church of Augusta was an interesting read for me I must say. 
 Having lived in this area for over half of a year now and seeing the sprawl of Baptists churches from one block to the next and now knowing that the FIRST Baptist Congregation formed was in 1817, I see that as bewildering!  The first 'church' didn't even have an established church, it was merely a Society.

As the Baptist Praying Society grew from the original eighteen members, they thought it worthy to build a church.  After the funds were collected amounting to about $20,000 the Church was dedicated in 1821, becoming the First Baptist Church.
The First Baptist Church has played a significant role in Augusta's History.  Just before the Civil War, it held early conventions on issues such as slavery and states rights.

These photos are of the New Sanctuary which stands tall at the end of Walton Way. It's construction began in 1980 and provides to the ever-growing Baptist Community of Augusta and the surrounding areas.

Summerville Cemetery - Augusta, Georgia

The Summerville Cemetery serces as the final resting place to some of Augusta's and Georgia's notable residents, to include past Governors, Attorney Generals, Judges, and even Confederate Generals!

On this five acre plot towering obelisks and crosses stand as a living testament to the tomb they shadow for the rest of time.  I have yet to do any research on the subject, however there must have been quite a league of stone masons to do the work on some of these headstones around the Augusta area at one time.

A common site among any graveyard in the Southern States.

Summerville Homes - Augusta, Georgia


A Town within a City

As Augusta began to grow in the early to the mid 1800's, the area known as Summerville developed to suit the "higher up's" and became known for it's resort-like homes for Northerners escaping the cold winters and also the close location for the newly established golf courses of Augusta.

One house to the next, Never the Same!  All of the houses of the Summerville neighborhood vary across the board as far as architecture, but one thing most of them all have in common is their massive size and beautiful yards.

Most designed with a more European look rather than the American Colonial or even the Victorian, to include Greek, Spanish, and even the Rhineland!  As a historic place of Augusta, Summerville barely survived the Great Fire of 1916 which swept through the downtown at the feet of the "hill" that these homes stand upon.