It’s not odd at all to have a connection with a home, a place where bits of your life happened. But what about a home that you have no personal connection to other than noticing it’s sheer beauty peering out from amongst a thick blanket of trees? I cannot even begin to explain the flood of excitement and admiration that washed over me the first time I spotted the house I will from here on out refer to as Margaret. Like with most places I find, I was out on a random weekend drive. While speeding down Route 2 in Mason County, West Virginia toward Point Pleasant, a road I’ve been down countless times, something in the distance caught my eye that I had never noticed. I quickly turned around and headed off the main road, dropped my car into 2nd gear and began to slowly ascend up a narrow one lane back road. As I grew closer and the trees parted, I simply could not believe what laid upon my gaze. How could something so beautiful and majestic just be sitting here all alone? Needless to say I immediately fell in love with this antebellum gem. Dozens of questions about this place flooded my curious mind as I drove up the muddy and narrow driveway. That was in December 2015.
Over the past year or so I’ve been periodically making the 45 minute drive to shoot photos of Margaret. No matter what my mood she always made me feel better. I don’t know why I immediately felt such a strong connection with a home that I’ve never lived in. Perhaps she knew I would be coming along one day and admire her how someone once had. I sure as hell can’t fathom why someone would leave her behind. Sadly while on a recent visit, that same moment of laying eyes on her as the trees parted that made me fall in love, this time made my heart fall to the pit of my stomach. At first glance at a distance I thought maybe someone was demolishing the home. As I drove closer I realized that it was far worse. Margaret had been torched. I looked at my girlfriend and just kept saying “No! No! No!” as we drove closer. How!? Why?! I had just visited a few weeks prior and everything was fine. Judging by what’s left (or rather lack there of) it appears she burned for a while. Who the hell would do something like this? One thing is for certain, I will miss Margaret dearly.