Sunday, January 10, 2016

Rail Path

Rail Path - 5x7 - Watercolor - January 2016
Railroad tracks are part of most towns that grew up during the late 1800s.   Douglasville, GA my hometown is no different.   Originally known as Skint Chestnut, the name was derived from a large tree that was used by the Indians as a landmark, which was stripped of its bark so to be seen by travelers.   Douglasville became the name in 1875 with it first election and mayor.    The railroad came  after land was purchased from Atlanta to Birmingham in 1860 by Georgia Western Railroad.   The war halted construction and after bankruptcy the Georgia Pacific Railway Company began construction in 1881 and completed the stretch in 1883.    Downtown Douglasville is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.   It is an example of a turn-of-the century southern railroad town.      "Rail Path" is the latest in a series of paintings and photographs I'm working on for my "Painting My Town" exhibit coming in May 2016.

The railroad was part of my history growing up.    My grandfather W. B. Price had a home on the hill overlooking the railroad tracks through what is known as Beulah Community in Douglasville, GA.    I remember hearing the trains growing up.   We walked to school across the railroad tracks and down a path to Beulah Elementary School    I don't feel that old but it was a beautiful brick four room school house.   Sure wish I had a photo of that building.  It used to stand where the Beulah Church stands now at the intersection of Riley Road and Hwy 78.    I remember as a teenager getting off the bus on Burnt Hickory Road at the railroad tracks and walking the 1/2 mile to my grandfathers house and then down to hill to my home.   No one thought anything about it in those days.  The smell of creosote on the railroad ties seems to still be in the air when I think about those walks on hot summer days.

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