Within sight of Arkansas Highway 35 at the north end of Crain Loop, this old home is teetering on collapse. It appears to have been well built, but when left alone, well-built inevitably loses to Mother Nature's onslaught. The back porch caved in and the rest of the back side can't be far behind.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Crain Loop in Cleveland County, Arkansas, could well be the definitive country road, or at the very least, one of them. The idyllic stretch is not long, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in natural panache.
It lazily winds through serene woods and pastures. On the south end, the Loop starts out as a nicely tended gravel road. Toward the north end it quietly segues into a smooth, well packed dirt road with nary a bump or lump. It is a graveyard for old homes. Of six residences I saw along the road, only two showed signs of being currently occupied.
A lot of guys will tell you the current highest and best use of this end of Cleveland County is habitat for healthy herds of Whitetail Deer. The same guys annually take the place of now absent natural predators to control the herd. A few of the hunters and hunted were not far away as I made the picture above. The gunshot retort that reached my ears originated not more than a 100 yards away.
The front porch appears to open to the "front" (living) room to the right and the kitchen to the left. The smaller, higher windows are typical of a kitchen.
I circled around the house and saw the front porch. While maneuvering through the brush for a good vantage point for the porch shot, I found what was probably the well for the home. It is a large hole into which one does not want to fall.
Not far from the front porch is either what's left of the well for the home or a fine sink hole. It is approximately five feet across and six feet or better deep. In either case, it is far better to see it in daylight that rudely discover it after dark. The white speck is a remnant of the recent snow at the bottom of the well (hole)?
As with other abandoned homes, we observe with curiosity. What precipitated abandonment? What happened on the last day? We will never know, but we raised the question.
N O T E S:
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.