Each November I look forward to one of my favorite short hikes. A quick walk through a cornfield turned parking lot brings me to 100 Years of Progress, the result of a family’s generosity in sharing a priceless piece of U.S. history. It takes two days to see everything, and even then, I always realize that I have missed something. In this lovely country setting near Carthage, North Carolina, there is an entire re-created antique village complete with saloon, stores, and barbershop. An impressive array of sheds spreads out over acres of grounds, each shed housing examples of the steam-powered machines that ushered the United States into a golden era of economic growth. It is one glorious, overwhelming feast for the eyes and ears. These pictures share some of the small details that I see when I walk through the grounds. The subtle beauty in the patina of old, rusty machinery, vines growing through grills and cast-away items, the hand-painted details so carefully applied to machines built at a time when craftmanship went into every little detail. An interesting place to sit. A hidden elephant. The fascinating gears, wheels, and gizmos. Later on I will post the big machines, but today I want to share the fascination and beauty that comes from studying the small details.
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