Trying to Preserve the Past

Yesterday I went to Clifton Mill with my dearest friend and her son taking our cameras. She recently got her first DSLR and I can really relate as she is learning all the ins and outs of a new camera.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know my love of old things, and Clifton Mill is somewhere I have known about because it is very popular at Christmas time. Everyone takes their family and especially out of town visitors to see the beautiful lights, the miniature villages, trains and of course Santa. We went back in 2005 and again in 2006, this is an old and bad picture, but hopefully you get the idea.


I had the thought of going there during the daytime to photograph it. So I pulled up their website to check out their hours etc. I read that next door they also had a 1940’s Gas Station Museum. Well to be honest we were disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, we got some wonderful pictures thanks to Photoshop (I’ll explain more later), but the “Museum” wasn’t really one, and the mill is best seen at Christmas time lit up by the lights.

The website said that it takes 6 men 3 months to put up the 3.5 million lights. But from what we saw they are never taken down. The mill was just covered with lights, wires, and cables. What used to be a red painted covered bridge had barely any red to it.


As I walked around it made me sad. It wasn’t that the place isn’t taken care of, because it is. There was a man mowing the lawn while we were there. It wasn’t trashed or dirty, but it wasn’t truly cared for either. I wondered if the reason things were in such shape was because they just can’t afford to keep it up. I imagine painting the covered bridge would cost a pretty penny, and being a historical site it probably requires a certain kind of paint. If it takes 6 men 3 months to put up the lights, then it would take them some time to take them down. With the economy the way it is we all have to cut corners. But when I looked through the covered bridge window and saw this scene, well that was too much for me.

So I have put up a gallery of the pictures I took. I put them through Photoshop and took out all the wires, the shabby paint, and things that made me sad. Some things I just didn’t put up at all, like this shot of the whole mill. Because the beauty of what it was still needs to be enjoyed, and I just couldn’t make myself get all those wires, cables and lights Photoshopped out.