Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Dear Mr. Evans,

As my time in Greensboro is running out, I have to admit, I did search for some of the locations where you took some of your photographs. As I always liked the picture of the gas station/post ofice in Sprott, Alabama, I decided to drive there last Sunday. Sprott is situated in neighboring Perry County.

Walker Evans: Crossroads store, Sprott, Alabama,
1935 or 1936, courtesy

Today it is basically a crossroads and nothing else. The old building is not there anymore and the one that took its place is closed. Across the street there are some old barns falling apart. There is nothing that could be defined as a town, no post office or anything else except for roads. When I kept driving, Google suggested to take a street that is basically inexistent, overgrown with shrubbery.

I have no idea what happened to the church that William Christenberry photographed and constructed as a sculpture, as it seems to be nothing there. I checked some satellite pictures and found a church that from above looks more like a barn than like the nice old structure with the two spires.

Walker Evans: Grocery store. Greensboro, Alabama, 1936, courtesy

Another picture I really like is the one of the McCollum Grocery on Main St at the corner of Beaacon St. The building has seen some changes – back in 1936 there were two stores in this building and today the corner has been remodeled. The building is unoccupied at the moment. The street light is still at the same spot, though.

I have tried to find out when the balconies on various buildings on Main Street were taken down, but so far nobody was able to answer that question. It must have been some time between 1936 and the early to mid-fifties.

Walker Evans: Untitled photo, possibly related to:
Boardinghouse, Alabama, 1936, courtesy

It is not easy to restore old buildings like this, but there are people who try to do whatever needs to be done. The building on the right is the Greensboro Hotel.

I also tried to find out, if the cotton gin in Moundville still exists. Yesterday someone told me it was still there and gave me directions. Checking the satellite images I did find the old depot (in the background), but the structure of the gin has completely been removed. As the area looks completely fenced in I consider it useless to go there to see for myself.

Walker Evans: Untitled photo, possibly related to:
At the cotton gin. Cotton gin and wagons.
Hale County, Alabama, 1936, courtesy

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