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A Small Town Upon a Hill

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 19 September 2008 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


Located near the mouth of the Eel River in Northern California - on a high hill, just south of Eureka. Loleta is dairy country - and a factory sized milk processing plant sits near the center of town. The few retail stores line Main Street - a railroad track lines the other side of Main - leading straight up to the side of the Dairy.

The rails are now rusted and overgrown with weeds. The cluster of brick buildings that defines the dairy - are silent and for sale. Large cracks split the mortar between the bricks. The tanks that once held cream now host iron oxide. The wooden out buildings support moss and lichen.

Many houses line the hillside above the dairy. One imagines the many folks - taking that easy morning stroll down to the time clock - before heading to their work stations at the plant. One can but hear the train, slowly departing the loading dock - now heavy with butter, milk, and cheese - heading to market. But, no more. The old dairy sits silent. Dark.

[notebook]: This is the first of a series of 10 images - exploring Loleta, California. These images were taken last week - while I was returning from Oregon. Enjoy.

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Zygene from morlaix, France

Une lumière bien brumeuse.
Bon week-end

19 Sep 2008 5:48am

@Zygene: Merci beaucoup. Un bon week-end à vous.

Kylie Greenan from Richmond, Australia

What a delightful image, I love the criss cross of the lines and the signs of the old railway that seems but a memory, you wonder how these things just "stop existing" don't you, a great capture and a wonderful reminder that time changes and life moves on, and nothing stays the same.

19 Sep 2008 6:37am

@Kylie Greenan: True words in your comments my friend. Change is the constant variable. If you look through those wires at the top of the image - you see some of the cows that would have provided their milk to this facility. A perfect low-carbon-footprint solution to creating dairy products. As Paul Simon once wrote, "...everything put together - sooner or later, falls apart." Have a great weekend.

yz from Hungary

Very nice composition, excellent mood, I really feel like taking a walk there

19 Sep 2008 7:29am

Betty from New Jersey, United States

Really nice atmosphere to this shot, Stephen. You captured the small town feel very well. Looking forward to this series.

19 Sep 2008 8:11am

djedfre from schaumburg, United States

love the pastel colors...

19 Sep 2008 9:41am

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

What a charming little town, I love old brick houses, it looks exactly like the kind of place I'd be happy living in...Looking forward to seeing more of this little haven :)

19 Sep 2008 11:54am

@Lorraine: Actually, Lorraine - there are very few brick buildings of any kind in California. The reason is the potential of earthquakes. Brick dose very poorly when the ground becomes a sea of violent movement. The brick in the foreground is the dairy I wrote of in the text. More to follow...

Walter from Watkinsville, United States

I look forward to this series. From your opening statements, I hope this means you will be showing us the brick building, the rusted tanks, the old railroad tracks and some of the houses that dot the hillside.

19 Sep 2008 12:17pm

@Walter: You've been looking at the script, it appears.

Lorena from Fort Myers, United States

I love small cities and this one is lovely!

19 Sep 2008 12:57pm

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

I could go into detail, but I'm not going to begin. Every element of this photo works. Wonderful capture.

19 Sep 2008 3:00pm

@sherri: I hope that you check-in tomorrow. A classic 'Sherri' image. The only thing missing is Evie parked in front.

Marcie from United States

Love the colors in this quintissential small town. It all comes together perfectly!

19 Sep 2008 4:11pm

Rui from Leiria, Portugal

Life's a constant change... Very interesting view. Thank you Stephen.

19 Sep 2008 4:59pm

willow from Chelsea, United States

This could be any small town across the country. So many places just like this have seen their day pass as everyone has move on to "where the action is". There is a feeling that life moves at a slightly slower pace here. Can't wait to see the rest.

19 Sep 2008 9:17pm

roentarre from Melbourne, Australia

Nice capture. Very ambient and peaceful

19 Sep 2008 11:13pm

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

I love this shot Stephen, although this is only a small part it 'seems' a nice place. Really looking forward to seeing more, your narrative makes it sound interesting.

19 Sep 2008 11:43pm

One from Açores, Portugal

I would say that it is a quiet little town where there are electric cables, very nice house with red brick, the image makes the impression of a good place to rest.

20 Sep 2008 1:46am

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Enjoy very much the peaceful and relaxed mood that your pic is conveying... Thanks for sharing Stephen. Look forward to exploring this little town.:-)

20 Sep 2008 1:57am

Lorraine from Canada

Wow, I did not know that...never thought of it, thanks for the info :)

20 Sep 2008 2:23pm

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

well captured and presented.... reminds me of some small towns in Europe.... brings back some good memories... :)

21 Sep 2008 12:16am