Today I was sitting around chatting with some good friends about a place Glenn and I visited in 2003 – the Natural Bridge. I started thinking about what a popular place it has been for a couple hundred years so I decided to post a few pictures here from my earlier trip. The link to Wikipedia does a pretty good job of giving the basic history involving George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Calvin Coolidge, not to mention King George the III and Thomas Fairfax. I started looking at some of the images other people have made of the Natural Bridge and I came up with some interesting information. The image on the left below (click in image to enlarge) was done by Frederic Edwin Church and looks quite realistic and very much like the image I posted. He was an American landscape artist and painted this in 1852. He has painted more famous images but I really like this rendition which is at the University of Virginia. I personally like his art and want to see the several paintings listed in the galleries in Washington, DC with my son, Chris, who is also a great art fan and photographer. Follow this link to a couple old postcards of The Natural Bridge where they show no water flowing under it. I find that interesting as the creek seemed to be quite robust in 2003. I bought a print of the image on the right (click in image to enlarge) at the gift shop called “The Natural Bridge, Virginia – drawn by W. P. Snyder” which indicated it was published in Harper’s Weekly newspaper on September 8, 1888 where it was titled “Natural Bridge Virginia Food Wine Picnic 1888.” The people are sitting right in the middle of where the creek now flows. I could not find out much information on the artist although there seem to be various drawings for sale at different art sites. I believe many of his drawings were in this weekly newspaper. Water coloring was added to the image I bought at a later date by an unknown artist. It is still a very charming print.
There seem to be many old and original prints for sale on eBay for reasonable prices. I took a lot of images while visiting – in May there were all kinds of flowers blooming, especially roses, and the weather is nice enough to stroll around the grounds in the early evening. It is a wonderful place to relax for a weekend and get some terrific shots, history, and outdoor relaxation. Definitely worth the trip if you are in the area!…..Digital Lady Syd