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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Videos from Helen, GA


Helen, GA is a former asbestos mining town that found itself in hard times when the asbestos market collapsed.   The town lifted itself up with the spirit of tourism as it morphed into a misplaced German town in the Appalachian Mountains.

Let's take a look around town.....


I also took a look at an abandoned bear pit.....



And finally we take a look at the legendary Nacoochee Indian Mound....




The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

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And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens


Howard Finster: The man that brought Folk Art to the masses.  Pretty much setting the bar for what Folk Art would become, Howard rocketed to main street fame by painting album covers for REM and the Talking Head.  Howard was a Baptist Minister, and may not have necessarily listened to the music and may not have agreed with everything they stood for, but he knew that his paintings, which were loaded with bible verses, would reach the masses through this venue and spread the word of his lord.


Though Finister is best known for his paintings, he also turned his home into a living work of art which he called his "Paradise Gardens".   One of the original "Folk Art Environments"

The Gardens still exist today and ownership has been passed around with a board of directors controlling it.  I know there is some controversy about the treatment of the Gardens and its preservation, but I don't know enough about this to explain it fully.


Of course I HAD to go see this Iconic Southern Location.  I know that the Gardens were always in a state a flux and it was hard to tell whether or not it was currently open to the public.   A few years back I was able to get in telephone contact with the current caretaker.  He was a very nice man and happily invited me down to visit the Gardens.  So I made plans and drove three hours to Summerville, GA.  When I got there my heart sank in my chest.  The Gardens were closed.  Locked up tight and surrounded by a fence.  I called the caretaker and asked why the Gardens were closed when I had previously confirmed that it would be open.  He informed me that they had shut down because it was too hot.  Too hot.

Okay, I will admit it was probably a solid 100 degrees outside, but this is the deep South and we are not supposed to be phased by this sort of this.   I sadly walked along the perimeter hoping I could take a few errant photos.  But God winked at me.  A giant tree had fallen on the fence and smashed it almost to the ground, creating a perfect bridge for me to enter the gardens.  I figures if God had not wanted me in the gardens he probably wouldn't have given me the bridge. 


I carefully entered the Gardens, took only pictures and left only footprints.

The Gardens were in an overgrown half wild state, which on one hand is kinda sad, but on the other hand kind of adds to the charm.






The gardens features fantastic art is all different mediums.....










Howard's resume is is painted on the individual windows of an old shack.


The gardens are full of strange and unusual structures built by Finster.....




One of the most magnificent structures is Finster's "Prayer Tower", which apparently has been sealed off for years, because of its lack of structural integrity.


A proper church exists on the property as well....



Howard was supposed to cremated and placed in the coffin at the front of the Church.


Sadly, Finster's wishes were not followed and he was buried in a family plot.

Of course there actually is a body immortalized at the Paradise Gardens....


A skeleton of an unidentified body was dug up locally.  The body was old and foul play was not suspected.  The local officials had no idea what to do with it, so they gave it to Finster because "It felt like the right thing to do".   The body was respectfully preserved by Finster.


I also love this "self portrait" of Howard Finster......


A wonderful place to visit and a great legacy left behind by a fascinating man.

The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bomb Shelter Full of Mannequins: The Scottish Tartan Museum

Long before I started documenting all the Wax Museums the South had to offer, I experienced the uncanny valley at the local Scottish Tartan Museum.  Back in the days when I shot with film, me and my wife took these black and white photos at the museum.  Occupying a former bomb shelter, the museum is brimming with small fun with old clothing store mannequins re-outfitted into Scottish historical figures. 





Recently I returned to the museum to record this video.


Here is a gallery of all the wonderful Mannequins to be found there.










The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

New Carpetbagger Videos!


I have done a little bit of rural exploring as can be found in the video below.


Also, we have the first edition of  "News From The South" featuring Colonel Sanders coming back from the grave.

The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Abandoned Airplane Graveyard

I don't know if this location is still here, but in 2008 on our way to Disney World we stumbled across a Airplane Graveyard in St. Augustine, FL.






The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Back Yard Terror's Dinosaur Park

I love outdoor Dinosaur parks.  I have been to a variety of such parks across the South.  A look at these parks can be found HERE.  I have been to the world's largest Dinosaur park: Dinosaur World which is currently abandoned in Beaver, AR.  I have been to one of the nation's oldest Dinosaur Parks:  Bongoland.  And of course, the super bizzare Dinosaur Kingdom in Natural Bridge, VA deserves a special mention.

Recently, I came across an extremely unique Dinosaur Park.  Located in Bluff City, TN, which is literally the middle of nowhere sits Backyard Terror's Dinosaur Park.  The name is no lie.  The park is literally in some dude's backyard.


Don't be deceived by this, however, as these are some of the finest most detailed dinosaurs I have ever seen.



While a lot of dinosaur parks have a goofy awkward charm, this place has some extremely well crafted. dinosaurs.

Another interesting aspect is that the park works on an honor system.  The whole time I was there I never saw another soul.


Let's take at some of these wonderful beasts.....



















The tour even ends with an impressive animatronic velociraptor display.




For a full walk through check out the video below.


The Carpetbagger

I love hearing from people please comment below.  Also, feel free to email me at jacobthecarpetbagger@gmail.com

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out my Youtube Page where I regularly post videos. 

And I can't forget my Flickr Photostream, where all this got started.