Used to, you couldn't go into the church because the doors were always locked. Now, I'm not sure if they will even stay closed. Source: WLBT
The cornice on the roof above the bell is rotting away. And the bell is exposed. Source: WLBT
I always took it for granted, but somebody used to keep the grass cut. Now they don't. Source: WLBT
RODNEY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Instead of a story about someone already Making a difference in a situation, this time we have a story about a situation that needs a difference made in it by someone.
There is just this one street left in Rodney, Mississippi, now. Old photographs show the town was laid out in blocks and was full of buildings. Very few remain.
Still, a lot of people make the trek to Rodney so see this, the old Presbyterian Church. It is in pretty sad shape today. Not beyond repair by any means. But nothing like it used to be.
The first time I saw this church was nearly 25 years ago. And it looked great then. Maris, West and Baker advertising of Jackson had just finished a several-years-long restoration of the building. But many of the custom made shutters that were brand new then are falling apart now. The cornice on the roof above the bell is rotting away. And the bell is exposed.
I always took it for granted, but somebody used to keep the grass cut. Now they don't. You can't even see the herringbone patterned brickwork here at the top of the steps going into the church for the weeds.
And that's another thing. Used to, you couldn't go into the church because the doors were always locked. Now, I'm not sure if they will even stay closed. And the side door to the steps to the slave gallery isn't even there anymore.
So the elements are getting into the building. And my preservationist buddies tell me that it's never good for the outdoors to start getting indoors.
Mark Twain piloted riverboats past this church, the Union gunboat "Rattler" autographed it with a cannonball during the Civil War and Zachery Taylor may have been standing before it when he got word that he had been elected president.
The building was put on Mississippi's top 10 most endangered historic places list a few years ago. Being on the list brought some awareness, but the building needs a friend again.
There are groups interested in fixing it up, but Rodney is a long way away and people are busy nowadays.
But time is leaving marks on the old church almost daily, and unless someone Makes A Difference for this building, it won't be too many more years and we will just be remembering it from old photographs.
Monday, September 15 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:39:25 GMT
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