Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gargoyle Guards

Birthplace of Amelia Earhart and known by some as the 'most haunted town in Kansas, ' Atchison, Kan. is also home to St. Benedict's Abbey, Mount St. Scholastica Convent and Benedictine College - a small, private university.

This rural town of less than 11,000 people has scores of Victorian homes lining its streets - many of which are still paved in antique brick. With exquisite attention to architectural detail, the massive homes are a feast for the eyes. My camera and I captured dozens of Victorian views on one particularly balmy and sun-drenched day last February, and these winged dragon-gargoyles stood out from all of the rest.

It seems that such gargoyles originally functioned as water spouts, to remove water from rooftops. But I prefer to think of them in their second function - as guardians of the buildings on which they sit, poised to keep bad spirits away from anyone who occupies the residence.

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