AMY EDMISTON, creator of the digital scrapbook “Pretty Old Places”, invites you to pull up a rocking chair on the wraparound porch of the old homeplace where stories line the shiplap walls like newsprint. “Finding out that others love the pictures and stories as much as I do makes me smile,” said Edmiston.
She attributes her love of history and historic places to growing up in a family where they regularly toured old houses and battlefields. “While I may not have entirely appreciated it back then like I do now, I look back and see how that had an impact on my love for historic places.” Looking for a creative outlet during the pandemic, Edmiston scoured backroads for “hidden gems” and began sharing her photographs of Pretty Old Places on Facebook and Instagram where she quickly garnered thousands of followers. “Coming across a beautiful old home that I’ve never seen is always a thrill. Researching the history is kind of like being a historic detective, and I love finding clues! I don’t always find clues for every house, but I love the challenge of trying.”
Edmiston said the community, both local and online, has supported and encouraged her endeavors by following her escapades, sharing her posts, and sending her locations of historic properties to share with her growing number of followers. “I enjoy putting the story with an old house. It’s like putting a face to a name. The people and the lives lived there are what make a house a home. It’s the story that makes it come alive.”
If Edmiston had one wish it would be to have a television show where followers could tag along on house hunts with her. “I love to inspire folks to uncover the beauty of old houses and buildings in the area where they live. I get excited just driving the backroads. When I see a road I’ve never traveled before, it’s the possibility of a hidden gem. Old houses both fancy and forgotten are everywhere. You just have to open your eyes. Each one tells of times gone by and about the town and city where they’re located. Sometimes you find out they belonged to a founder or an important figure.”
The thrill of the hunt, and the stories yet to be uncovered keep Edmiston traveling dust-covered country roads in search of the next Pretty Old Place to be photographed. “As long as I can remember, there has been a soft spot in my heart for old homes. Even when I didn’t have the time to capture or research them, I have always acknowledged their beauty and wondered about their stories. It’s an honor to be a part of a community that appreciates beauty and history. People from all walks of life find common ground in the love for all things old and beautiful. It’s such an inspiring thing!” GN