ered the remains of at least seven gravesites as well as evidence of broad ethnographic significance, Wal-Mart stepped aside. West Virginia University instead sold the 9.2-acre property to a development firm for $1.55 million. The land was lost to “progress,” and to make a tragedy even worse, the remains of the Monongahela tribal members were exhumed and sent to current members of the Seneca tribe in New York. The Seneca’s were a traditional enemy of the Monongahela, and some historians believe they may have even been responsible for the tribe’s demise. In Sherwin’s photograph “Suncrest Town Center, Morgantown, WV,” the viewer is
DON’T TAKE PICTURES
carried over a wildflower and grass-covered ridge, creeping from the bottom left upward and to the right of the image. Like Odysseus returning from his exhausting journey ready to hang his shield and rest, but finding his world entirely changed, the viewer peers over the ridge and into a parking lot, a moated bastion of consumerism. Light trails zip between neat rows of cars whose owners feverishly shop at Kroger for groceries or Cowboys and Angels, for Western boots, accessories, and apparel. They are careless— maybe even defiant—of the history below the linoleum mall tiling and their vibram shoe soles. The end of a people, an eradicated civilization whose monument of repose, a 2,000
Cleared Meadow, Greenbottom Wildlife Management Area, WV 2011
Published on Sep 8, 2014
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