I photographed my first triple cross in 1988 in Nicholas County, West Virginia. An interesting shot but, at the time, there was no reason to think more about it. A trip or two later, the third sighting aroused my curiosity. Sightings five, ten and fifteen were enough to certify a phenomenon. Had I known then what I know now…
These two examples (and the other 1862) were sponsored by Reverend Bernard Coffindaffer from Craigsville, West Virginia. Urged by a glorious vision, from 1984 until his death in 1993 the Reverend devoted all of his resources to the erection of these ‘clusters’ – gold flanked by blue – in 28 states. I’ve seen 47 including 3 in Mississippi, only 1817 to go.
Each ‘set’ follows the Reverend’s specific design. Using 7 inch California Douglas Fir, the center pole stands 22 feet above ground with an 8 foot bar; flanking poles are 14 feet tall with 7 foot bars. They’re spaced twelve feet apart. Paint colors are also specified. Fortunately, second generation local volunteers are now beginning to assume responsibility for their continued preservation, maintenance and repair.
Personally witnessing one or two can’t match the impact from seeing an additional twenty or thirty widely dispersed in several states. The total grandeur of his accomplishment can never be fully appreciated until someone produces a huge map with 1864 colored pins marking every unique ‘set’.
Pocahontas County, West Virginia
Monday 1 June 2009
State Road 92
Greenbrier County, West Virginia
Wednesday 25 May 2005