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Having grown up in Colorado, with family scattered across the mid west, I have been traveling the interstates that stretch across the middle of our country since before I can remember. Later in life I would meet my wife who was raised on a farm in central Nebraska, further tying me to the mid west. We still make trips to see our families, returning to the farm where she grew up, frequently leading me back to the places that I visited so often as a child. Because of my early exposure to the landscape of the plains of the rural mid west, I have always found the peaceful vastness of the landscape to be strangely beautiful. The original highway system once was the primary means of travel prior to the creation of the Interstate system in the 1950s and 60s. In my recent travels, I have found the towns that lay off these forgotten highways to be beyond amazing. Uniquely lost in time, these towns show the way that life has been, a monument to a forgotten era. Both the people and the towns are something that is uniquely American and have helped to define my life and my ideas about being an American.
Over the last few years I have chosen to make my road trips off the familiar interstates, dragging my wife and daughter along the old highways and on side trips to explore the forgotten roads and towns that were once prosperous. I am interested in exploring the way things use to be and how they are now, making photographs to document this unique landscape before it is gone for good.
The photographs in this book look at and explore these unique and amazing places through the exploration of the people that live in the American mid west and the life style they have created. Through the exploration of the land and the towns that spread from the eastern edge of the Colorado Rockies to the Mississippi River the American mid west is a telling place of both what makes us American as well as the rise of American industry and agriculture. From the American farmhouse to the vast expanse of farmland, all aspects of the landscape are linked; even the towns exist as a means of supporting the farmer. Photographing over a period of five or so years the book represents a collective of this idea.

James Hoard


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James Hoard
JHPPhoto Castle Rock, Colorado, USA

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