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As a teenager in the 1970s, I visited Lula Lake frequently. My friends and I swam, clambered over rocks, and drank beer in this wooded hideout on Lookout Mountain.
A few years ago, I found a plate by photographer G. N. Barnard, traveling with the Union army about 1864 (or possibly after the war, in 1866). It’s moving to see this special place I know so well, photographed a century and a half ago.
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Last week I had the opportunity to visit Lula Lake for the first time in forty years. I clambered across Rock Creek and onto the boulder I believe Barnard must have stood upon to take his photograph. It’s possible he used a larger, higher boulder that stood 30 feet behind this one. That boulder was too challenging for me to ascend, and its view, now, is obscured by trees. So let’s assume I found the right boulder. I took my own photo from this position, and I've overlaid it onto the Barnard photo. I’ve managed to align a couple of key anchor points. The cliff at right seems to have a different character, making me wonder how that would have looked from the alternate position on the other boulder. Still, I’m happy with the overlay, and I was close enough to Barnard's true position that I got the re-enactor’s experience.