Deserted complex, Dunn, N.C.

Deserted tourist complex, near Dunn, N.C.  Photo by Andy Brack.

Deserted tourist complex, near Dunn, N.C. Photo by Andy Brack.

A tourist complex — motel, gas station and restaurant — are abandoned off an exit of Interstate 95 near Dunn, N.C., obvious victim to the recent recession.

The Southern Crescent follows the Interstate from the Tidewater part of Virginia around Emporia and across the Carolinas before it veers southwesterly near Savannah, Ga.  Millions of people live in these mostly rural, agricultural parts of the American South.  Distinguishing characteristics include high poverty rates, little new opportunities, struggling tax bases and high incidences of health problems.  See our maps on this site to get more perspective.

Dunn, which had a population of 9,582 in 2012, is rural enough to experience a high poverty rate — 27.5 percent — but is part of the Raleigh metropolitan area, which provides more opportunity for residents than in many Southern communities.  Raleigh’s influence is seen in how Hartnett County has more than 120,000 residents.

Photo taken July 21, 2013 by Better South President Andy Brack.  All rights reserved.