Editor's note: The following piece was written in honor of the John Nash Building, built in 1811 and demolished on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019:

As the sun arose this morning

I knew my fate was sealed

And this was my last sunrise

With age, my timbers reeled.

 

Double centuries have come and gone

Since my first bricks were laid

I've stood quiet watch over Petersburg

As a town around me was made.

 

I could tell some stories

Of long ago Union troops

How they came marching into our town

With the echo of their boots.

 

I could tell the stories

Of circling spiraling winds

Of tornadoes, hail and hurricanes

That couldn't do me in.

 

I've watched over a thousand mornings

As citizens came and went

About their daily business

And not a thought to me was sent.

 

Hollywood made some movies

I watched them parade up the street

Actors and stars and cameras

Went walking by my feet.

 

Once the city burst into flames

But I was quietly spared

To keep my watch over Petersburg

And wait for somebody that cared.

 

But all these things

Couldn't cripple me

Not fire of wars or wind

I died cause no one noticed me or the state I was in.

 

I'd listen for the toll of the bell

On the clock at the Courthouse fair

And knew with every passing hour

I fell into more disrepair.

 

Like some of Petersburg's citizens

My life's been non-discript

Poverty, age and loveless time

Has got me in its grip.

 

So today's my final sunrise

I do love this dear old town

I pray someone else will take my watch

As my walls come tumbling down.

 

Lydia Ivey

North Dinwiddie County