Saturday, April 5, 2008
Roadside iconography - Coffindaffer crosses
Nestled up in this field beside I-77 in West Virginia is a set of Coffindaffer crosses. You’ve probably come across a similar set of crosses if you’ve traveled in the South, as it’s the most ambitious effort at roadside iconography that I’ve found. Called “Caffindaffer Crosses,” these were originally envisioned by Bernard Coffindaffer, a West Virginia native and Methodist minister. He had a calling in his mid-40s after several heart operations, liquidated his $3 million fortune, and began erecting these sets of crosses across the U.S. and the world. Eventually he set up 1864 crosses, including 352 in West Virginia, 131 in Virginia, and 106 in North Carolina. Coffindaffer died in 1993, but his crosses project continues under the auspices of Crosses Across America.