11. Maps of Shape-Note Singing Locations

Some of the best Sacred Harp and other traditional singings are held in remote rural churches in the South, accessed by secondary, even unpaved, roads. Because the now-ubiquitous GPS devices sometimes provide erroneous directions, particularly on back roads, good maps as well as good directions are helpful to get to some singings.

Maps to Shape-Note Singings, produced by Karen Willard and Tim Slattery. The remarkable site on the Fasola Home Page contains two very high-quality maps (large and small format) with driving directions and information for each of many singing locations, with emphasis on the hard-to-find locations in the rural South. As of November 2000, over 280 singings at over 210 locations were included. Karen Willard has researched and created the maps and driving directions, while Tim Slattery has done CGI programming. However, in 2014 the content of this site was removed because it was considered out of date. There is still a placeholder web page waiting for updated content.

Map of 2004 Sacred Harp Singings, compiled by Will Fitzgerald. A map of the U.S. showing circles where singings listed in the 2004 Minutes book took place. The map is useful for showing roughly the locations of singings, although the number of singings listed in the Minutes book has increased since 2004, and several "empty" states in 2004 are no longer devoid of major singings.

Official County Maps showing these roads and some of the churches themselves are available at low cost from the state transportation departments. Checks should be made out to the appropriate (State) Transportation Department. Note: The information below was collected painstakingly quite a few years ago and is no longer accurate, so phone first.

Internet: Street and road maps showing nearly any U.S. address can be obtained from Internet search engine sites such as Mapquest and Google Maps

GPS Software: GPS devices may be helpful in finding country churches, but a good address (or coordinates) would usually be needed. Many of the country churches do not have telephone numbers and may not have precise street addresses, so they may not be found on GPS directories of churches, etc. in a particular area. A good map and a good GPS complement each other.

Steven L. Sabol (sabol@his.com)
HTML version by Warren Steel (mudws@olemiss.edu)