Vestiges of past lives

Whenever I’m out an about with the camera, I will stop for good abandoned stuff. Sometimes it’s the reason I’m out, but any excuse will do. Here’s what’s been in front of my lens in the last few months –

Theaters make me sad because I have fond memories of a small one in Manchester, NH where I saw many movies including my first time seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Toast, rubber gloves and rice. It was crazy and so much fun. Alas, I think it’s gone now, too, but the movie is still a favorite.

The people in the neighborhood have a new church just down the road from this one. The will to worship persists, but not to preserve the building.

I spotted these two on a side road in Nelson and wonder at what the octagonal building was. Some say a small feeding station for cows. Like round barns it maximizes efficiency of space.

I can’t quite recall where this next one is. North-central Wisconsin presumably. I wish the truck had been able to be saved. It’s cool.

I’ve passed this next one dozens of times without stopping. It’s easily accessible, but somehow I always forgot about it. One day it will be totally demolished and I’ll be glad I made the effort.

A look inside the window on the right –

While looking for the little shack below, I ran across this disintegrating beauty –

And around the corner was this –

I think it was a school. Just inside the door is a crumbling staircase.

This is the shack I was looking for. I shot it back in April and had no idea the field was full of lupines. So beautiful.

On my way to paddle an undeveloped lake I had to stop often. Wouldn’t you?

And on another road trip I did some exploring. Those little roads to nowhere can, in reality, lead to great things. So far this church is faring better than the other, but it could easily share its fate.

So that’s a wrap. As brown stick season approaches I’m sure I’ll be on the road in search of more abandoned Wisconsin.

5 thoughts on “Vestiges of past lives

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  1. I noticed that in some cases, the property is mowed and one visible driveway is accessible, so someone appears to be looking after some of these places — even if not the buildings themselves. Do you know why so many places are abandoned? Was there a boom and bust of some kind?

    1. Some folks may still use the land (or lease it to others) and keep the property looking tidy. I think it is a civic pride thing. Others are left to ruin though as you can see. If the land owner doesn’t live nearby it sometimes gets pretty rundown.

      In terms of overall abandonment I think a lot of it has to do with Big Agriculture – farming just doesn’t pay and so thousands of family farms just died. And even if they could keep going, they couldn’t support a lot of people and the manufacturing jobs went overseas so that contributed as well. The midwest especially has mostly terrible local economies. Lots of unemployment leads to drugs which leads to crime.

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