Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Desolation



On one of my recent morning photo-adventures I happened upon this old dilapidated house. Allowing my mind to wander I tried to imagine what it was like the first day its new owners moved in.

The house would have been a pretty white clapboard house with a large stone fireplace and a shiny tin roof. The interior plaster walls were probably covered with pretty wall paper, upstairs as well as down. The front porch would have been an inviting place to sit on those long summer evenings while neighbors passed by, perhaps stopping for a chat before going on to their way. The summer kitchen attached to the right of the house would have provided relief from the heat of the wood fired range.

The C&O Canal is only a short walk behind the house. There one could have watched the mules pulling the barges and perhaps traded fresh fruit and baked goods with the folks operating the canal boats.

What was once someone’s pride and joy now stands empty; rust, rot and decay will soon erase it from the landscape.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose…. (Ecl. 3.1). The season for this house has passed but it still possesses a certain beauty in its desolation.

16 comments:

Sandy Carlson said...

What a wonderful photo, Salty. I have seen similar homes abandoned around here. One nearby was recently restored to its former grandeur, and it's a gem set in a rolling landscape. I too wonder how a home could come to this. When does one just walk away from a house? Doesn't the tax man get a little worked up? Interesting, the stories we can weave.

Chad Oneil Myers said...

Very nice post.

The house is kind of "creepy" now ;)

dot said...

I really enjoyed this picture and post! When I see old houses like this that are still standing I tell myself that it was once a wonderful home full of love and some of the family still own the land and have built new homes but can't bear to tear the old homestead down.

David Pentecost said...

great image of the house...seems like a great place to explore...in the day time of course. It seems like it would be a creepy place at night.

Is that a "posted no trespassing" sign on the tree?

Kekiinani said...

This is a wonderful image. Your imagination can really run away... To me it has a bit of a spooky look to it and I love the roadway curving off the right side. It must have been a wonderful home at one time. Wonder what happened to the owners... :)

oldmanlincoln said...

C&O Canal? It reminds me that I don't know or remember the name of the canal that ran from Dayton, Ohio up north to somewhere. I have been there and seen the monumental locks all twisted apart and broken amid tree trunks. I guess raging water must have done that at some time. Anyway...

I like the old house photograph a lot but in all honesty I enjoyed reading your story about the house as much as the actual pictue.

Abraham Lincoln

Mike said...

I have often wanted to stop and take a picture like this as we have many abandoned farm houses around here with the demise of the family farm. This is a nice capture and it certainly makes you wish you could look back at the past and see the happiness...and heartbreak this house saw.

Meggie said...

Beautiful post, Salty. I, too, try to imagine what a dilapidated home might have been like in its prime. The family gatherings around the fireplace....

photowannabe said...

Even the trees look dilapidated around the old place. It makes a fitting composition. Your description of what might have been set my mind to wondering. Good stuff Salty.

smilnsigh said...

What a photo of sadness. -sigh-

Wonder why it is left to rack and ruin? A family squabble over who-gets-what, in terms of money, maybe... So sad.

It could be a sweet house again.

Guess that's a 'Posted' sign on the tree... -sigh-

Mari-Nanci

Old Wom Tigley said...

I love places like this, I would have done just like you and let my mind wander.
A great post Salty.. another 'True' Country Capture'

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

I just LOVE old homes like this! There is a cottage near the beach which, when I was newly married, was old but still inhabited. The owner passed away about 10 years ago and the house and land were donated to the town. For the past 10 years now I've been watching the house literally rot (it now sports a caved in roof as well). It has gone from a "home" to a photogenic shack right before our eyes.

a said...

thank you beachy for turning me on to Salty! I love these types of photos...hauntingly silent yet they speak loud and clear don't they? I'll be back!

lv2scpbk said...

I'm wondering if there are anything old in there. Like old bottles, etc. Good place to find them around old houses like this. Looks like it should have an outhouse beside it somewhere.

Salty said...

Barb,
I wasn't about to poke around this old house because of the No Tresspassing sign on the tree. In fact I felt a little uneasy aproaching as close as I did as the road in the picture is gated and no longer open to public travel. Thanks for asking.

lv2scpbk said...

I wouldn't either if there was a no tresspassing sign.