Friday, April 11, 2008

Abandoned Places

Mother of Three mentioned something about abandoned places the other day. I reflected on all the abandoned places I visited while growing up. There were abandoned homesteads, abandoned mansions, abandoned barns and farms and abandoned cars and trucks. All these places were fascinating to me even if all that was left was a stone foundation that was filled with water and leaves.

I learned a lot about the architectural and mechanical world from the abandoned places I visited. One can see the weakness in a structure or a machine that has been abandoned. Sometimes it was very obvious why they were abandoned in the first place, though I always looked at these things as possible fixer-uppers.

I always respected the abandoned properties. Others would hasten their decay with vandalism. I was never a vandal.

I’ve come across a few abandoned places here in Dried Salmon County. I was fortunate to visit some of them though there were many that I wanted to see close up that were destroyed by wind or fire before I ever got to them, like the old school house at Olson's Dairy in Meleville, the barn at the mink farm on Ft. Clatsop Road

I hope we all can spend some time with one of these dying soldiers. Take some photos, imagine a time when there was life there, and most of all, remember.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a small old rough hewn pioneer barn hidden in the woods near our house growing up. It housed obsolete equipment. Though we were forbidden to go in, due to compromised integrity,it was a favorite playground especially the loft which certainly would not support a full grown human. Our dog had her puppies under that barn.
My dad showed us numerous abandoned homesteads scattered around rural Clatsop county. Most looked like the people had just walked away leaving furniture, dishes, canned goods and of course an overgrown orchard. I found several similar tucked away dwellings with in the Astoria city limits as recently as the early '90's. It was obvious from the artifacts there in, they had been abandoned for 4 or 5 decades.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guy, I believe your slightly mistaken. ( I know for a fact) What you remember is actually the Melville post office.(by the road) The school was up on top of the hill. When we made hay up there we had to watch out for the old well for the school. Of course my dad being a straight A student and graudate from there knew right where it was then he would turn around and say the school was right over there.I think he graduated in 39. Might have been the last class, not sure. Next time I talk to him I'll ask. I stood in the post office though. Now we are only going back 44 years, it stood maybe 20 more but really wasn't safe to go in. Damn I didn't realize i'm getting so old.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

As a child, I loved to play in abandoned buildings (especially farms) despite the dangers of doing so. Looking back, I realize I was getting a history lesson at the same time.

8:45 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I'm talking about the building that you would have flown through if you drove too fast around the bend where you can see the waterfall across the valley. I heard that was a post office and school. Where was the school? Also where would say Melville ends? A few years back Tom Iverson was in the paper for putting up a fence on the then Stoneman horse farm (by Underhill's) and the article addressed it as being in Melville. There was a sign in Seaside when you got onto Wahanna that said, "Melville 8(?) Miles." It has been removed, but that is one sign worth having.

As for Anon and Beth. This would be a good time to revisit those sites with a metal detector. I have sculptures that I welded with found artifacts form old home steads: gears, chains, horseshoes, yolk hardware...

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love abandoned buildings, these young guys from UofO had a really cool blog for a little while, all about abandoned places:

They stopped updating back in November, but it's cool to check out.

9:26 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Matt, they've abandoned their abandoned blog? ; )

9:34 AM  
Blogger Chantel said...

I love abandoned places. Too bad I always feel like I'm going to get shot if I walk around them and try to photograph.

Thinking of taking a drive to Astoria this weekend.....

9:44 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I visited the abandoned homestead of my great grandparents just before it was dozed (my crazy great uncle was then in a home so we wouldn't be shot at when we came on the property). I have a lot of memories from very early childhood there and my mom even more. We traversed the gaping hole in the kitchen floor and inspected the 1880 oven they used every day, stepped up the stair to the next stair several feet above and prayed the 2nd floor wouldn't crumble into the first while we looked around. The pot belly stove in the sitting room was still standing tall and was probably usable. Beneath the 20 years of overgrowth, we found a old metal garden archway that gg had welded together from scrap metal. He was the ultimate consumer of recyclables. Nothing didn't get used again. The house looked much like your picture and brought back a lot of memories.

12:20 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lori, "Nothing didn't get used again." Is that a double or triple negative? That one made my head spin ; )

Chantel, I won't be around much, damn! My email will explain all.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

Okay, already - do I ever point out your spelling errors? Give me a break!

4:02 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

No, that's Auntie and Moosehead's job, so you just have to take it ; )

4:43 PM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

Alright then. I will.

Just for you, cutie.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

I kind of feel that way when I look at the Flavel place on the corner of 15th. Even though it's not technically abandoned, it sure seems that way.

10:55 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I bet one would get hauled away just for looking in the windows there.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years back I took my grandfather to visit the ranch where he'd been born. The house and barns were obviously abandon and all the irrigation canals they'd dug by hand allowed to fill in. Still we had a good time walking around and letting Grandpa tell us about how it was all built. He wasn't to upset since it was apparent the land around the house was still being used as a wheat farm and cattle ranch. I never told him my research showed the whole thing was owned by one of the giant agri corporations not a local farmer.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guy, talked to my dad, sharp as a tack, If I have half his brain matter at 83 and still alive, I'll be happy. Yep we're talking the same place, was and old farmhouse / Post Office and only for a short time. Right across the road you go up the driveway to the Olson's. The schoolhouse was up there and my dad was the last class taught in there, only 2 students. In 39. Now talking about Stoners and Underhills, just back and across from Underhills old barn is Harry Hutchins place and that house was made out of the wood from the old Melville school. So says dad. Thirty years ago my Melville stretched from the upper end of the valley to the concrete bridge. Today we can stretch it to the L&C fire dept. Hell don't we all want to be Melonians or Melites or _____________ .


11:09 AM  

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