A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

For Jim Sullivan of Places That Were

I always take photos of farmhouses and barns and other buildings on our travels. I love the architecture --it's a part of our history that is fading quickly.  As farms in Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois become bigger and bigger, the old farmsteads are bulldozed and the past is being erased.  It's sad.  I can't even say I think that you could call that progress....but it does seem unstoppable.

I am putting up this temporary post of my latest photos from Nebraska last week for Jim Sullivan, who has an awesome blog Places That Were.  He explores all sorts of abandoned buildings and has some excellent posts. If old places are "your thing" too, please check out his blog.










41 comments:

  1. Hello, Sue! I love these old places. They must all have great stories to tell. Thanks for sharing the blog link, I will check it out. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

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    1. Hi Eileen--I agree-there must be some wonderful tales to tell, and now they're gone forever. What a shame.

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  2. You got some beautiful pictures, Sue. When I see those old buildings, especially the farms, my heart just aches to know all the memories they hold. If there were only some way to see the buildings in their glory, to know the stories of who lived there when all was active and functioning.

    And, wow, Jim Sullivan's Places That Were is quite the site . . . and sight! A little on the eerie side, but very interesting.

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    1. I knew you'd enjoy Jim's blog. Great stories, but he scares me going in to some of those places--who knows what weirdos might be lurking??

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    2. Thanks, Sue! Don't worry--usually I'm the only weirdo lurking in those places :)

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  3. I am with you on that. How sad to think that these treasures, once so filled with life are now being left to disintegrate and be forgotten. I just love old barns and farmhouses. Thank you for sharing these beautiful structures.

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    1. Hi Daisy-glad you enjoyed. Looks like we are not alone in our love of the past.

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  4. Goodness, I could have added to his blog today... While driving to Bankhead we saw lots of old, abandoned and some down right decrepit buildings. Just a little hard to take good pictures while riding on the bike with leather gloves on. ;-)

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    1. Anke-I would LOVE it if you'd share some photos sometime---a great excuse for another date day....but in a car this time-LOL!

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  5. It is sad. In France lots of unuised farm building are converted to holiday lets or gites. Here in England barn conversions are popular and desirable homes.

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    1. Hi Sue--I know in travelling around Germany, you just don't let buildings go to ruin. I wish the States had a bit more love of the past.

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    2. Sue, I spent early childhood on my grandmother's farm which was inherited by my uncle. Many preteen summers were spent helping my uncle with farming. My grandmother had a magnificent house built long before I was born. When my uncle took over the farming, grandmom moved to the big city but still returned to her house from time to time. I have memories of waking up and watching grandpop stoke up the big cast iron pot bellied stove to warm up the house. I can remember grandmom canning the garden produce on the wood fired stove in the kitchen. Many tasty things came from that stove. After grandmom passed away, the years passed and the house sat empty as my uncle built his own new house. Slowly, grandmom's house fell into disrepair. Today it's unsafe to enter but still jogs many memories of how life was 60 years ago in that house. Now that my uncle is gone and my aunt is in a nursing home, that house will most likely follow the same path of decay. It's sad to see an old house in decay but even sadder to watch one slowly decay over the last decades. What once was filled with life and activity is now silent and most likely will not recover. The farm land is still owned by my aunt but monster machinery crawl across the fields as she rents out the land. Some day it may well be absorbed by a multi sectional farm and four generations of family history will be gone for ever. It's been really sad for me to personally witness the death of a family owned small farm.

      Have a great day with old farm building pictures.

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    3. Hi David--that's it exactly--Monster machinery. Definitely not good, but we can't stop it, unfortunately.
      Any pics of the old house? Gotta take some before it's gone forever.
      Have a great week

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  6. Nice series - that last one is very large and my favorite

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    1. Hi John--that was my favorite as well. It's for sale!!! I hope someone gets it that will restore it to its former glory. Have a great day

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  7. I always feel so sad when I see old buildings all boarded up. I love old houses and outbuildings & really enjoy exploring them when given the opportunity. This is especially true of old farmhouses - I often wonder what it would be like for those that once lived there to see the house in that state, recalling a time when it was all lit up and full of familial sounds. My mom grew up on a farm and the farmhouse, which was passed on to my aunt who lives in the city, is pretty much in the same boat. I haven't been over there in 30 years, but I can just imagine the state of disrepair it is in now. It's incredibly sad.

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    1. Hi Margaret--I like to imagine the houses as they were when just built. To think of the pride the builder must have felt. It's a good thing they don't see the end.......

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  8. Boy, that last one really resonated with me for some reason. Really, really nice photographs, Sue. It's so sad to see these farms falling apart.

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    1. Hi Susan-that last photo is definitely my favorite as well. It looked so so "stark" and lonely. It NEEDS to find someone that will care for it. I hope it sells before it's too late....

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  9. Great pictures, but sad to see old homes fall apart. I particularly like limestone buildings. When I think of the effort it took to put them up and that just keeping a roof on it would have helped so much, I can't understand why someone just let them fall apart. Oh the stories those buildings could tell. It is fun to find the old homesteads. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi GonSS--we had LOTS of limestone buildings in Illinois-where I grew up. Love them--especially well-kept, with a windowbox of bright geraniums. Classic!
      Have a wonderful week

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  10. Wow! The photos are awesome, but it is so sad to see the buildings in such bad shape.

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  11. I had to come back here after seeing your bird videos. How cool that you go there! One of these years, I hope to. I don't have near as far to travel. Thanks for sharing the videos!

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    1. Sue-you absolutely MUST see it--you'll be hooked. Hubby and I go back every March. We timed it beautifully this year. Incredible spectacle that will make you feel the power of Nature

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  12. Beautiful pictures, Sue! I wish I could jump in the car and pay these places a visit right now. Thank you so much for the shout out! I really appreciate it :)

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    1. And thank you, Jim for inspiring me to keep on taking photos. These places will soon be gone. Though I will probably never be brave enough to explore them like you do, at least there is some "record" of them.
      Be careful out there, kiddo

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  13. I can practically smell those buildings, the mold, the rot, the dust, the age. Old buildings and barns can overwhelm me with a nostalgia that is palpable. The scent gets mixed up with Philip Glass & Vangelis music in my head. Old things like this, even the pics, make me weepy. Thanks for posting. We need to remember....

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    1. Kris--yes!--old buildings always have a certain smell to them, and I can't say that it's a "bad" smell either. Thanks for the visit-enjoy the week

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  14. Sue, evidently you are back home and pleased to know all is well! What is it about old barns, buildings that attract us to them? I'm the same way. Of course it's the history, but I stop to wonder who was there, what was the family like who occupied those places... it's the character of the structure as well.

    Years ago an artist friend and I would go out and find old houses and barns and draw. From that we did pen and ink sketches and paintings as well. Train Stations are also included in that.

    Hope your week is a great one.

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    1. Diana-what a wonderful thing to do. I love to draw and paint---why did I not think of that???????
      Thanks for visiting
      :)

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  15. I love this series! Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Hi Linda-glad you liked it. Hope you're feeling stronger every day

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  16. It's sad to see that history fading away. Today less than 350,000 farmers produce what it took over 6 million farmers to produce in the 1930s. It's all turning into massive multi-million dollar corporate enterprises now and giant metal buildings that hold tens of thousands of pigs and chickens at a time. Who needs a farm house and a barn anymore? Sigh. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.

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    1. Good Morning Bill. Yes, it is indeed sad--even the small farms that weren't being torn down are depressing. You see all those barns just so empty---no cow in there, just decay,weeds, and dust. No sign of life.

      I think the WORST part of all this (and yes, it's hard to choose just one) is that folks driving by just see these "tidy pole buildings" and don't realize the misery those walls hide---overflowing with animals and filth and stench. So incredibly cruel and inhumane.......

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  17. Hello Sue. I'm glad to have found your blog and thank you for visiting mine. I love old buildings and wish I had the nerve to actually go inside but mostly I'm too scared to. I do like to imagine how they looked when they were in good shape and people lived their lives there.

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    1. Hi Granny-I don't have the courage to go inside either--it's almost like "disturbing the memory", and yet, I really want to!! That's why I'm grateful for Jim's site--he checks em out for us!
      :)

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  18. Fascinating! We have many similar here in rural southeastern Minnesota...

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    1. TB--ah, must check out!!! Yet another excuse to head north. Happy Spring

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  19. I take photos of old structures when we travel too. I love the old barns leaning from the ever-present wind. Time does march on, and nothing is permanent. Not even us. ~~Dee

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    1. Dee--so true. Thanks for visiting
      :)

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  20. I LOVE those old buildings!! I'm always so intrigued by them!! Hope your trip was fabulous!

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