An old mansion hidden from the eyes.

Before me stood an old mansion skeletal trees giving it a sinister aspect. .

It was one of those Sunday mornings when all signs practically shouted “GO SHOOT! GO! EXPLORE”! So I did. My target was an old mansion a friend of mine had told me about. She said that the house was only visible during late Fall or better yet the start of Winter. She was not wrong. I’d driven by the old house, several times, and damned if it was enticing. All I could see from the side of the road was a peeked rook and columns.

That Sunday I did a few drive-byes, looking for the best route to approach from. It pays to do this if you’re going to explore the abandoned. Once I decided on a course I parked my car well off the road, grabbed my Canon 1D with its 17-40lens. Inside my go-bag sat my flashlight, water bottles, protein bar, knife and my Fuji Xe1. With everything ready I slung my camera over my back, inhaled the fresh air and trekked down around some boulders and into a clearing. I hiked for a few minutes and then entered a small copse of woods. The grass was tall, yellow and dead, many of the trees had gone bare, but those that still had their leaves provided excellent cover. Not too much longer I found myself pushing through some brush, finally I could see the house. The house stood dark and foreboding, around it lay half a dozen dead and rusting hulks.

Fully entombed.
The welcome mat was not out, nor was a comfortable seat offered.

Slowly I began making my way through the creepers, vines and saplings that entombed several cars, I ad no idea how long they’d sat around rusting away, but the fact that trees had begun to form rings around them spoke of decades gone by. An old light blue chevy pick up sat by itself and slightly behind it was an old AMC station wagon.

Sky blue, rusty red, its days of running have fled.

Crossing from one copse of trees I made way a little further from the the house looming behind me. To the left about thirty yards or so I could see some more older cars. An old Plymouth was on the ground, its passenger door wide open.

Wings baby!

Crouching down I shot some of the Plymouth’s interior, moved around to the left and shot some of the old car’s body then with a smile moved over to the even older 30’s era Dodge Coupe. Oh, my. This car must have been a real beauty in the past. Not that I didn’t find it beautiful now. I did. I loved the rusted patina, the curves that no car possess today, especially the fenders! I was in love.

Dodge Brothers
My eyes kept going back to that benighted roof line.

Back into the clearing I moved, not stopping until I stood in the yard. In front of me sat a plastic chair, to the left of my another old car and truck. A 60’s era Dodge of huge proportions, and a little Datsun with a magazine open on the trucks hood.

A dinosaur from Detroit sat in the yard.
This dates back to the Truman era.

I had to stop and shoot said publication, it was old. It was a great find. It gave some kind of a timeline of those who had lived in the house. The porch was a wreck. Old magazines, tools, papers, and the like made an unsteady carpet all the way into the gloomy interior. Pausing in the doorway I took a deep breath let is out and bracing my camera firmly I began to shoot the first room.

An ocean of detritus.
You’ve no idea how long I had to hold my breath.

An ocean of detritus dominated the main room. I walked around a bit, but the light was sparse and the floor was sketchy in the best places. Room two was something that looked like the entrance to hell itself.

Bottom floor, the Gate to Hell, all off.

Going through this room was a nerve tingling endeavor. Parts of the floor were firm, other parts were “squishy”. Yes, squishy. Fun times. I took the door to the left (the right was an exit), stepped through into a room with an enormous hole in the far wall.

Sit a spell before you go upstairs.
I really love discovering old pianos!

I spied another door and went into the Music Room! Where another piano of sorts dominated one wall. I’m really not sure the instrument was a piano or something else. Whatever it was, I liked it!

I loved the light that played across the surface of this beauty.
Wonderful light filled the room, that door with its stained glass was a favorite.
The way back out.

I walked out that door onto the front porch. Here I felt my hair rise. Did a ghost flick my ear? No, the boards under me sagged from age. Luckily for me they held. I sighed in relief. I stepped off the porch and starred for a bit at the wrap around balcony was built upon the porch’s roof. I imagine the balcony afforded a wonderful view.

I walked around to the side of the the house to better check out that enormous hole in the wall. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, what I got was truly a shock. The massive hole was caused by a collapsed chimney! bricks lay like a ramp leading up to the house. It was quite a sight! I loved it!

The chimney lay vomited upon the grass making a ramp leading into back into the house.

By this time I was growing a bit tired and decided to shoot just a little longer. I rounded the back and discovered another wrap around porch. This one was littered with discarded appliances and assorted brick a brac.

How this chair continues to stand is beyond me.
There’s a tea pot, short and stout.
Nothing sucks like an Electrolux!

Finally I felt I had shot all I really could and began the trek back through the trees. On my way though I stopped as I spied yet another old rusting truck that during the spring and Summer would have been consumed by the greenery. Walking over I began to shoot this latest find from the 40’s or 50’s.

Yet another TV, this one was portable.

Finally with one last look back at this house that was too proud to fall, I left with a feeling of contentment and an itch to look at what I had captured.

I hope you enjoyed this Forgotten Tennessee exploration into the abandoned. You can see more in my book Forgotten Tennessee available in most bookstores or simply click on the link