There are vehicles out there who have a sense of menace about them, usually they were made between the 40’s & the late 70’s. They lay abandoned and seemingly harmless. But if they could they would snarl and growl, fire and smoke belting from exhaust pipes, just waiting for the chance to devour the asphalt and yourself.
As Jay Farrell and myself were wrapping up another Alabama trip, we found ourselves cruising on US Hwy. 17 ambling down a hill and around a long curve. That’s when Jay spotted it, the last house we’d decided to explore for the day. The house was shades of grey, rust and black, honestly it was damn near perfectly camouflaged from us. Parking required us to be on the absolute edge of a crumbling shoulder. Grabbing our cameras we hopped across a narrow embankment and stood for a second admiring a once beautiful and striking abode. But that time must have been at least 100 years ago. The elements and time were doing their level best to consume it all. Entering the door was a questionable act. The roof over hanging the porch had partially collapsed onto the porch’s floor, and the floor was not faring much better. Luckily for Jay and I the porch was only 8 inches or so from the actual ground.
Under the collapsing roof and over the sketchy looking porch we went and found ourselves in a hallway that was nearly black. We were in luck, we still had at least an hour or so of daylight to explore. Without that daylight we’d been in trouble. The house’s floors were nearly rotted out, in one room the floor was caving in while in another it was bowing upwards even while it’s ceiling was canted down.
Jay and I split up in order to shoot whatever struck our eyes. However we remained within shouting distance, this is important when exploring such and I can not stress this enough. I took a second to look back the way we’d come and got a great shot of the hall.
In one room I came across a comfortable looking recliner while in another room a mattress was testament that at some point someone had used this old house as a place to take shelter from the elements. But considering the lack of windows, and the gaps in the ceiling and floors I’m not sure it was much of a shelter.
Still, there was a kitchenette at least, but from what we could see no indoor bathroom.
Eventually Jay and I made it outside the old house and decided to explore the out buildings of which there were three. In one place there was evidence of a fourth building but it was no longer standing.
The house may have started out painted white, but was now mostly grey, and moss green in the back.
Remember that kitchenette I mentioned? Here is the stove!
Two of the remaining out buildings were likely barns, the third however was for a well. I could be wrong, we’d noticed a lot of the houses in this part of Alabama had storm shelters.
Keep in mind we were at least 15 miles from Vernon, AL. We were miles from any store we’d seen. But here in the woods just a stones throw from the house was a grocery cart. I’d love to know if at some point there was a store nearby.
Near another structure we found evidence of transportation and refrigeration.
As Jay and I wrapped up our exploration I took a few last shots of the side of the house but this glassless window is what I decided to post. It’s ominous and creepy and the failing light conveys it all.
I want to thank you for coming along with Jay and myself on this and our other explorations. Please by all means follow ForgottenTennessee.com and leave a comment.
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I woke up restless and a need to travel. So I grabbed my cameras, fueled up my car and myself too. After grabbing some coffee I hit I-40 going east. The miles rolled by and eventually they grew more numerous than my fellow drivers, or at least that’s how it felt. I began to relax and realized the drive and exploration was indeed what I’d been missing. As I traveled up 40 I spied my first stop, a defunct convience store called Stop. I passed up the exit went onto the next and doubled back and pulling up into Stop’s parking lot I smiled. I’m not sure when this little store closed but it had a retro 70’s or 80’s look to it and it was wonderfully abandoned as was the concrete pill box of a store next to it.
Grass and weeds choked the space in front of the pillbox while the blacktop of Stop was cracked it’s windows so heavily boarded up that entrance would require a crowbar and no, I didn’t have one.
I spent about 20 or 30 mins shooting the two buildings, and regretted not bringing a crowbar, I think capturing the interior would have been cool, but this place went a bit beyond being borded up, there was sheet metal bolted over the windows.
However the building next to it was the exact opposite when it came to gaining access to. All of it’s windows including the glass shop doors had been broken out at some point.
Inside I realized that this must have been some kind of roadside 2nd hand shop. An old tv was near one of the broken doors, a bed frame, suitcases, audio tapes, clothes and in one corner a bunch of old CRT monitors.
The only things that really ghave me pause were the Memorex tapes on the floor and some open family albums. On the way out of the parking lot I saw yet another blast from the past, when was the last time you saw a payphone?
To say yhe least it was odd. But that’s ok, it’s what I expect to find on my explorations of Forgotten Tennessee.
The otherday was a bright and sunny one but not hot enough to make the asphalt boil and steam. With such agreeable conditions I decied to go a hunting abandoned sites amongst the back roads. I quickly and soundly became lost.
No biggie, it’s how I discover my haunts. Now while I was out scouting for abandoned I had no plans to enter any structures, it’s summer and unless you have a machette and a team of other machette weilding bearers entering some of these locations is improbable at best.
Entering the abandoned is often better done in the fall. Hunt for sites now in the Summer, hope they are still standing when all things green are asleep.
Tooling up and down narrow roads I came to a juncture and had to make a decision right? or left? I went left. Yes, I flipped a coin. One of the many things I enjoy about my explorations is the occasionally odd site that catches my eye. These can be anything from a small forgotten family plot to a sign adonrened with skulls, like this one!
Now if you’d like to buy a print simply click on the button, it will go directly to my paypal where you can purchase your print for $25.00 (the $5.00 is for shipping). Prints are on heavy paper and are around 16″x20″ and will take about one to two weeks for delivery (sorry, I am not Amazon).
Driving down Lebanon Hwy near Rome, TN, Jay Farrell and myself cruised over a bridge looking for abandoned buildings to shoot. We cruised thru Rome to Carthage and drove back the same way. As we went over the bridge a second time I spied a rusting old boat that needed to be photographed.
We pulled a u-turn and drove down a short access road that led to the rusting hulk. We parked and began to walk around and on the boat. At first I’d though the craft was a barge, but no, that notion was quickly abandoned. This was at one point the Rome Ferry. An actually Ferry!
Up until 1992 the Rome Ferry was how people crossed the Cumberland River. I’d never seen one myself and was thrilled to see one and walk upon it’s deck.
We came across a man and his kids fishing on rock jetty behind the Ferry, and he told us that the Rome Ferry had been in operation since before the Civil War,
and that the building of the suspension bridge that led to Carthage had signaled it’s end. It has sat and rusting away since 1992.
The Rome Ferry is indeed a bit of forgotten Tennessee and I’m happy we were able to capture a few shots of it. If you’d like to know more about Rome Ferry click here
If you’d like to order a print please write me at Jerry@Forgottentennessee.com
Driving from Adams, Tennessee I was passing a derelict gas station. Crouching next to it was one of those dead vehicles that immediately makes me think of Horror movies like Stephen King’s Christine. Old Ugly crouches there, just waiting to pounce upon the unsuspecting motorist. More to come.