Last weekend I went on a road trip with photographers Jay Farrel and Charles Schaffer. We were on the hunt for abandoned buildings and or abandoned coal mines. Our destination was Wilder, TN. I’d never heard of Wilder so I was on board for the trip. Wilder, it turns out was a Company Town built in 1902 for the sole purpose of Mining coal. The population was well over 10,000 in it’s hey day but has dwindled down to 249. As it turns out we drove right through Wilder. We had passed a lone US Post Office (open two hours a day), and eventually stumbled upon the town’s General Store which was built around the founding of the town in 1902. What led to this decimation of the town? Did the coal run out? No. There’s plenty of coal. The shooting of Barney Graham a local mining Union Boss who was gunned down by a Company Guard. The following photos were taken on the road trip, they are a mix of Wilder, TN. I hop you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.
Mr. Tay runs the General Store, here he is rolling out a map of the local Mine locations.
The mother of all wood burning stoves!
Wilder’s Post Office.
Wilder, TN Miner’s bank, all that’s left is the vault.
Across from the Post Office and near the vault was this monstrously huge old tanker.
Before we hit Wilder we came across this place, no service.
One thing Wilder did not lack for, Cemeteries. They aren’t easy to find, one required some serious 4 wheel power to get to.
Ok, I shot this creepy little scene, I was NOT getting out of the car.
Evidence of Mining, a ventilation pipe.
Concrete foundation for the mine?
Same foundation, different angle with a dead tree.
End of Part 1