Obscure Vermont

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I accidentally stumbled upon this shrub ensnared abandonment in a hardscrabble Vermont town, and decided to stop and take a look. This slumping and fading edifice was thematic. The portrait of town is a sad one. What was once a profitable industrial hub has been reincarnated as a sordid and depressed community. At one time, the solemn property contained a few blue collar business on street level, with the upper levels awkwardly converted into several… Read More

“Wow, how does a place like this even exist?” mulled my friend aloud, lost in her own luminous reverie. I had seen photos of this beautiful dereliction online, but I was just as awed, as the stagnant cold inside stung my hands. The early morning wintry cold was still hanging over the misty hills of Bolton flats in a hundred shades of blue as we departed for southern New England. While we drove we sat in… Read More

Vermont’s visage is one of scenic mountains and an eye magnetic lack of industry, which makes the state a notable contrast from its neighbors. But a few decades ago, our Green Mountains were combed with industry that depended on the state’s naturally occurring topography and it’s profitable innards. Many of the state’s rural areas have once been cannibalized for their precious commodities that lay underneath the ground, and if you look below the surface, many small communities… Read More

Last weekend, I took a road trip with a friend to The Borscht Belt, a tongue-in-cheek colloquial moniker given to an area of New York’s Catskills Mountains interspersed with decaying hotels from a bygone era. In the 20th century, the Jewish community from New York City were being battered with a growing antisemitism movement which barred them from many mainstream hotels and vacation destinations. That well-realized awareness encouraged them to build a destination… Read More

Bellows Falls is a great village, and has a history that goes back to it’s Abenaki populace who were lured here by the great falls, extends past White settlement who built an industrial canal to bypass the affor-referenced falls and continues today through its distinction as a tourist area and waypoint community for the Connecticut River Byway. There is a cool yet controversial mid century mural painted on a wall downtown that nostalgically reads Bellows… Read More

Most people my age aren’t likely to recall Frontier Town, a once prominent destination turned ghost town in the woods of tiny North Hudson, New York, but there are plenty of people who will tell you that it used to be great,  and once integral to the once-thriving Adirondack tourism heyday of the mid 20th century. I’ve mentioned Frontier Town before in an earlier blog entry, but never truly got around to exploring it until… Read More

“NEW ENGLANDERS They buried their emotions deep, Long years ago, with care; And if a stranger dares to dig He finds but granite there. — Catherine Cate Coblentz — Driftwind, May 1925” A few days ago, I was traveling through New Hampshire’s White Mountains, a compelling region that I wish I had taken the time to explore more of when I was a college student in the Northeast Kingdom, far before the ugly reality… Read More

Around the turn of the 20th century, there was a changing attitude on mental illness, and that created state schools. Though it’s considered a school by name, that’s a misnomer. No forms of education were carried out here, this was a warehousing facility. It was built to house around 700 residents, but shortly after it opened, it far exceeded it’s capacity, topping out at around 1,500 between the ages of 1 and 18, all housed in… Read More