Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dilapidated and Decrepit

I seem to have this thing for old abandoned buildings, houses in particular.

Old broken down dwellings... houses, barns or whatever, untouched for years...
well, there's just something about them that just fascinates me.

Most of these photos were taken in eastern North Carolina near Mt. Olive,
which is also the pickle capital of the south, in case you are interested.
I call it pig and pickle country since there are also hog farms literally as far as the eye can see.

The land is flatter than a flitter if you are using southern speak
and on a clear day, you can see for miles.

You would most likely be able to find these great old places around every turn.

I was absolutely mesmerized when we drove by these broken down old places.
I imagine most of them, if not all, were sharecropper homes.
I would love to know more of the history...maybe someday I'll do some research.

The windows of this one is almost like you are looking into the eyes of an empty soul.
Rather eerie, don't you think?

Crumbling roofs, rotting and blistered window frames with shattered glass or no glass at all,
neglected yards where masses of tangled weeds have completely taken over,
all make up these hauntingly beautiful images of an era long past.

If you listen closely, you just might hear echos of the laughter of children who once lived there,
or the loving call of a mother letting the family know that supper is on the table.
It makes me wonder how long it has actually been since those walls heard the voices of a child
and how many generations the house has been standing.

Undoubtedly, the families living here didn't have much money.
Somehow I envision damp, old photograph albums stuffed with sepia toned photos,
draped in cobwebs, stashed away in attics or other dark places.
But I doubt anyone could have afforded a camera.

And these barns haven't seen any animals for quite some time.

The photo below is what looks to be an old brick silo.

There is a tree growing right into the side of the bricks and coming out the top.
Now that's what I call character!

This particular old farm house is actually just a few miles from my home.

What a great old place it is and it kind of breaks my heart to see it sitting empty.
 I found a poem that I thought went so well with these images.
It was written about an old house in Suffern, New Jersey near the railroad tracks.
 Although the locations are different, the same can be said about any abandoned home,
regardless of the zip code.

The House With Nobody In It
~Joyce Kilmer

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.
I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.
So you see what happens when there is no Hodgepodge...
...I actually write a real post. 😉

Enjoy the rest of your week!


  1. Seems so very sad to let them stand there like that. They should at least be torn down. excellent post

  2. I LOVE that first shot. I adore the roof of that building. I don't know why, but I love old, falling down, types of buildings. LOVE them! lol Great shots!!!!

  3. I love that poem! (Kati actually memorized that one and recited it at our homeschool co-op's poetry recitation night a few years ago. Although, now that I think about it, she has been out of school for six years now, so I suppose it was quite a few years ago!)

    Anyway, the poem is poignant and your photos illustrate it perfectly!

  4. I know that poem well, Debby. My father read me poetry from the time I could hear, I think, and I have heard that one many times.

    I, too, have a love for old buildings. They just fascinate me and I can build a whole family "into" them in my mind....the sheets blowing on the clotheslines, hands raw from the lye soap used to clean them, and a bit of pone on the stove next to the cracklins' ..xo Diana

  5. Love the poem and I love old houses and always wonder about the families that lived in them. The abandoned homes do seem so sad. Great post!

  6. I've never heard that poem before but it really does suit your wonderful photos, Debby! I always feel sad when I see these houses, thinking of all who lived there and their lives. I feel sad that the houses were abandoned. I feel like Joyce Kilmer, who said he'd love to fix it up and give it to someone for free!

  7. Hi Debby, I enjoyed your pictures and the poem so much. I have always like a mystery book and these images could easily be the cover illustration for a good mystery! Have a nice day.

  8. I have never come across the poem before but what a joy to read it through and capture the past in my mind. I do so wish that I could repair and bring back to life some of those old buildings and give them to families in need, such a shame they are left to rot. It only walls could talk...

  9. I thought these looked familiar! We have so many old structures around here and I've often thought someone should document them before they're gone. Great photos! I love old houses!!! Takes me back to staying with my grandma for weeks in the summer... sweet memories!

  10. Debby, I love the pictures! I too have a love for old houses, barns and churches. I used to be CRAZY about wanting to stop every time I saw an old building when we would visit in the mountains. We carried our kids to Franklin NC for years on vacation and I was fascinated with such history. Still am! Every house has a story. WOW, that poem captured it all! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  11. You’ve still got it! My grandmother’s home has been sitting empty since the day it was sold a decade ago. I imagine that it’s starting to look pretty bad. I know the lawn and gardens have become a field.That poem perfectly captures the sentiment.

  12. I so enjoyed the beauty of your photos, Debby, of the old abandoned homes, silo, and barns. So many memories are held in those old places, and yes, we can only imagine what sounds came from them. The poem was a perfect ending to your lovely post. Thanks for sharing the beauty from your lens and heart.

  13. I love them also, they do make me feel a little sad. I wonder too about the people and the life they lived in these old abandoned homes that once were filled with love and laughter.

  14. I love your old photos, and your thoughts as well! As I pass old homes and barnes I often wonder about those who lived and owned them, I always say, 'If those wall could only talk, what stories they could tell."
    Have a blessed day.

  15. Lots of memories are hidden in the walls of those old buildings.

  16. Like you, the sight of an old abandoned house triggers stories in my head as I wonder about who built the house, who lived there, what dreams did they have, and where did they end up. Kilmer's poem expresses it so well. It's too bad that houses lie derelict when there are those who would love nothing more than to have a home to fix up.
    Lovely post, Debby.

  17. Cant you just imagine the history of it - the things that happened in it - when it was whole & beautiful...

  18. beautiful photos and a walk into history love the commentary with each photo. I would love to know the history on some of the OLD buildings. I love taking photos of OLD dilapidated places
    thank you for sharing these photos

  19. I absolutely love this post!!! I am the same way with old abandoned houses and sad to see but yet so mysterious in how they left and lived and more. Thank you for sharing, not sure how far Mt. olive is from us but I may have to check it out. Have a great weekend!


  20. Such a great post.
    I always think there is something special about old buildings/houses and each have their own stories and history to share.
    Lovely pictures, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  21. I share your fascination with abandoned houses, and the poem is perfect! Nice post!

  22. OH I love that poem! Here's another things we do have in common -- I LOVE looking at places like this and wondering what they must have looked like when they were inhabited, who lived there, and what happened -- why is it empty now? Great pictures!

  23. I think we all have a fascination with old buildings like this. Great collection of photos.
    I know of the poem and it's a good one.
    I grew up in northern NJ and Suffern was about 10 miles up the road. I think it is actually just over the border in NY.

  24. The brick silo is so charming. Some of these houses are getting ready to fall. Surely they have many stories to tell. These are wonderful pictures today, Debby, and I will take Dilapidated and Decrepit over Hodgepodge any day. : )

    Wishing you sweet October days. They are already coming to an end, oh my.


  25. Like you, I also have a fascination with abandoned homes, stately, aristocratic homes, that, despite having been built with the most beautiful materials, have not had the advantage of being lived in for years. It's sad, isn't it, to have had the funds, having been in a privileged position to have built such a tribute to architecture, to have it dwindle away, become only a ghost of what it once was.

    Your photos are hauntingly beautiful, each and every one. I especially am taken with the brick silo, and the bare branched (burnt?) tree that managed to grow through its holes. And, having dabbled in some poetry, myself, and one who loves the genre, I so enjoyed this poem by Joyce Kilmer; thank you for sharing it. I will definitely be reading it, again, when I'm feeling melancholy and want to keep feeling melancholy!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friend,

  26. Ha ha, I wonder if HGTV could do anything with these houses. I love this post, and your photography is stunning as always! You have the gift! I think the same thing when I pass such old dwellings--where people dwelled and families grew, etc. It's interesting how quickly a house run down when no one is living in it or no one cares to keep it up. I've also noticed in our state how many barns need paint and I heard somewhere that they are kept that way because of taxes--more for a painted, pristine barn. True?

  27. Wow there were some amazing shots of these old abandoned homes. Even in such a state of disrepair they have a hauntingly beautiful quality.

  28. I too love old and delapidated houses of yesteryear. It is easy to wonder of the day to day life that happened within the walls. Such a perfect poem to embellish your sublime photos, Debbie. A gorgeous post, as always.

  29. You know, Deb, I feel the same way when I see an empty broken house - your pics, and the mood they create are amazing.

    I always get sad about them, too.

  30. This is an adorable post, Debbie....I, too,love olden houses like these. I always wish I knew more of the history

  31. You have captured so many great pictures of these dilapidated,lonely,deserted old homes...I'm sure there are many stories both happy and sad to be told! Enjoyed your post today :)

  32. Hi Debby! That is a perfect poem to go with your post. I also think about the history of broken down and abandoned homes. Certainly they used to be full of life and love and work and all of that. If you ever do any research, I'd love to hear about what you've found!

  33. Hi Debby! I am glad you emailed. I popped over to see your blog and found this post. I am the same way. C and I used to drive to back roads when we were stationed in S GA just to find old buildings. Oh if they could tell stories, I would sit down with my new tea cup and listen all afternoon! Thanks for contacting me. I love your blog. PS I don't have a follow button yet. I don't know how to put one on, I'll get my husband to help with that :-)
    Wishing you God's peace,

  34. This has been such a lovely post, Debby! I am always awed by your photography, and these photos are no exception. Most everything around us is relatively new, but once in a while we see an old adobe building. Maybe being drawn to those old abandoned houses means you secretly want to buy a "fixer upper!"

    Hugs, Carol

  35. Oh Debby, I have never read that poem before. I just love it! It says exactly how I feel about the old run down empty houses I see. This is a beautiful post!


Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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