Friday, October 21, 2011

Virginia & West Virginia - 15th August

For Tom and Marcia

Red Barn - Frederick County, VA

This abandoned barn lies just outside the town of Hayfield, Frederick County, VA on the Northwestern Pike (Route 50) just west of Hogue Creek. With its roof in a bad state of disrepair, it is unlikely to last more than a few more winters.

Red Barn I  

Red Barn II

Willa Cather's Birthplace

Willa Cather, the famous American writer, was born in this house on December the 7th 1873. She lived nearby in the Back Creek Valley of Frederick County until she was ten when family moved to Nebraska leaving behind six generations of family history with the area.

Willa Cather's Birth House 

Despite being listed as a Virginia Historic Landmark the house has fallen into a state of sad disrepair since its abandonment 10 years ago.

Broken swings/broken homes

Wooden House - WV

Wooden House, front 

Wooden House, electrics

The Old Catlett House - Catlett Rd., WV

The Old Catlett House was originally built in the 1830s but the original log-cabin structure was repeatedly enlarged throughout the nineteenth century. The house and land were abandoned over 10 years ago until Tom & Marcia Field bought the property last year.


Many of the previous tenants’ possessions remained inside the house. A shotgun blast decorated the upstairs hallway ceiling. Tom jokingly offered me the mirrored picture of two dogs nuzzling each other by moonlight (below photograph, left hand side). Luckily I had the excuse of airport restrictions on my flight home to politely decline the invitation! 

Sitting Room 

Stairway from the Side

 Dining room

Dining room (detail) 

Plush lodgings 

Upstairs, and in addition to the gun-shot to the ceiling, eery sribblings on the wall - no doubt made by the previous inhabitants' children - were scattered over the wallpaper.

Outside, and Tom's property kept giving in the abandoned buildings stake. A solitary red barn, with a poison ivy plant sprouting out from its innards like a scene from Alien sat in the middle of the Old Catlett House's garden.

Red Barn: Take II

Red Barn, interior

White Barn - Smokey Hollow, WV
On the way to our next building we passed an abandoned white barn at the end of a neighbour's driveway, sitting in the middle a recently-harvested West Virginia field. The house that used to sit next to it had been recently bought by a wood merchant and torn down with the hope of finding valuable chestnut in the structure.

Nothing of worth was found, the house was burned, and its accompanying barn left untouched and uninhabited.

'Nothing of Value': Abandoned Barn (White)

Riverside House - Capon Bridge, VW
It was on our way back home that Tom and I stumbled across the last of in my series of buildings from the Virginian and West Virginian countryside. Located on the West side of River Road, just down from Capon Bridge, Riverside House sat proudly on a bend on the road with no signs of life. It seemed only sensible to explore, and access was gained through a broken pane of glass in an exterior door.

Riverside House, front elevation 

Built around 1910-1920 the Riverside House has fared well since it's abandonment, no doubt due to its galvanised roof, and the fact most of its windows remain intact, shielding it from the worst of the North Virginian elements.

Inside the house was relatively clean and empty, with no signs of surreptitious habitation or vandalism.


 Upstairs sitting room

Are Elections Ever Fair? Tiffany's book.

1 comment:

  1. I just happened across this photo.....I grew up in the Riverside house in CB.! :) My grandparents lived their for years until the flood of 85. It used to be filled with the smell of homemade bread, canned peaches, pies and my paps greasy work boots. :)