UrbEx of a Farm House
Yep, you read that correctly. Urban exploration of a farm house.
A farm house now surrounded by development. The residential development bears the name of the farm that once occupied the land.
When we first moved to the area I’m pretty sure this house was still occupied. It was just a few months ago that I realized the house was completely abandoned and had been clearly looted and vandalized. To my surprise the house was in serious decay; especially, if I remember correctly that, the house was occupied less than 10 years ago.
While the house was posted it was clear that others had been ignoring the no trespassing signs and I had no other intention than photographing what I could before the house was in worse shape — little did I know — I felt comfortable entering anyway. I gained entry through the rear of the house, even though the front door is ajar. I was greeted by what looked like an image of the Egyptian God, Anubis. (Can you see it?)
Of course I didn’t know exactly what I was looking at when I came in. I just realized there was the shape of something in the peeling paint on the wall. What initially caught my eye, though, was the small web in the lower left area being illuminated by the early morning sun coming through the windows. I had to step very carefully in this house as the water damage was significant, floor boards were missing, and rot was everywhere. In fact, in this back room, floor boards to the left and right were missing and the flooring leading into the house felt mushy. Once I entered the main house, the kitchen was to my left and what I presume to be the formal dining room to my right. The kitchen had been cleared of pretty much anything of value. Only some of the cabinets remained and, of course, the obligatory unmatched shoes.
I’ve never seen a ceiling fan do that before.
This was the first time I’d ever seen a ceiling fan do that trick but it wouldn’t be the last before I left this house. I was surprised that the hood over the where the stove would have been was still there given that everything else had been removed. When I walked across the property there were some very deep dual-wheeled ruts in the earth that had been there for some time. I suspect that they were likely made be people looting the house for any scrap that could be used to sell; given that the house had been stripped of anything that could be taken, including (I think) part of the roof. After observing the kitchen but not trusting the floor I moved to the dining room. It was here I discovered the true decay of the house.
As I entered the dining room I immediately noticed a gaping hole in the floor in which many boards were laying in ramshackle fashion along with a faded green leather chair which appeared to have been pushed in. The only thing to take my attention away from this hole was the even larger hole in the ceiling leading to an even larger hole in the roof. It appears that the metal roofing on the back side of the house is missing; either blown off (doubtful) or stolen (likely). The chimney used by the fireplace in this room and the bedroom above eventually collapsed; crashing through the roof, the second floor, and then through the dining room floor and into the cellar. Two inch by ten or twelve inch joists looked to be snapped like twigs in the ceiling above (another photo from a different perspective is on Flickr). The water damage around the fireplace and chimney structure was obvious, even to the legally blind. There was barely a straight line anywhere in this room. In fact, the picture above had to be corrected to give proper perspective. Even though I used the levelling capability in my camera to make sure my shot was straight the picture looked crooked. Turns out that my camera was straight and the house was crooked. In reality that first door should be leaning to the left and forward slightly. This room was certainly a surprise to me but the next room was even more interesting.
Okay, I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this room except for the graffiti. Thankfully this room hadn’t suffered the water damage the back half of the house had so I felt more comfortable walking around. That said, the sheer oddness of the graffiti on the walls had my attention. Who was Katy? Did she say yes? Um. What sort of girl would come to this place and say yes to prom in the first place? I didn’t move the mirror in the right-hand corner but I find myself wishing I had. I want to finish that phrase. “(sorry this is”. This is what? So creepy? This is all I could afford? This is your end? This is a prank? This isn’t more romantic? This isn’t a house with power? This isn’t somewhere with food? This is a place full of critters? This is all I could think of? My poking fun aside, clearly our courter had romance in mind. Perhaps the house was in far better shape at the time. The ceiling fan and stair banister were decorated with ribbons and obviously our beau was trying to impress his belle. I hope he succeeded, just for sake of originality. From here I proceed upstairs which were immediately to my left, though I didn’t get far. The water damage and rot made upstairs exploration risky.
As you can see, there’s virtually no roof above the ceiling of the second floor. The floor was very “soft” upstairs and I had to be very sure of my footing. I was able to at least look into each of the four bedrooms upstairs but couldn’t enter any of them either due to flooring being untrustworthy or just plain missing. In one bedroom I couldn’t enter because of a large pile of debris in front of the door. I’d have liked to have seen more as it seemed like the one room I could enter otherwise. If you look closely you can see the water is following any and all paths that gravity takes it. I fear the house doesn’t have much longer to be standing. I think a good summer thunderstorm will compromise the structural integrity that is left before long — there’s just too much rotted wood and gaping holes. On another note I have to admit that I was quite pleased to see that the upper and lower banisters (along with all the fireplace mantles) were still in the house. You don’t see that often anymore. While I loathe those that steal them, I suppose it’s better that they are reused somewhere and restored to their previous prestige as opposed to be left to rot or burn. The upstairs also reminded that this was once home to someone as well.
It’s these sorts of finds that remind me that these old places were once home to a family. I didn’t inspect the envelope. I didn’t even touch it to see if a card was still inside. Instead, I like to think that there was a card in there for a birthday or Mother’s Day. I noticed this envelope amongst the litter of various other things that had been ransacked — clothes, magazines, business paraphernalia, newspapers, curtains, etc. To my left were a bunch of sheets of music, which led me to believe that the house once had a piano in her, and music could be heard in every corner. Also among the litter here were invoices and other papers that dealt with the business of the farm. I’m not sure what all the farm produced but one sheet was a copy of an invoice for pure quality and fresh eggs. Given the size of the development that’s named after the farm, I suspect that eggs were not the only business though. Maybe an orchard, cattle, tobacco or something else. From this point I moved back downstairs to take shots of specific things that caught my interest and to get my final shot of the house from across the street. Traffic was picking up on the street that was just 30 yards from the front door and I was losing the golden light. I was very glad to have been able to photograph this old house, it was once a part of the greater Raleigh community but I believe is all but forgotten now.
More shots on Flickr as well as full resolution versions of some of the shots included in this blog.
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