Date of Visit: January 26, 2013
My friends and I got together in Wisconsin for an excursion to several different locations on Saturday, January 26, 2013. On the agenda was an abandoned nursing home, and a few old farmhouses. Most of the day turned out to be kind of a dud… except for one of the houses, which turned out to be one of the most beautiful houses I’ve explored.
After a few hours of driving, first on the agenda was a nursing home. It wasn’t very old, so it was pretty disappointing. There’s a fine line with abandonment: you need a place to be closed long enough to have interesting decay, but not so long that it’s fallen into advanced decay. You want the peeling paint and the cracks in the wall, but you don’t want the entire floor or roof to be collapsed. This nursing home was just too recent an abandonment, and it didn’t have any vintage charm. I did, however, like a bathtub that we found and one green creepy hallway.
However, just as we were getting ready to leave this disappointment, I noticed cop car circling the building. Great. We waited it out and when we couldn’t see it anymore, we hurried out of the building. We started walking around the side and… there was the cop. Being the innocent creatures that we are, we waved and greeted him, and told him that we were walking around photographing the historic nursing home before it’s demolished. Luckily, we were convincing. Whew!
After that, it was on to farmhouses. Now, most of the time when we explore abandoned farmhouses, they’re beyond repair. Often ceilings have collapsed, kitchens or bathrooms have fallen into basements, there are gaping holes in the walls, or severe animal damage (raccoon, rat, or human). But every now and again we stumble across a house that, despite upwards of 30 years of abandonment, was so well-built that it has withstood the test of time and, although in need of a great deal of repair and renovation, still seems salvageable.
The beautiful farmhouse that we ran into on this day exceeded all expectations. This sturdy brick farmhouse was built in 1863. We were wowed by it from the second we saw it from the street, but since it had been abandoned for over 30 years, we figured it would be a wreck inside. Surprisingly, it wowed us even more on the inside. Houses like this make me realize just how drab most modern houses are. The decorative ceiling medallions were different in each room; the doors were sturdy and beautiful; the curved staircase and circular window was gorgeous; it even had a vintage stove still in the kitchen. I wished I could know the story behind the family that once lived here, and why this gorgeous mansion fell into decline in the first place.
I hope someone buys it and restores it to its vintage glory, before it’s too late.
Here are the photos I took that day…