Archive for Abandoned Farmhouse

A Successful Tour of Rural Norfolk (Simcoe Area)

Posted in Abandoned House, Norfolk County with tags , , , , on March 19, 2019 by countybandits

On March 9th, I spent the afternoon touring up and down the Windham roads between Simcoe and Delhi. I ended up working my way over to the opposite side of Simcoe, venturing out past Cockshutt Road. Things started out slow but definitely heated up! I have a good haul of photos for you to check out, along with a mental list of places I desperately want to get ‘up close and personal’ with. A couple of these houses are questionable as far as “abandoned” status, making me wonder if they’re just momentarily empty or if they’ve completely crossed over in to total abandonment? I’m not totally sure.

While on this tour, I made a couple of observations. One, the Windham roads are brutal; probably the roughest (paved!) roads I’ve traveled in some time. Yikes… I hope for the sake of local residents that they improve once the frost subsides. Two, there are some interesting place and road names in Norfolk. I snapped some photos of my favorites from this tour. Finally, a very sweet young woman saw my truck pulled off to the side of the road and me wandering around (she didn’t see my camera) and turned around to check if my truck had broken down. A beautiful soul – thanks for looking out for me, whoever you were.

Now, on to the good stuff…!

The first home I encountered on this tour was pretty unassuming, but I thought it was worth documenting because I would bet money it’s over 100 years old. I’m a sucker for any century farmhouse, no matter how plain-Jane she may be! I’m not completely sure what the status is of this place, since the hydro meter is still on the home. The lack of traffic in or out, combined with the dangling porch light and emaciated barn make me think it’s long empty.

The second and third homes I came across were right down the road from each other. They’ve definitely seen better days, and I doubt they are much longer for this world. I would also estimate both of these farmhouses are over 100 years old. I wonder when they were left to rot away?

I had no idea there was a place in Norfolk County called “Rattlesnake Harbour”. I wonder what the history is behind that unique name? I took a photo of that – and a couple other – interesting signs. (Sadly, there was no school on Egypt School Road. I felt cheated!)

The next abandoned old farmhouse I came across was right on one of the busy main roads, so naturally it looked “well explored”. I imagine the inside is completely trashed and the boarded up windows tell me that they were all smashed out long ago. I did however enjoy the snail graffiti. Kind of ridiculous and amusing!

This home was on the same property as another empty place. I feel like they were both more ’empty’ than abandoned, but I wasn’t really sure. I only photographed this older farmhouse, as the other home was sort of a ’60’s era, white brick rancher and not terribly interesting. I wonder what the story is with this property? Oh, a word of caution – watch that first step on your way out the front door!

I had accepted that I wasn’t going to find any brick beauties on this tour, and that was okay. Not every tour can be a winner. On what was going to be the final road I explored on this tour, I found not one, but TWO stunning homes. I was both shocked and elated! The brick home was my first find on this road and I loved every charming detail about it. The millwork, corbels, stained glass and the yellow brick accents. So lovely! When I looked at the photos after downloading them from my Nikon, I noticed some details in the middle of the stained glass above the front door. I cropped and enhanced that area of the stained glass, revealing a stunning blue bird. I love this home and I would give anything to take a look around inside. I want to see that stained glass with sunlight filtering through it…

Just a little further up the road I found the last, and most stunning home of the day. This impressive stone house took my breath away. I don’t get to see too many of these old stone beauties as they are few and far between in our area. I am hoping that someone is working on restoring this iconic home, but I can’t say for sure what’s going on. A couple of the windows looked like they were recent replacements, which gives me hope. There was no evidence of any recent visits to the home as the snow was undisturbed; perhaps the person doing the reno took the winter off. I would love to see this house brought back to it’s former glory. It could be absolutely magnificent.

I hope you enjoyed the fruits of this Norfolk County tour. If you need me, I’ll be daydreaming about sipping a coffee in front of a roaring fire in that stone house…


A Letter From Our Friends, “S & D” + 7 Photos

Posted in Abandoned House, Lambton County with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by countybandits

We received a great email from a blog reader the other day. I enjoyed it so much, I wrote back and asked for permission to share it on our blog. The author was gracious enough to allow us to do so. We would love if more of our fans would email us and share stories and photos that we can post here! Please email us at or leave us a comment with your email address.




Good morning County Bandits!

I have been admiring your website/Facebook page for a couple months and even visiting some of the places you’ve posted. My girlfriend and I definitely share the same interest when it comes to old forgotten places. My name is “S” and I am from St. Thomas, if you’re unfamiliar with the city it’s about 20 minutes south of London. My girlfriend “D” was living in Sarnia, so we were constantly back and forth!

In our travels (we alternate from back roads/the highway) we’re constantly keeping an eye out for places we can explore. Although, we don’t take such beautiful pictures as yourself we always have a Kodak disposable camera on hand!

Recently, we discovered a house half way between London & Sarnia! I was thrilled because as soon as I saw it drew me in, however “D” didn’t think it was abandoned but still turned around so I could go fulfill my desires. Upon pulling up there were logs in front of the drive way blocking any vehicles from pulling in. I got out to check it out and doing so provided me with the confirmation that it was abandoned. Grass was over grown, there were things in the yard, the big two story brick house was no longer being cared for. Somebody had put a brick and a coffee can in front of the screen door almost to sign to keep people out. There were hand painted ‘keep out’/’no trespassing’/’private property’ signs that made me think of who the person was that painted those signs and why they left.

We were traveling to Sarnia to do a few things and return to St. Thomas so we decided that we would come back at night to avoid any trouble. When we returned it was so dark due to no street lights and lack of the moon, it scared me! It’s unusual for both of us to be a little freaked out. After pulling up to the house and turning the car lights completely off, I had such weird feelings about going in. I must say, the entire time I continued to want to contact you guys! So, I hopped on my phone and went through your entire website and Facebook page and from what I’ve seen, you didn’t have the house posted. I also checked a few other websites and I was absolutely thrilled when I couldn’t find it anywhere.

So, I was just curious if you guys ever meet up with anybody else to explore or even chat about the places you’ve been. If so, maybe we could check this location out together.

I have included some pictures of places we’ve visited.

Looking forward to hearing from you, “S”

[Here are the photos that “S & D” sent along of different locations they have explored. We love them! Thank you SO much!]

Abandoned Place 031_31 033_33 034_34 035_35 040_40 573_10152240642080007_443886801_n

A Drive Down Courtright Line, Lambton & Some Interesting Search Engine Hits

Posted in Abandoned House, Commentary, Lambton County with tags , , , , , on August 17, 2011 by countybandits

In my effort to unearth any and all my old photos, I found many that I had completely forgotten about and never got around to posting. The following images fall into that category. I shot these on May 28th, 2008 and I wish I had made a post about them at the time, because at the present moment I have no idea why I was even on Courtright Line that day. I do remember shooting these pictures however, and being fairly impressed that I had found 3 abandoned houses on one short stretch of road. Such a sweet score doesn’t happen very often, but if it’s going to happen anywhere – Lambton County is the place.

I really enjoy being able to share the stories that accompany the abandoned places we explore and photograph, but unfortunately I know nothing of these 3 houses. Since I don’t have any exciting information on them, I’ll share my thoughts on some popular searches that lead people to our site. I love viewing the site stats and seeing what brought people here, I find it fascinating.

“what kind of things can you catch from going in old abandoned houses” — This one made me laugh, because the Accomplice and I often discuss how many years we must have taken off our lives by now from entering these abandoned houses. We’ve seen plenty of asbestos insulation around old boilers and pipes, and walked through more raccoon feces than I’d care to admit. The smell of cat urine has been so strong in some places that in one instance, it actually made the Accomplice sick to his stomach (was it wrong for me to find this hilarious? I’m not bothered by the smell myself). So while I’m not sure if there are specific things you could ‘catch’ from these places, they can definitely be pretty nasty.

“what is valuable from a abandoned houses” — We get asked about finding valuables or antiques in abandoned houses quite often, but our answer isn’t as exciting as most people hope. The truth is that these houses have been abandoned long before we ever came across them, and we are certainly not the first people to walk through them. If they are open to nature (doors freely open, windows broken, holes in the walls / roof), then chances are slim to none that ANYTHING of interest is left. We have seen a few neat things, like vintage dresses and appliances, old iron beds, some portraits – but nothing of any real value or rarity. If you are hoping to come into some riches by exploring abandoned houses, you will likely end up with criminal charges before you end up with something of value!

“gingerbread trim, gothic trim, metal gingerbread molding” — I suppose this isn’t quite as interesting as the first two, but a lot of searches come in from people looking for information on gingerbread trim for old farmhouses. For our own 150+ year old Ontario farmhouse restoration, we purchased reproduction vinyl gingerbread pieces. We figured this would save us the huge headache of trying to repaint wood gingerbread every so many years, and would resist splitting or breaking with age. We ordered our pieces (custom made!) from Wholesale Millwork and the price was really reasonable for what you’re getting. Inside our house, we ordered a reproduction tin ceiling from Imperial Production along with some other trim pieces. Hopefully this information is helpful to someone out there.

Now, on to the photos, and as always please feel free to comment.