Archive for Farmhouse

A Photo Tour of Rural Norfolk County

Posted in Abandoned House, Norfolk County, School with tags , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by countybandits

I set off on a tour today with no destination in mind. Armed with my camera and an iced coffee from McDonalds, I drove around for at least an hour before I found my first abandoned house all the way in Norfolk County. I always start to think that I’m not going to find anything and then – bam…! A pleasant surprise pops up out of nowhere. These first two abandoned houses were actually next door to each other. They were both posted ‘No Trespassing’ so I did not set foot on either property; I just photographed them from the road.

One concession over, my good luck continued with a very cool one room school-house. While it appeared plain Jane at first glance, it had a surprise in store for me. When I walked around it, I noticed that the bricks had extensive carving in them! I wonder if it was the former students who left their permanent mark on this old school?

One property over from the little school, I found an abandoned Ontario farmhouse. This home looks like it’s in the final stages of demolition. I’m sure it’s days are numbered.

dsc_0202 Further up this fruitful country road, I drove past a ‘Bridge Out – Local Traffic Only’ sign. I decided to ignore it and I’m glad I did. I came up to an ‘abandoned’ bridge, blocked off with cement barriers. I walked across it gingerly and snapped some photos of the wood and iron relic. It was a cool find!

The final discovery of my day was this beautiful brick farmhouse, hidden away by a tall crop of corn. I would have loved to creep down the laneway and get up close and personal, but the road was fairly busy and other properties were close by. Maybe some other time.

There is a huge amount of Norfolk County left to explore, and after today’s findings I’m very excited to continue my exploration. I need to be a little more systematic in my approach so I don’t miss one single mile of road. Norfolk has a lot to offer and I don’t want to miss a single historic home.

Until next time…

~Bandit

 

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A Crumbling Brick Beauty in Scotland

Posted in Abandoned House with tags , , , , , on August 28, 2016 by countybandits

I finally made it back to Chatham-Kent to pick up my fixed and functional HP desktop computer (which I am posting from now, hooray!). On my trip home, I exited the 401 at London and took a different route home, hoping to see an abandoned place to photograph.

My wish was granted when I rolled in to Scotland, a small community in Brant. A beautiful, but very dilapidated brick home caught my eye immediately. I had to do a couple passes in my truck to figure out where I could park; the home had no laneway nor were there any side streets nearby. I found a small utility yard and backed my truck up to the chainlink fence, grabbed my camera and walked the short distance back to the house.

No one seemed to notice or care that I was wandering around the home, but it was the middle of the day and I had my camera around my neck. I suppose I looked like I had a reason to be there. The front windows and doors of the stately brick home were boarded up, but were open on the sides and rear. The roof and floors were almost completely caved in and I dared not risk setting foot on the small shreds of flooring that remained.

I’m unsure what this style of home is called, but I could see how beautiful it would have been in its prime. The windows were large and let in a flood of natural light. The rooms seemed like they would have been spacious and the house felt like the perfect size. I loved the layout and would love to clone it brick by brick and live in it today. I hope my photos capture that airy country feeling the house still has about it, even though it’s a mere shell of what it once was.

~Bandit

A Hidden Gem in Malahide Township

Posted in Abandoned House with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2016 by countybandits

Recently I invested in a Nikon DF, a uniquely styled DSLR that looks like an old film camera. I didn’t really consider the problem of post-processing my images until after I had the camera in my hands from Amazon. I currently use a tiny Kangaroo portable desktop computer; fine for web browsing and blog posting but not capable of running Photoshop et al. I did have an older HP desktop tower in the basement collecting dust with an I7 processor and pretty decent specs. I dug it up, wrangled it to my truck (it must weigh 15lbs) and headed down to Chatham-Kent to have my wonderful friend breathe some life back into it.

I decided to take the scenic route and head down Highway 3, hoping to see subject matter worthy of the DF. After a while I realized I probably wouldn’t see much on the main highway so I started to weave down sideroads. Somewhere along the back roads of Malahide township I passed a white farmhouse with a yard full of old vehicles and equipment. Right next to it, so hidden by overgrown trees that I nearly missed it, I caught a glimpse of a gothic window surrounded by gingerbread trim. I turned around and did a slow drive by. Yes, there was another farmhouse hidden on the lot beside the initial white home! I turned around again, parked my truck as far off the narrow road that I could, slung my camera around my neck and jogged up to the hidden property.

Initially I tried to get photos from the road, but the trees and shrubs were so overgrown that it was impossible. I took a look around at all the weeds and overgrowth, glanced at the flip-flops I was wearing and decided to hell with it – I’m going in. Possibility of poison ivy and thorns be damned. I’m so, so glad I made that decision because I was rewarded with perhaps the most beautifully preserved Ontario farmhouse I have seen to date. I bounded around it in my sandals snapping photos as quickly as I could, peering in the windows and being in awe of what I was capturing. I had to work quickly since my truck was sitting halfway on the road with the 4-ways on and I was trespassing in broad daylight.

This farmhouse looks as though the owner left, the door was boarded up and the clock was stopped. The home boasts the original glass in every window, original wood siding, original carved tulip-motif gingerbread and all the original wooden baseboards, doors and staircase intact inside. Even the delicate lace curtains framing the front door look to have been there for an eternity. What I wouldn’t give to own this beauty and carefully restore it, maintaining as much of that amazing originality as I possibly could. A large tree branch has fallen on one side of the roof so I feel the home’s days are numbered. Enjoy the photos of this old Ontario farmhouse that remains in a bygone era.

~Bandit

(PS – These photos are NOT post-processed in any way… I still haven’t managed to find a free day to retrieve my computer!)

The Infamous Snobelen Road Property

Posted in Chatham-Kent, Commentary, Demolished with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2011 by countybandits

Several years ago, we came across this article in the Chatham Daily News – “Demolition Ordered For Longtime Eyesore”. How could we resist going for a drive to check it out? We packed up our camera gear one evening and headed out that way to view the property, and what greeted us was truly a sight to behold. The entire place looked more like a junkyard or landfill than a residence. We parked along the side of the road and stepped out with cameras around our necks. Countless vehicles rotting away, piles of tires, old school buses,  transport trucks, garbage, scrap metal and camping trailers were just a small selection of the junk piled all around us there. We managed to get a small number of photos of the true prize amongst the chaos; a dilapidated but beautiful brick century old home, almost completely obliterated from view by the trash.

Within a minute or two, a family member approached us asking if we were in fact there from the Chatham paper. When we said we were not, she asked that we not take any more photos which we were happy to oblige. She did however chat with us for a moment or two about the house and growing up there. She recalled the night she was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when the roof collapsed. Two members of the family continued to live in the house until it was demolished, which is hard to imagine as this woman also told us there was no running water nor had there been for years. Although this wasn’t exactly an abandoned house, it certainly looked the part. I am happy that we were able to photograph it then, and share the photos and story here 3 years later.

~Bandit