Friday, October 25, 2013

Work Trips: A Random Ghost Town

On one of my work trips, I sidetracked by a few miles, as a just because. And along the way, I found not one, but two old townsites.  I also found a house with a cool surprise out front, but I'll get to that.

I have looked all over the maps, both online and in the public library - specifically maps made back in the 1880s through 1900s when the towns were likely built, and no luck so far.  Even stage stops had a name, so someday I will find it.

In the meantime - pictures!

First little townsite I found were these cabins and a barn.  The one on the right hand side is still lived in and used, as is the barn, which I discovered when a shaggy horse and burro gazed out at me.  Just a tiny bit up the road from this - and I mean just a tiny bit - is another house of this era, still lived in, but with an awesome display!

This is the house that's on the right hand side in the last picture.

Wagons from several different decades, and at least one carriage as well. A mail wagon,  a hay wagon, farm and freight wagons, all in excellent condition.

Even a horse dawn sleigh.  Awesomely cool.
I headed on further down the road, and the first part of the next townsite I saw was this - a collapsed building.

This townsite was on both sides of the road; nearer to Michigan Creek - the water that runs through the area - all the houses were gone or collapsed, leaving only the cutouts in the rock and soil where the foundations had been.  But on the other side of the road...

 The fist thing you see is this building - clearly a lodge or hotel, likely a stage stop hotel and home.

Then, this cabin and a barn.

Taken going the other direction down the road.

The barn is unique - it has a style of construction not often seen- rough cut boards running one direction, covered by a second set going another direction.

The cabin was/is interesting, in that it had a rather wide door. I wonder if it was not a cabin per say, but rather another barn or carriage house.

Barn and cabin roofs

The most unique building was of course the lodge. It was also in the best condition.

A view from the road.

The front porch, with one of the main entrances.

View from up near the barn. The lodge has some unique construction on the back side, likely added later.

A lot of entrance doors - one to the side here, one on the porch, one further down along the building, and one around the far side.  If this were a stage stop, likely the door on the side and the porch led to the house proper where the stage stop owner and the family lived, though they could have been renting rooms.  The second door along the front could well have been a waiting room - it attaches inside through other doorways; one leads into the house (which could easily be closed and locked) and another to a back room that could have been a lady's lounge area. It also attaches to what was likely the store or summer kitchen, added later. The slope of the roof in the back suggests an added storage shed.

Part of this porch may have even been enclosed at one point.

 Secondary door and likely stage lounges.

Doors to summer kitchen/storage.

Likely a storage room or summer kitchen, added later for weather protection. This section of roof purposefully almost touches the ground; the walls holding it up are solid.

 Main part of the lodge.  The staircase inside was gone, but looking closely at the pictures, there are at least two rooms upstairs, and looking through the windows and doorways, there is a main room at the front of the house,one to the side, one at the back and possibly another room on the other side o the staircase before the lounge rooms.

Shot through the side doorway into the main room; you can see the doorway in to what may have been a lounge area beyond.  Based on how the wall is there, the doorway at one time was likely larger and always open.

Since this is down on the road, it is likely the first carriage house, later a garage.  The tin roof on this building is newer, indicating it was used more recently than the barn and cabin/carriage house on the other side of the lodge.

I would have gotten more pictures, but I was conscious of time and the fact that I was by myself. And sometimes, large empty buildings can get rather creepy when by yourself.  But perhaps this coming spring, we will return, husband and I, and see if I can get some more interior shots (without going in) through the doorways and windows.

And maybe even find out the place's name!

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