My Aunt & Uncle lived in the Laurentians when I was a little girl - in a cabin in the woods owned by my Uncle's family -
They were going through hard times financially and gratefully accepted the free cottage but as soon as they were on their feet they quickly moved back to the city - quite literally walking away from that little gem.
It was too lonely, my Aunt explained - there were no phone lines - no electricity - no modern conveniences, so I completely get that it must have been difficult with 3 small children.
But it had the most magnificent fireplaces - and an Aga stove in the kitchen - there were 4 bedrooms with dormers under the rafters - and there was such a feeling of warmth in that little house.
As a teenager we went back to visit this abandoned cabin - which had long since become a hunting cabin (or a place for vagrants to come in from the cold. )
My family was horrified at what had happened ( what did they think would happen, I wonder? )
but I was completely mesmerised - and my strange love affair with abandoned buildings began.
They're all hauntingly beautiful - and though I'll likely never know any of the stories that go with these places, they still manage somehow to speak to me..............
As for me?
I was almost moved to tears seeing these.
This is my art - this is what moves me immeasurably.
So to think of such beauty - such craftmanship - such memories being left to return to the elements is difficult to see.-
It's as heartbreaking ( in my world ) as seeing a Rembrandt tossed in a bin.
Of lives lived - whether happily or sadly - lives were touched by all of these walls in some type of capacity.
Hide & seek was played
And curtains swayed with Spring breezes after long cold winters
Music echoed from the parlors
Meals were prepared
Messes were made.
And tucked upstairs in bedrooms, big or small, dreams were dreamt .........
A Father's of providing for his family
A Mother's of her babies
A Daughter's of marrying Prince Charming
A Son's of setting off to see the world.
Did the young daughter marry her Prince ?
Did a son march off to war ?
Did he return ?
Did grandchildren grace the rooms ?
Did they despair?
Did they stoop as they walked up the staircase with worry ?
Did the children slide down the bannister , blissfully unaware ?
Did a pipe rest on a table in the den ?
Did aprons hang on a hook in the kitchen ?
Was there chintz wallpaper in the girl's rooms ?
Was there a lake or a swimming hole nearby ?
Were there home made swings hanging from great oak trees that had been around longer than the home ?
Were mittens and scarves knit ?
Was there bread in the oven ?
Did the radiators hiss on cold winter days ?
Did the floors gleam from wax ?
Did laundry sway in the breeze ?
Did families gather around the piano to sing Christmas carols ?
I'll never have the answers to those questions but what I do know is that at some point in time - long before I was born - someone sat on a porch - looked around with contentment and maybe a little awe and thought..............
" I'm home " with appreciation, pride and a sense of being blessed.
They'd have thought their lives weren't interesting enough, I'm sure.
But they'd be wrong.
More Abandoned beauties on my PINTEREST page.
Have a great Wednesday everyone
SHARING HERE !!!
HAVE A DAILY CUP OF MRS. OLSON FROM MY FRONT PORCH TO YOURS
THE CHARM OF HOME FRENCH COUNTRY COTTAGE
MY TURN FOR US PIECED PASTIMES
LIFE ON LAKESHORE DRIVE I SHOULD BE MOPPING THE FLOOR
BETWEEN NAPS ON THE PORCH COASTAL CHARM
KATHE WITH AN E ELIZABETH & CO.
SAVVY SOUTHERN STYLE MY SALVAGED TREASURES
DWELLINGS - THE HEART OF YOUR HOME
I have gotten hooked on Fixer Upper and one of my favorites was an abandoned house that was purchased for $10,000 - in Texas. With $100,00 they created an amazing home out of that abandoned home.ReplyDelete
Suzan. Once again, you and I share similar passions. I have tons of pictures of abandoned houses. (I was thinking I must be really weird--but then you came out with this and now I KNOW I am really weird).ReplyDelete
EVERY time I drive by an old abandoned house I wonder about the family that lived there. I also wonder how and when the house came to be abandoned and left to the forces of nature? Did the last living relative die? Was there an estate that went unclaimed? Who was the last one that walked through the door as an owner and closed that door knowing they were not coming back? The houses touch my inner soul....and sadden me a bit.
GREAT post. xo Diana
ps. Need I say I am adding them to my "folder" of old houses? lol
Oh Suzan, I'm with you. I love old houses and it saddens me to see them rotting away. I'd so love to save them but instead I just have to look and wonder. These are just beautiful. Sigh...ReplyDelete
Wow!!! Where are these located...all over the world I would guess.ReplyDelete
Love looking and just like you I can see children playing, garden parties, gardeners......
Oh, those abandoned homes broike my heart and wonder why would someone just walk away! I always tell my husband that I wish I had the money to save all these beautiful, lonely ladies.ReplyDelete
Have a lovely day :)
Wish I did too Tina ! So hauntingly beautifulDelete
"Ruin Porn". I've had this same obsession for years. There is a physiological reaction that seems to be a mix of sad, mad, shame, and fascination. And mostly the heartbreak of feeling helpless to solve it.ReplyDelete
It is why Nicole Curtis is my hero.
There is such beauty in these pictures, but it makes me so sad how human beings can abandon buildings the way we do. Out here in the western U.S. it's beautiful old barns that are abandoned and left to fall into ruin. When I pass them by on my travels, I'm so saddened by the waste. Wonderful post.ReplyDelete
Love them all. It's a shame they can't be rescued. But I imagine the memories that dwell within is what will keep them alive.ReplyDelete
@ Cheryl in Wisconsin ~ LOVE the phrase "Ruin Porn"!!ReplyDelete
There is such a sad, ethereal beauty in these pix, and in all abandoned houses. You can't help but wonder what has happened within through the years, and why it was left so forlorn.
Great post, Suzan!
An absolutely beautiful post! Your words with the photos of these old and decrepit homes are perfect. I remember as a girl my parents would take us for Sunday drives on the back country roads and my mother would ask Dad to stop at an empty house so she could look inside. Mum always had an interest in old abandoned houses and I know I got that from her. We'd sometimes enter if we felt it safe and note the peeling wallpaper, the old wooden bannister to the stairs, perhaps old linoleum on the floors and nice woodwork. Nowadays I like to photograph old houses like this if I find them. There don't seem to be as many around our area though. It's sad to see these once beautiful homes in such a state though. Very sad. And you wonder why they are left to rot and fall in on themselves. Sad. Thanks for sharing these former beauties. As you often say...."if I had a million dollars".ReplyDelete
I too feel sadness as the loss of these buildings from someone's past. My love affair with old Victorian farmhouses started in my childood in Ontario. As I grew and the city spread the farms bough by developers and the families moved out, leaving their Queen Anne, Italiate, Gothic farmhouses behind. The last one I went through was when I was 17 yrs old, a beautiful old building, with the grand carriage covered entrance and what was probably an old inlaid floor in the parlour (thankfully been salvaged by someone), rather than left to the vagrants and vandals. I too have a pinterest board - Once was ... for all these memory holding buildings. Patty/NSReplyDelete
Oh how these pics made me swoon! I too have a love of old abandoned homes and building and yes I often ask the very same questions about the previous occupants. They hold so much history and I am completely fascinated but them. I too have my own abandoned Pinterst page, titled In Ruins.ReplyDelete
I always wished i were rich so i could buy an abandoned house somewhere and fix it up and then another and another. It just makes me wonder about the people who left and why.Thanks Suzan they were so wonderful.ReplyDelete
Me too Marlene, me too ................Delete
Thank YOU !
I'm with you, I could cry when I see these beautiful old houses gradually wasting way. I've never really understood why people are so much keener on building new houses when there are fabulous buildings full of personality, history and charm waiting to be rescued. Having said that, here in the UK, the measures that were put into place to stop people from ruining period properties have gone so far they are effectively discouraging people from taking these projects on. You would be forgiven for thinking that the planners/English Heritage etc etc actually want them to fall down, or at least would rather it fell down than allow even ONE feature that they didn't think was appropriate :-( After all if someone is prepared to spend their life savings, then mortgage themselves to the hilt until their 70 AND live in a caravan for 2 years surely they should be allowed some freedom of choice. They would hardly be putting themselves to the trouble if they didn't love the property and want to do the best they can for it. I've seen people go bankrupt, lose their health and put relationships under intolerable strain while trying to renovate historic properties, while planners are still arguing over their choice of roof tile - surely any roof is better than none?! Some of them have been derelict for decades and it's not as if anyone else is going to save it....No wonder so many of our lovely old buildings are being left to decay.ReplyDelete
When I see these older homes left to the elements I wonder if they couldn't afford their mortgages and had no choice but to walk away -Delete
And then wonder how a bank justifies allowing this to happen instead of letting families hold on to them - sad sad sad.
Hi: Oh to have the money to restore some of these ladies. What a shame they stand so alone. your comments really moved me. . Betty from Ontario,CanadaReplyDelete
Hey Neighbor !Delete
Now wouldn't that be a dream come true?
Thanks so much.
Suzan from Montreal :)
LOVE how you ended your post! Beautiful houses! LOVE the top two!! I think older homes are just gorgeous and full of character!!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much Leslie - wouldn't that first one be just incredible refurbished?Delete
Wow! Omg! What incredible stories these beauty's wold have told! I just love your narration of it all ! Such questions leaves us only to our imaginations! Sooo very sad to see these spectacular homes in ruina, wouldn't you think that someone in the families would restore these treasures! Oh my! That first farmhouse took my breath away! I would give anything to have a homeReplyDelete
Thanks so much Cindy - I agree - it's heartbreaking............Delete
I'd love that first house too
Love that you can see the beauty in these abandoned homes.Beautifully written...and somehow, I choose to believe that they do know that you're thinking about them.ReplyDelete
It breaks my heart to see these old grand homes being abandoned. If only these old walls could talk and tell us about the families that once lived there.ReplyDelete
Oh my, can you imagine how gorgeous they were in their glory days? They still have a touch of beauty even in their abandoned stage. Oh, if only those walls could talk! Thanks for sharing with SYC.ReplyDelete
Nicole Curtis of HGTVs Rehab Addict would love to have a go at these houses. She would restore them to their original beauty. If I had the money, I would do it, too. Ok...I would HAVE it done (my knees are shot!). The stories they could tell... My goodness. They take your breath away. The one I appreciate is the house with the deliriously happy tall red flowers in the front. They don't realize that the house is dilapidated, so they dance with the wind. Thank you for showing me these beautiful houses.ReplyDelete
So very sad to see such beautiful homes at one time to go down hill like this. The second home looks like it could be used as a Halloween picture but yet with the cross on top of the house makes me wonder if it was used as a church at one time but then maybe the cross is on another building that we can't see.ReplyDelete
What a collection you found for us Suzan! Thank you for that. Cheers.ReplyDelete
It amazes me that there is NO ONE to save these gorgeous ladies..... Love old homes and so wish I could know some of their stories.... One of my first "fav" shows on HGTV was "if Walls Could Talk"... those old homes certainly have a LOT of stories to tell.......ReplyDelete
Me too Terri !Delete
Wouldn't it be great to do some research on one of them?
I don't remember that show and I thought I knew all of them - one of the first ones I remember was Trading Spaces ( and some of those were awful lol )
I too, wonder about abandoned homes and buildings. We have several here in Wisconsin. And I am happy to have passed on my fascination to my boys, they ask the same questions about the homes.
Fun post, thank you for sharing.
Thanks Carla !Delete
That's a lovely thing to pass down to your boys - they may end up rescuing one or two in their lifetimes because of that !
I've scarred my son for life with this house I think - he tells me he only likes modern clean lines LMHO but my daughters love older homes...........
What a wonderful collection of pictures you have here... I really enjoyed looking at them. :) We also enjoy looking at old houses and dreaming or imagining what they were like... it is fun to see the outside of them and even better if you can get permission to see inside... Great post. :) You may enjoy a post I have w/ one old Italiante House. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting Joy - coming by to see your post nowDelete
What emotional photos you shared today...you can almost imagine the ghosts of long ago.ReplyDelete
Haunting post. I too wonder about the history of houses - and objects.ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting JeanneDelete
wow. the patina on that old blue roof is beautiful. I'd move into any of them.ReplyDelete
Dear God, what waste! And so many people living on the streets. These are so lovely. Isn't there some way the wealthy could pay us creatives to clean these up and make them livable again? Do you know where any of these are located?ReplyDelete
It's sinful, isn't it Teddee ?Delete
A lot of them are in the States believe it or not............
Love them all! I wish I could go on a road trip and visit each one!ReplyDelete
That sounds like such an incredible idea actually !Delete
What a beautiful post....tugged at my heart strings. I too love the old ladies and wonder what happened, who was the last person to close the door?? Always wished I was filthy rich and could reclaim these homes to be passed down to more generations.......such a waste, very sad........ReplyDelete
Thank you very much - and I agree it's such a waste - blatant waste actuallyDelete
Suzan, the minute I saw the third house, I knew I could move into it just the way it sits, Even though it looks like it has been abandoned for many years it still shows such strength and beauty and it looks like a home to me..I had to pin it..Happy Thursday..JudyReplyDelete
Some people "chase" those old abandonned houses, they film them and post the video on Youtube. I watched a few, thinking it would be inspiring, but it was just heartbreaking. I would so love to save them all.ReplyDelete
When I see abandoned houses, I too wonder. At what point did someone just walk away and leave this home and never look back? How do you just abandon a house? I want to fix them up and move in. I'm always sure they must have beautiful architecture inside from an era when things were made without power tools by craftsmen. And surely laughter still echoes through the halls.ReplyDelete
If only...I wish...so sad...ReplyDelete
My daughter is fascinated with old homes and buildings and loves exploring every chance she can get. Luckily my hubby is a Realtor so he access to any old abandoned buildings for sale, it is fun looking through and imagining what we might do to fix a place up. :) Fun post.ReplyDelete
Hi, Suzan! We are much alike in our love of abandoned homes. Imagining the families who built them, lived in them, and possibly why they left.ReplyDelete
There's a relatively new FB group called Abandoned in Virginia (there's one for West Virginia, too. I wonder about other states?). Users post the most beautiful abandoned homes and other buildings. Comments below the photos usually have stories from people who actually know and have personal experience with the structure in the photos.
Sad that these places no longer have families in them. They live on in their ruin.
What a beautifully written post:)ReplyDelete
Beautiful and scary!ReplyDelete
I agree they're beautiful - not too sure about scary ( I've seen scarier newer houses LOL )Delete
I am an old house junkie, too, Suzan. Our current home is 1920's fixer, my grandmother's home was built in the 1800's and is still the most beautiful house I have ever seen in real life. When I come across abandoned homes, I always wonder why such a beautiful building was let go, what were the circumstances that led to its demise, how come no one snatched it up? Your words and photos are truly lovely. Thanks so much for sharing.ReplyDelete
It's heartbreaking to see these grand beauties so run down. Love this post, thank you so much for sharing.ReplyDelete
Even though these houses are old and tired, they're still so beautiful! That third one nearly took my breath away. I can only imagine how it looked in its prime.ReplyDelete
I wish, like so many of us, that I could restore these homes, and many others, to their original beauty. That would be heaven! If all bloggers like us lived in the same area, I bet we could do it! Of course, that's a fantasy, but think of the fun we would have?! Then again, we'd be arguing about paint colors among others things lol.
A few months ago I wrote a similar post. Have you heard of the poem 'the house with a broken heart'? If the spirit moves you (I don't want to leave a link) just head over and search that title. I think you'll like it. (Comments are turned off).
These old homes are wonderful! Great photography subjects! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!ReplyDelete
Breaks my heart! They are beautiful even in their shabbiness.ReplyDelete
I agree completely !Delete
Breaks my heart too
I'd say we should call Nicole Curtis , Joanna Gaines and the other ladies commenting on here and get busy! Those all are so beautifully sad. I'd be happy to have any of them.ReplyDelete
Isn't Nicole the best ?Delete
I'd be thrilled with any of them too !
I'm with all the rest. There is the fascination and feeling of such sadness when I look at these beautiful old girls. I would love to be able to explore and imagine what went on and how, if I could, fix them up. Love them all but especially the red one. And the one, it's sitting right on a street and has a bus stop right in front. You look at the house and it's pretty dilapidated yet look at the brick work on the front stoop and it looks to be in perfect shape. And the cannas in the front yard, it really does look like someone had been living there.ReplyDelete
On one hand touching anything in these homes, seems wrong. But on the other hand, removing the old flooring, woodwork or anything else that could be salvaged and bring it back to life would be just great. At least part of the old home would still continue to have great memories.
I lived in Alberta and about 15 miles west of Medicine Hat is an old homestead. The old two story home and way in the back an old single story barn. The first time I saw it my mind immediately made up its story. I think if was from the dust bowl days in the 20s. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the sky was as blue as far as you could see. I was memerized until I looked up and saw a very large bull sauntering towards me. I went very fast the other way. Came back a week or so later, checked for the bull and took several pictures.
There is something called "urban exploring". People find this old places - homes, barns, factories, etc. and explore them. Some take the most beautiful pictures. Some label them with where they are but most don't. I think its to protect them.
I looked up urban explorers on Pinterest and saw some of the most amazing things. Old libraries still full of books, factories, castles. I also specifically looked up some in Canada and was quite amazed at what is available here. I look all the time but I never see any. I guess I'm just looking in the wrong place.
There is a blog called "One Dollar Cottage" - onedollarcottage.com. She and her husband saw this beautiful old home that was on the brink of being torn down. The man who owned it wanted the land but not the home. The husband offered him $1 and they got it. The house got cut into pieces, was moved piece by piece a few miles away and set up on some land they had purchased. The story is absolutely fascinating! They have old pictures and know the history of the house. I would suggest reading this. It's great.
Thanks as always, Suzan, you managed to put pictures in my mind and they weren't always sad pictures.
Cathy (London, ON)
I'll have to check that site out Cathy - thanks for letting me know about it !ReplyDelete
Those explorer's are all over you tube - they sneak in and record the houses ( sometimes it looks pretty dangerous though - stairs falling apart etc.............)
I've only seen the one that my Aunt once lived in........don't know if I'd be brave enough to actually go inside any of these - unless it were mine and I could restore it !
There was one here in Montreal that I showcased once - it's since been bought (and hopefully restored by now ) but I think you'd probably see more of them out West for some reason ( the Prairies must have their share I would think? )
Have a great day
I am way behind on my blog reading because I just got back from a vacation, but had to comment. We have a lot of homes like this just in my small town and in the nearby communities. Once the snow leaves I am going to take some photos as I find the houses so thought-provoking. Who actually owns them now? Someone must own the places. And I think about my own house which is probably almost 100 years old and looks like it was built the same time as some of those homes. Why was my house kept in good repair and not the others? Was it just a matter of some owners not having the funds to fix things as they aged, while my homes owners DID keep them up? Intriguing. Thanks for the lovely post, I will read it again more slowly this time!ReplyDelete
When I see an old abandoned farm house here in Ky I always wonder what the story of the family is, or the families. I have often thought of photographing old houses that were once someone's home.ReplyDelete
Lovely, lovely blog post, Suzan! Gorgeous but hauntingly sad photos of what were once probably a family's pride and joy. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and photos with us.ReplyDelete
Oh I hope someone ends up resoring them, such beautiful architecture! I always wonder about who lived in abandoned homes an why they were left for ruin.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!
Suzan, I also wonder who lived in these homes and what happened to the families. My son's company renovates historical homes and brings these beauties back to their formal life. Thanks for joining the Share Your Style party.ReplyDelete
I love abandoned homes too.....they have such a haunted beauty about them. Thanks for sharing these.....I would happily move in a restore a lot of these!ReplyDelete
And now I think I'm in love with abandoned trains too LOL - it doesn't stopDelete
Just now discovering this wonderful post (by way of Pinterest). I, too, am drawn to old houses and have blogged about them and what thoughts they evoke about the families that live there. Your words are amazing.ReplyDelete