25 October 2010
photos by Tom b.
- 60s dress
- AA tights
- 30s oxfords
- vintage wool beret
Over the weekend we had the most amazing opportunity. You all know by now how much we enjoy exploring and photographing abandoned places, right? Well this was pretty much the ultimate in abandonment. The morning started out with us waking at dawn to hit the road, followed by a sunrise drive through Gettysburg. The drive alone was worth it as all the trees are at peak color and the mountains were gold and red. Just beautiful!
We arrived nearly four hours later to a large brick building in a tiny town where not much remains. The building was nothing special from the outisde... just simple brick with lots of the windows broken and part of the roof beginning to rot. But inside was a whole different story!
After sitting outside and enjoying the morning sunshine for a bit, the owner showed up to accompany us into the building. As he was letting us in, he told a bit about the history of the place. It was built in 1907 and served as a silk mill for 50 years. Raw silk was brought here, washed, dyed and spun into silk thread. In 1957 the mill closed (and this is the best part) the doors were shut and everything was left exactly where it was! Nothing in the building has been touched or removed (except for the occasional unfortunate vandal) in over 5o years. It was like walking into a time capsule!
Not only was all of the machinery in place (complicated machines that I couldn't even begin to understand how they work) but there were still ladies' shoes in the lockers, evidence of lunches had on picnic tables, handwritten payroll records (minimum was was $.20 an hour!) and piles of raw silk waiting to be spun into thread. There were still calenders hanging in nearly every room, each turned to January 1957.
We wandered around the mill for hours, trying to take it all in and snapping lots of photos along the way. I couldn't resist the opportunity to turn it into a bit of a photoshoot, so expect more photos to come!
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