Most of us nowadays will never know the work that must go into building a home with our own two hands. The effort that goes into cutting each board, laying each floor panel, and the sense of accomplishment that must come from providing shelter for the ones you love. When this place was completed, I imagine its family must’ve been quite proud.
Looking at it today, the rusted roof, collapsing porch, and decaying boards tell a story of a home that has become obsolete and without purpose. But if you can manage to look past the obvious scars on the exterior of this place, the small but very simple details in this board & batten style home paint a different picture of someone who took great pride in their craftsmanship and living space. I wonder who they were and where they came from; what they did for a living and why the left.
I am not sure why this place wasn’t restored or where its family went. I don’t know how long it’s sat here abandoned or how much longer it has. Without someone who can share its stories, I will never know what it must’ve been like to watch the trains pass from the top window or how many memories were made passing time on the porch. But I can be grateful to have the chance to glance upon this piece of the past, for a little bit longer.
[Bradford County, Florida c. late 1800’s]
From where I stood on the quiet rural road that leads to this place, it was hard to imagine this home as it once might have looked. The tattered screens, missing windows and leaning foundation paint a crooked grin on this broken memory.
The exterior marks from years of weather and neglect tell a sad story but just inside, there is a different tale this place has to tell.
[Doorway from common room to kitchen]
[The view from the front porch. I suspect it looks much like it did for a family here so many years ago]
Almost as if it had a secret to protect, the surrounding woods enveloped and hid this place from view for more years than the locals can remember, until the property was recently cleared, uncovering this incredible glimpse into another time.
What memories does she keep? Is there anyone left to recall them? There must be a story here, I just wish I knew it.
“Sometimes even the ugliest of things turn out to be beautiful, if you look at them the right way.”
[Levy County, FL c. late 1800’s]
Just steps from where the railroad tracks used to run, this proud tree grows as a collapsed Masonic Lodge sits in ruin beside it. As the two have aged together, I imagine the lives, stories and changes they have seen. As one grows and the other decays in this rural ghost town, I wonder what stories they might have to share.
[Collapsed Corrugated Tin Roof ]
[Original 19th century pine, brick and Spanish Moss. Old Florida at its finest!]
[One of the appliances left inside the collapsed Lodge]
[Rotting boards of the original Masonic Lodge with a view of the newer (and also abandoned) Masonic Lodge c. 1950’s]
[Alachua County, FL c. 1880’s]