Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Abandonment Issues: Havelock Horse House
Sometimes you find a place that takes your breath away. First by the visuals, then by the scent. The Havelock Horse House stole my breath.
My hair was still soaked from tipping a kayak while traveling backwards over the tiny rapids in the river that connects Cordova and Belmont Lakes when i hopped the rusted gate and disappeared into the overgrowth behind farm machinery and trailers, and animal cages and traps. Old cars and trucks were garden beds to the reclaiming force of nature's revenge. Fences, antennas and satellite dishes all intertwined with vines and grasses.
The farm itself is still active, with at least a dozen horses out back beside a well maintained barn. It appears as though someone has bought the property solely for use of the farm and chosen to neglect the house and it's contents, as well as the vast rugged property that stretches for hundreds of acres down to the lake, which is swallowing up the machinery and vehicles of years past.
As the door opened, as did a glimpse into the past. Time stopped here, and you can smell it. Everything you can imagine is scattered about on the floor as if the house has been looted nine times and no one ever took anything. The antique stove and bathtub are in stark contrast to the VHS tape of John Q and a dirty calender that reads 2005.
I lifted the key cover on the piano and freestyled a few seconds of bad jazz that lingered as one of the keys got stuck and hummed out the end of it's note like Mariah Carey on morphine. The first floor is unstable and some of the floorboards are warped and buckling. Most of the floor is buried under material possessions and is not visible, which is an obvious hazard. The smell is overwhelming, the nostrils burn. A step outside for fresh air is needed before heading upstairs.
Upstairs, tight corners through a hoarders paradise twist and turn from room to room. Exercise bikes and 90s hockey cards in plastic sheets stacked on an antiquated hard drive tower stood out through the lens of my camera. Yet again, the smell overwhelmed. Another step outside, another breath of fresh air.
One more big inhale and a feather-like fluttering jaunt through to the back room.
The back room was the highlight, a pair of chairs sitting in front of a furnace. Plaques on the wall for equestrian achievements in 1993 bear a girls name and hang beside other horse paraphernalia and framed pictures of horses. Shelves hold up decorative plates with horse images and while fighting for breath i laughed and choked on the putrid air as a few of the horses out back neighed and thumped their hooves down as if to announce their displeasure with my presence.
On that note, i was outside panting, photographing the expansive property and breathing in the freshest air i'd ever tasted.
Moments later, i was back at the Colonel, just up the road. One of our family cottages is in this area and we have found a virtual smörgåsbord of abandoned locations to feast on in this neck of the woods.
Stay tuned my friends.
On a chilly day in early January, 2012, after fellow explorers L'Ali, Squalie, Ryanstar and myself got caught by the farmer within 5 minutes of entering the Down Family Farmhouse, we explored another handful of houses. Sometimes luck just isn't on your side though. Within five minutes here as well, the farmers pulled up and angrily screamed at us to leave, and never return. Just as in the Down House, I only took two photos before their arrival.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES