Friday, June 29, 2012
Abandonment Issues: Fowlers Corners Deyell Farm
The 100 acre farm just south of Fowlers Corners on the outskirts of Peterborough, Ontario, had been in the Deyell family since it was granted to them by the federal government in 1816. With the passing of the last generation of Deyells, a married couple and their grown son, in 2002, an estate sale was held. Over a thousand people came to take part in the auction, which saw the sale of antique horse drawing equipment, farm machinery, furniture, and late model cars, trucks and tractors. The 100 acre farm was also put up for sale, but it would appear today that the property was not sold, as there are no signs of maintenance of the buildings, or farming of the land.
While researching the history of the Deyell family online, I came across some interesting and disturbing pieces of information.
An ancestor, John Deyell, was born in Ireland in 1775, and settled in Cavan, just to the south of this farm. He established the first sawmill and gristmill on the stream on what is now known as Millbrook, to the south of Cavan. He is credited with founding the town of Millbrook, which is best known in the urban exploration community for the Millbrook Correctional Centre, which closed in 2004.
On June 5th, 1873, the body of Elizabeth Deyell was found lying in the snow by the side of a road near Welcome, further to the south of Millbrook. Her husband, a reported drunkard, was the number one suspect in her murder. An extensive family history, as well as a detailed description of the murder and the court proceedings can be found here.
While we have stopped at this farm on several occasions, these pictures were taken on two separate visits in April, 2011. The red brick three storey farmhouse has seen better days, to say the least. To my mind, the smashed cash register inside paints a picture of a robbery suspect using the house to evade the heat and break into the register. But it may have just been left there after the auction, and smashed by vandals or local youth. Who knows? Life goes on, as the raccoons scurrying about in the attic attests. But life is fragile, the hundreds of dead flies trapped in abandoned spider webs are proof of that. The dead cat outside with a gaping wound in its side is further proof that everything comes to an end, sometimes tragically.
Seeing is bee leaving
You can't handle the truth
7PRS 8TUV 9WXY 0
No fly zone
Going down on her
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No flowers in the attic
Alice in chains
At the end of my rope
License to kill
Age Against The Machine
Fowlers Corners Deyell Farmhouse
Life goes on.
*** UPDATE ***
*** June 8, 2014 ***
Countless return visits have ensued over the past few years, but last weekend was different. I've been growing ever more intrigued by the idea of starting to shoot models inside abandoned buildings, not a new idea by any means, but new to me, and worthy of taking a shot, so to speak. So I invited my friend Rashomon to roll out my way with his crew and we found ourselves inside the old Deyell Farmhouse with three models, four photographers and a documentary filmmaker. Here are the first handful of shots I've ever taken of models...
Seduced by Fire
Dance with the Devil
Sensuality in Decay
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES