Friday, April 26, 2013
Abandonment Issues: Cordova Mines Vansickle House 7
Here we go again...heading back down a familiar road.
Much like prospectors and mining companies continued to return to the Cordova Mines and take another run at extracting gold, we too return in waves, in search of more long forgotten abandonments.
With all six of the easy to spot, roadside abandoned houses on Vansickle Road already explored and documented, we have begun the more extensive leg of the journey: The search and enjoy method. Countless rusted gates adorn the roadside, and the forest has reclaimed it's rightful ownership of the spaces beyond the gates. We cannot help but wonder, what, if anything, is hiding in the forest beyond those gates? The only way to answer this question is on foot, pushing through the forest like the early settlers.
After a few failures, or rather long walks to nothing, in the middle of nowhere, one of these treks into the dense woods paid off, and we came across the Cordova Mines Vansickle House 7.
Once again, down this old road, we struck gold.
Much like the Cordova Mines Vansickle House 1, where this series began, this house is caving in on itself. The ground floor and it's contents are being swallowed up by the basement. One can enter through all three of the doors on the main level, but venturing too deep inside could be disastrous.
My fingers flipped through pages of National Enquirer and Star magazines from the 1980s, and then dropped them back into the kitchen sink. My fingers interacted with books and bottles, and danced along the grimy ivory keys of an organ that has already sung it's final sung and gone mute. My feet tread carefully, testing the floor with every step forward, prepared to take two steps back at any given moment.
When we hit bottom
When we sat down together as a family
When the music stopped
When the world was made of plastic
When we were regaled with tales
When we bathed and played with rubber duckies and boats
Atop the stairs, I had to pause and warn myself to be careful. I stood and examined the extent of the damage. The roof has suffered extreme deterioration in the central portion, which has seriously drawn into question the structural integrity of the floor on both levels. Standing on a beam, I could see through the wet collapsing floorboards to the gaping hole below. I stood in place, balancing carefully and shooting into the rooms.
We visited this house 3 times over a 6 month period, and with each visit I grew more courageous and pushed deeper inside. By the third visit, I was casually balancing on the floor beam upstairs, and hopping confidently over the sketchy portions of the floor and into all of the rooms with ease.
When the light shone down upon us
When cleanliness was next to godlessness
When the voices of children playing rang aloud
When we broke bread together as a family
When night fell, we fell asleep
When it all came apart
When Dad used to sit out in the backyard and paint
When the nights were long
When the snow fell
When Dad retired
When the lights went out
When you just couldn't handle it anymore
When we had nice things
When you gave her flowers, and they outlived you
When the curtains closed
When we took off our clothes
When we made our own beds
When we walked into town for school and work
When Dad packed up and left
When we stopped to say I love you
When we descended into the basement
When it all came crashing down
Twice now I have attempted to bring this series to a close, and both times Vansickle Road has offered up more of it's ghosts. Something tells me that there is still more gold to be mined on this road. And so I shall bid you adieu for now, with a tip of the hat. But I will continue to prospect these hills, and you will undoubtedly hear from me again on the subject.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES
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This house pictured once belonged to my Great Aunt Evelyn and Great Uncle Don Ellis. (My grandfathers brother). They lived in New York State and would come spend summers at The White House, or the Screen House(to the west and at the top of the hill - long since fallen down) or at the cottage at the lake. That cottage was struck by lightning and burned to the ground when there was no storm.
We would walk from our cottage on the lake to go see them and enjoy a treat of cookies and lemonade while my aunt played or painted and my uncle told stories of growing up there. The Ellis' were early inhabitants of this beautiful piece of Canada.
The White House and the black and white log cabin on Vansickle Rd. belonged to his parents. Lots of memories at The White House that is slowly being reclaimed by the earth. My cousins still own the land but as they live in the states it's become a part of our family history.
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