Archive for June, 2015

Fly Away Home

The Abandoned Montgomery Mill

Written by: Wilk

Photographs by: Lassie

The state of Connecticut was once a place of industry. Factories and mills thrived for years in our little state. They provided income and jobs for small towns everywhere. But times change. We are now known as the “Insurance Capital of the World.” One by one, these former staples of the community slowly closed their doors as society continued to evolve. Today, these old factories now lie broken and forgotten all across the state. At one time, there were over seventy five abandoned mills in the state of Connecticut. Some, like the Montgomery Mill, stand looming over their small towns. They cast a shadow of the past across a growing community that tries to move on. We have explored several of these former factories over the years, but none have been as ominous, or as troubled, as the Montgomery Mill. From its haunting image, to its checkered history, the former factory stands in a class all its own.

 

First built in the early 1800’s, the Montgomery Mill was once the jewel in the crown of the thriving town of Windsor Locks. It gave the people of the town jobs, and became the heart of downtown. Businesses and shops opened up all around the mill. In the mid 1900’s though, things began to change. During the 1960’s, the small town of Windsor Locks began to steadily decline. The Montgomery Company struggled on for several more years, before finally closing its doors in 1989. Since that day, the factory has been a constant topic of debate amongst the townspeople and a playground for destruction. The property has changed hands several times between land developers and entrepreneurs over the years, but nothing has come of it. There have also been three notable fires in the mill complex; all were found to be caused by arson. The property has since become a seedy refuge for the local homeless, vandals, and scrap metal scavengers.

Standing right alongside the banks of the mighty Connecticut River, the Montgomery Mill is truly a sight to see. Driving down Main Street, you really can’t miss it. The factory is huge, standing ominously over the small town beneath it. It casts a shadow over the entire area. Eerily reminiscent to some of the buildings of Prypiat, Ukraine, the place is hauntingly captivating. There are multiple buildings in the complex, each one lies in a state of utter decay. The main factory stands six floors. Windows have been smashed. Fences have been put up. Doors have been boarded up. Even a few letters from the buildings sign that once read “The Montgomery Co. Est. 1871 Decorative and Electric Tinsels” have been lost. Wild vines and vegetation grow along the base of the factory, and even inside the basement. An old rusty fence protected by some jagged barbed wire and a faded stop sign block the entrance to the main complex.

 

 

What makes the Montgomery Mill so unique are its new residents. Though the workers of the factory are long gone, the local bird population has taken up residence in the now empty halls. Squads of pigeons and doves line the rooftops and window sills of the mill, spying on all those that enter their domain. But they are not the ones that rule this roost. A family of Bald Eagles has taken up residence inside of the factory. Conservationists believe that they are currently raising several young hatchlings somewhere inside the main building. For this reason, it is forbidden to enter the factory. If nesting Bald Eagles are disturbed, they will abandon their young and instinctively never return to their nest. We did not enter the factory, and we urge all our fellow explorers to do the same. The Bald Eagle is an endangered species, and their space must be respected. Unfortunately, we were unable to catch a glimpse of them.

Sitting in a state of beautiful decay, the Montgomery Mill stands as one of the more unique places we have ever visited. Even though we weren’t able to get inside of the abandoned factory, it is still worth a visit just to see this place. While the roaring river beside it continues to flow, the grounds still sit in defeat. Though many see it as an eye soar and sad reminder of downtown’s downfall, there is still a glimmer of hope for the property. The animal that captivates the American spirit and pride has chosen this former mill as its nesting grounds. When they move on, there are still plans for the town to finally foreclose on the property and begin the rebuilding process. Until that day, the Montgomery Mill stands waiting, casting its ominous shadow across the community. But much like the American Bald Eagle, the town continues to persevere, flying onward in hopes of a better tomorrow.

     

**For the rest of the photographs from the Montgomery Mill, please visit our Facebook page HERE!! Please like, share, and comment on your favorite articles/photographs! Thank you for visiting Abandoned Wonders!!**

“I’ll tell you a riddle. You’re waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure. But it doesn’t matter. How can it not matter to you where the train will take you? Because you’ll be together.” –Inception 

Learn to Forget

Ten Most Haunting Abandoned Artifacts

Written by: Sean L.

Photographs by: Amanda H.

There’s a difference between forgetting and choosing not to remember. Forgetting happens by accident. You keep something in the back of your mind, but over time it becomes dusty and slowly deteriorates. And over time, it eventually decays completely. Choosing not to remember is deliberately trying to remove something from your memory. But unfortunately, some things cannot be forgotten. Some hurts go too deep, and no matter how hard you try, they will always be there. There is no learning to forget. We’ve explored countless abandoned places over the years. Some can be fascinating, others can be frightening. But one thing they all seem to have in common is the haunting aura. Some have it stronger than others, but they all have it. What gives them this aura? Is it the mystique of seeing a world that humans have left behind? Is it a glimpse into the past? Or is it the shattering realization of seeing what comes to pass when we’ve gone? Here is a list of our top ten most haunting artifacts.

  1. Baby Stroller: This abandoned stroller lies amongst the ruins of an old rail yard. How it got there and why remains a mystery. 
  2. Mercury Cougar: Though she once ruled road with classic Mercury style and speed, this old car stands as abandoned and trashed as the home of its former owner.
  3. Playground Slide: Once a place of joy and amusement to young patients, this old piece of playground is now at the mercy of the elements as it sits outside an abandoned hospital.
  4. The Moss Shoe: Sitting outside of an abandoned summer camp, this old shoe has been left behind for so long that it has truly become a part of nature.
  5. Stuffed Dog: Perhaps he once a child’s best friend, but now this stuffed animal sadly lies completely abandoned and forgotten outside a derelict home.
  6. Holy Bible: One of the most popular and holy books in the history of mankind, this bible now lies broken and destroyed outside an abandoned motel.
  7. Christmas Tree: The symbol of peace, love, and joy is now nothing more than a forgotten decoration in an abandoned dining hall.
  8. School Bus: It once ferried children to and from school. Now this magic bus lies broken and abandoned in the middle of the woods. 
  9. The Cane: The former walking stick of the former resident of this abandoned house still stands as the world it once knew slowly crumbles around it. 
  10. River Chairs: Standing forever in a flooded river, these two chairs are still haunted by the spirits of those who once enjoyed the sunset from them.