Posts Tagged ‘abandoned bussiness’

Have it Your Way

Visiting the Abandoned Burger King

Written by: Sean L.

Photography by: Amanda H.

    We all love fast food when we’re kids. There’s just always been something captivating about the process that fascinates young children. You drive up to the restaurant, place your order into a talking box, and then drive up to a window where a smiling employee hands you a bag full of food. The chicken nuggets are juicy and plump. The fries are crisp and salty. The milkshakes are thick and chocolaty. Plus you always got a toy with every meal. What kid doesn’t like that? Going to fast food restaurants when I was a kid was always a special occasion, a rare delicacy that you usually got only on your birthday or after a tough soccer game. My personal favorite fast food chain when I was a kid was Burger King. They had slushies, whoppers, and a mascot that was way cooler than Ronald McDonald. But the older you get, the less exciting fast food becomes. I started to sour on the whole subject after having to watch Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me in seventh grade health class. Lately, we’ve started to see the decline of the fast food empire as people become more health conscience.

Founded in 1953, this nationally beloved fast food chain was originally called Insta-Burger King. The original founders were convinced to start the franchise after first visiting the young and revolutionary McDonald’s restaurant in southern California. The name was officially shortened to just Burger King a few years later when ownership of the company changed hands. Unlike McDonald’s which originally served hotdogs, the original menu of the chain was very similar to what it is now. It was known for serving cheeseburgers, French fries, and milkshakes. The flagship of their enterprise, the Whopper, didn’t come about until 1957. Though ownership of the franchise has changed hands many times over the years, the company has always resided in the southern United States. Their original catchphrase has always been “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us. All we ask is that you let us serve it your way!” It has since been shortend to just “Have it Your Way!” As of 2013, the Burger King Corporation operates over 13,000 restaurants in over 79 countries. Most of these establishments are here in the United States.

Not all of these Burger Kings survive though, and some are forced to close down. I haven’t eaten at one since 2010 when I got food poisoning from a bad chicken sandwich. Now, that Burger King that I once went to lies empty and abandoned. Though we had driven past many different abandoned fast food establishments, we had never taken the time to do any investigating of one. This particular Burger King was located smack dab in the middle of a busy downtown area in Connecticut. Why it went out of business is a mystery to us. It is in a relatively busy location, and is right off the highway. But with two McDonald’s and a Wendy’s right down the street, the Burger King seemed a bit outgunned. Lately, their menu choices haven’t been exactly appetizing, with things like the French fry burger for 99 cents. The franchise has also faced scrutiny of the years for animal rights violations and a lack of cultural sensitivity in their international locations.

If you didn’t know what it was before, this place would be hard to recognize. It is clearly a fast food building, but there is nothing left to signify it as a Burger King. Every single window and door has been completely boarded up with thick and heavy plywood. All signs and traces of the Burger King name and logo have been removed from the signs and outer walls. The parking lot is slowly cracking due to lack of maintenance. A few handicapped parking signs are still standing though. The building is slowly falling apart, whenever the wind blew the entire building would shake and rattle as if it were about to collapse. A large security camera sits on the back of the building, though it is unclear if it is still operational. We were able to get a peek inside through a large crack in the plywood panels. The inside of the former restaurant sits in complete darkness. Only a few rays of sunlight are able to reach the inside. All tables and booths have been removed, but the counter still remains shrouded in darkness.

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The place is so heavily boarded up and in such a populated area that we did not find any signs of vandalism and attempted entry. The ground was covered in old leaves and a few pieces of trash.  Though there wasn’t much to see here, the most interesting part of this abandoned place was the drive-thru. Fast food restaurants are famous for their drive-thru service, and this one was still intact. Though the drive-up menu has been removed, the clearance bars are still hanging above it. You can actually walk through this abandoned drive-thru, right up to the now boarded up windows where people once paid and received their deep fried goodness. It was kind of a ghostly experience, imagining how many people had driven through here to receive their order. All of the signs for the drive through are still here, each one a simple shade of blue with white writing. There is one indicated “Exit Only” and “Entrance Only.” There is also a big for sale sign out front, though God knows how long that has been there.

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Since we were unable to get inside, the abandoned Burger King is just a giant boarded up building. Our rule has always been never to break into a place, but we will go in if someone else before us has already broken in. This former fast food joint is clearly pretty protected. There are several security service stickers posted upon the outer walls, and a rather wealthy neighborhood of private condos lies right beside it. Though there is a large for sale sign out front, whether it will ever return to its former glory is another question. The answer to that question doesn’t look too promising, as the building slowly begins to crumble. It is now a mere shell of a once proud member of the fast food chain. Their slogan has always been “Have it your way,” but things clearly didn’t go the way they wanted them to. There are no more orders to be made here. The reign of the Burger King is over.

Down Memory Lane

Exploring the Abandoned Marlborough Commons

By Sean and Amanda

I grew up in the town of Marlborough, living there for over twenty years. As a child, it felt like there was no better place in the world to grow up. The typical Saturday would start off by getting our coffee and donuts at Cavalieri’s Bakery. Then we would do our grocery shopping at Pat’s Market. A short drive down the road, we would have lunch at Carilli’s Café. We would do some gift shopping and beanie baby hunting at the fabled Marlborough Barn. We would have dinner at the Marlborough Tavern. Then we’d close out the day with some live music at Pine Needle’s. That was life as a kid in Marlborough, Connecticut. Today? All of that is gone. All of the aforementioned establishments have gone out of business over the last fifteen years. The town that I once knew and loved is no more.

Some places, like Cavalieri’s Bakery and the Marlborough Barn, eventually came under new ownership and re-opened under different names. Pine Needle’s became our town’s resident Dunkin Donuts. The Marlborough Tavern and Pat’s Market still sit empty after several failed re-openings, just waiting for the next entrepreneur to take a chance on the property. But one structure of the town has completely gone under: The Marlborough Commons. Sitting right beside the entrance and exit to Route 2, The Marlborough Commons was a two-floor multi business establishment. Included in their parking lot was Carilli’s Café. This place has been closed for almost a decade. The Marlborough Commons never quite picked up traction economically. Over the years, it limped on with multiple businesses coming and going before finally succumbing to defeat. The gates to the Marlborough Commons are now closed, and a large “FOR SALE” sign now sits out front.

I used to drive by the abandoned Marlborough Commons all the time. I have always wanted to conduct an investigation for the website here. I have never had the opportunity to do any urban exploring within my hometown. After doing some research and asking around town, I was not able to turn up much of any information on the site. There is a posting online listing the property as for sale though. It seems like the place is just a bad memory that this town is trying to forget. There have been a lot of talks over the years about a grocery chain possibly purchasing the grounds and building a new store there. Nothing has ever come of these talks, allegedly due to the poor location and the competition from the neighboring “Stop and Shop” just a few miles down the road in East Hampton.

On a cold December day, we decided to pay The Marlborough Commons a visit. Due to its close proximity to the highway Route 2 and sitting right along the busy Route 66, getting into the Marlborough Commons was a little difficult. There are literally dozens of cars driving by every minute. The local police also have been known to use the lot of the Marlborough Commons to catch speeders. So we had to be careful. The site has always been easy to identify due to the large white sign out front, reading “The Marlborough Commons” in black cursive writing. The sign has sadly begun to fade, and wild vines now grow all over it. The gate to the parking lot is closed and locked, so we were not able to drive directly up the buildings. However there is a small space in front of the gate where a car can easily pull up.

During its heyday, the main building of the Marlborough Commons was home to at least two businesses. There was the law office of Erik S. Young, a local attorney. The signs bearing his name can still be seen. Beside that was the “Memory Lane” scrapbooking store, its white sign and pink wallpaper still beckoning people to come in. There may have been more businesses operating here when the Marlborough Commons closed, but they must’ve taken their signs because these were the only two we could identify. The front of the building is in very good shape. Aside from the cracking pavement and slowly encroaching vines, the Marlborough Commons looks like it could still be in operation. There are no broken windows, graffiti, or liter visible anywhere. This could most likely be attributed to the building’s close proximity to a highly trafficked and policed road.IMG_3103

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The back of the building is a totally different story though. Many of the windows have been smashed. The doors are all boarded up. The paint is rapidly peeling. From the road, the Marlborough Commons looks like it’s still alive. But from the back, it looks ghastly and clearly abandoned. Inside, the buildings have been completely cleared out. All furniture and other items were most likely removed when they went out business, leaving the insides just a barren wasteland. Aside from some liter, it is completely empty from room to room. Farther down the lot was Carilli’s Café. The front of this former restaurant is now completely overgrown with plant life. Every single window and door has been crudely boarded up with cheap plywood. It has clearly suffered from vandalism in the past, as this place was sewn up very tightly with no way in without breaking in.

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While it was nice to take a stroll down memory lane by revisiting the Marlborough Commons, seeing this former corner stone of the town of Marlborough in this state of disrepair was sad indeed. This place was once a busy and bustling part of the community, where people could get some legal counseling, stock up on art supplies, or grab lunch with some friends at Carilli’s Café. Now, it is merely a hollow shell. It has become one of the many great local businesses to have fallen under the crushing weight of the world. Who knows what the future holds for this place. Maybe someday businesses will return, but they most likely won’t. The rest of the town is steadily moving on without it. The Marlborough Commons now waits in disrepair, a grim reminder to the people of Marlborough what our town was once like.

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Camp of Shadows – The Mystery of Camp Connecticut

Posted: November 4, 2014 by Abandoned Wonders and Hidden Wonders Photography in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Cabin, Abandoned Connecticut, abandoned new england, Abandoned Resort, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Wonders, Birds, Broken, Camp Connecticut, Children, Closed, commercial, Connecticut, darkness, Death, Destruction, dreams, empty, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, for sale, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, Ghosts, Haunting, Hebron, Hiking, History, Homeless, Information, left behind, lost, Marlborough, Movies, Mystery, nature, new england, nightmares, overgrown, photography, research, route 85, Ruins, Safety First, Searching, Stories, time, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex
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Camp of Shadows

The Mystery of Camp Connecticut

Written by: Sean L.
Photographs by: Amanda H.

Nestled deep in the woods bordering Colchester and Hebron, Connecticut, lies a place of mystery. Though allegedly not completely abandoned, it is a shadow of its former self. Countless rumors have emerged throughout the years as to why it closed, but nobody seems to know for sure. I’m talking, of course, about Camp Connecticut. Having lived in the area my whole life, I had visited the empty camp several times in my youth. It has been a staple in the community for as long as I can remember. It was seen as a “rite of passage” to sneak into the camp when I was young. Though little of the actual structures of the camp remain, the ghosts of the past still hold a strong presence over this former summer hotspot. Growing up around Camp Connecticut, every kid I knew seemed to have a different story about why this place was abandoned. One of the most popular rumors was that one of the camp counselors went crazy and killed several campers. Another popular one was that the daughter of the camp’s owner was drowned in the lake.

No such evidence to support these claims has ever been found.

The rumors of satanic activities and Devil worship were also very prevalent. Stories of hauntings and paranormal activity were strong as well. As part of my high school news team, we were planning on spending the night at the abandoned camp in an attempt to gather evidence of the hauntings. Our investigation was shut down though by the local authorities.When researching this site for our current investigation, we found little to nothing online about the camp. There was no information on this mysterious place anywhere. Even the website of the alleged owners of the site, the local Shriners, was mysteriously taken down. There were a few photos on some very old blogs, but mostly Camp Connecticut seemed to be a place forgotten by the public.There is a main entrance on Old Hebron Road, but it is now heavily watched by multiple security cameras. Through the use of Google Maps, see Rule #4, we were able to find a way into the camp via the local Airline Trail.

Camp Connecticut is deep in the heart of darkness. It is protected from the outside world by a forest of dense foliage and thick woodlands. The main entrance is now blocked by a sturdy metal gate that is locked at all times. There is, however, one old trail into this lost world. It has been nicknamed “Hell’s Trail.” It is lies off the Airline Trail just over the Hebron border along the banks of the winding Judd Brook. Parking at the Old Hartford Road entrance of the Airline, it was a little over a mile walk to the mouth of the Hell’s Trail. This is not an easy path. Being an unofficial trail, it is not maintained like the rest of the Airline. The only users of this trail are the local wildlife and people like us looking to get a glimpse into Camp Connecticut. The trail follows Judd Brook as it winds through the woods.

The deeper you go, the quieter things become, until you are left in complete silence. About a mile down the winding trail, you will find the remains of Camp Connecticut. The trail leads directly into the camp, only the path is blocked once you cross into the property by a very large fallen tree. The fallen tree has clearly been placed here for a reason. A crude sign is stapled to the fallen log with a clear warning from the “Camp Connecticut Board of Directors.” The sign states “No Trespassing” and that “We are watching you.” They aren’t joking either. Multiple security cameras can be seen from the trail guarding the property. Beyond the fallen log lies a large clearing with small piles of junk scattered around. There are several roads visible leading off further into the camp. It is quiet as a tomb. It is the middle of summer. Yet there are no sounds of birds, or bugs, or anything. Just silence.

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We explore what we can for the next few hours. Climbing up the nearby cliffs, we were able to get a better view of the camp. A single lean-two is still standing deeper into the camp. There is also an abandoned truck and several more piles of junk. We also found a very well hidden and well maintained tree stand, meaning someone is still using this property for something. Coming off of the river there is also a small pond. This pond is allegedly where most of the devil worship is supposed to take place. We saw no such devil worship. But that is all that is left of this former summer camp. There is, however, some sort of presence here. There is an ominous feeling in the air. It is hard to explain.

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Our investigation of Camp Connecticut left more questions than answers. The alleged owners of the site remain elusive. The local Shriners are said to own the camp. But their website cannot be found. At the gates of the camp, we even found an old sign for the Shriners. Lately we have even heard rumors that camping is allowed on site with permission from the owners. But much like everywhere else surrounding this strange place, these are only rumors. On our journey we found no ghosts. No devil worship. No Shriners. Just a sad, empty, and foreboding former summer camp heavily guarded by a silent army of security cameras. But the mystery continues. Who are the mysterious Camp of Connecticut Board of Directors? Who, if anyone, is watching these security cameras? But even more importantly, what are they hiding?

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