Posts Tagged ‘searching’

The Last Hummingbird – The Abandoned Highover Estate

Posted: September 19, 2022 by kingleser in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Castle, Abandoned Connecticut, Abandoned Farm, abandoned home, Abandoned House, Abandoned Massachusetts, abandoned new england, Abandoned New Hampshire, Abandoned New York, Abandoned Park, Abandoned Pennsylvania, Abandoned Places, Abandoned Resort, Abandoned Rhode Island, Abandoned Statues, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Vermont, Abandoned Wonders, Art, Birds, Boston, Closed, darkness, Death, Destruction, Exploration, fire, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, forgotten home, Haunting, Hiking, History, House, Information, left behind, lost, Massachusetts, Movies, Mystery, nature, new england, photography, Preserved Ruin, Public Parks, research, Ruins, Safety First, time, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, writing
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The Last Hummingbird

The Abandoned Highover Estate

Written by: Wilk

Photographs by: Lassie

Summer has come and passed. The innocence can never last. Wake me up when September ends. Well, that’s just about now. So wake up, everyone. We’re back. But the summer season has taken its final bow. And we are currently on the fast track toward the end of the year. It all just goes by so fast, doesn’t it? Time keeps on slipping into the future. I close my eyes only for a moment and the moment’s gone. Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time. Alright. No more classic rock lyrics. Wait a minute. Is Green Day considered classic rock now? Damn I got old. Seriously, though. I always measure the days of summer by the hummingbirds. We have two feeders sitting outside on our back porch and we love to watch them. The little birds first start sparingly appearing in early June. By July, there are dozens of them waging nasty territorial battles for control of the skies. But by August, things begin to quiet down. The birds fly off one by one into the great unknown. The days fall off the calendar. The sunshine fades away. And the glorious season of summer fun disappears into our collective memories. Gone. But not forgotten. And as I currently write the words of this article, only one hummingbird sits outside.

As I mentioned to you earlier, we’re experimenting with quarterly articles this year as opposed to monthly ones. A: we were just getting too busy with school, work, movies, etc. And B: frankly, we’re just running out of abandoned places to cover that are nearby. For years now, it has become increasingly hard to find quality abandoned places that have a story to tell. But there is one that has been on my list for a couple years now. And interestingly enough, nobody that we follow has covered it yet. So allow me to introduce the subject of Quarter #3 of 2022’s article: The abandoned Highover Estate. Located in what is now Beverly, Massachusetts, this area was once well known as Moraine Farm. It was famously owned by the high-society elite family of Boston: The Phillips Family. For years they lived on and managed the farm, and in 1913 the family built their lavish estate known as “Highover.” But in 1968, tragedy struck and the family mansion was destroyed by a raging fire. The remains were subsequently abandoned and the land sat empty for several long years. It was saved, however, when the grounds officially changed hands to the town of Beverly in the early 1990’s, and the JC Phillips Nature Preserve was established.

We made our trek to the abandoned Highover Estate during the final days of summer 2022. It was a bit of a drive for us. So we decided to make an overnight trip of it. Most people don’t seem to realize it, but there’s actually quite a bit to do north of Boston. Gloucester. Salem. Danvers. All great towns. But maybe it’s better that they stay more low-key destinations. That’s the way we like it. Except for Salem in October. If you dig big crowds, long lines, tourist traps, costumed characters, overpriced beer, and religious zealots yelling at you from street corners, you’ll love it. If you’re an awkward introvert like myself, it will NOT be your cup of tea. Anyhow, this place had been on my list for a very long time. And we were finally on our way to see it. The sun was shining, there was a bit of traffic, and we arrived at the JC Phillips Nature Preserve ready for some adventure. It was a quiet place. A few dog walkers perused the area. But for the most part, we were alone. Just the way I like it. The abandoned Highover Estate is not marked on any map, so we did have to go in more or less blind. But lucky for us, the abandoned estate is rather easy to find. As we meandered down the main trail, we soon found exactly what we were looking for.

The main blue trail of the nature preserve passes straight through the abandoned estate. The old iron gate still stands, though now fully overtaken by wild vine and vegetation. A trail bulletin board with historical facts on it is now rotting into oblivion. But the main attraction of this place lies a short walk up the neighboring hill. The estate’s former fountain still resides amongst the fertile forest floor and watching over it is the final surviving piece of the Highover Mansion. It is quite odd looking, honestly. Almost like a white room standing all alone amongst the underbrush. Three walls and a floor, or what’s left of them. Though now coated with graffiti and full of trash, it still casts a strong sense of character. We honestly took a ton of pictures as its just a very photogenic piece. See for yourself above and below. A short walk down the trail lie a few more broken down foundations and structures. It honestly feels like at this point you’ve seen everything there is to see. But if you continue long enough, you will find a small copper statue perched upon a stone pedestal in the middle of the trail. This was honestly my favorite part of the abandoned grounds, as it still has so much character to it. Even being such a small piece.

To be perfectly honest, there isn’t too much to see here. If you’re a hardcore urban explorer, this place will disappoint you. But if you’re a hiker or a photographer, you will enjoy this one. The photos we got just have their own weird sense of charm and derelict dignity. Looking back though, the abandoned Highover Estate still truly puzzles me. For years, she has sat alone in the forest. Many have come and gone past its ruins. But most never seem to take notice. And those that do notice have not been very nice to it. Time and time again we have seen places like this get cleaned up, renovated, and reborn into places of public interest. But the abandoned estate has had no such luck so far. She just continues her steady decline into oblivion. I encourage anyone who is looking for a good hike and a bit of legal mischief to check this place out. It’s honestly perfect for people wanting to get into urban exploring, but don’t know how. There isn’t too much to see, but what is there is very cool and very photogenic. Because whether by the hands of a local cleanup crew or the slow decay of time, I don’t see this place lasting much longer. Not in the state that it’s in. So plan your trips now. For just like the days of summer, nothing last forever.

I’m Not Okay

The Garden of Sweet Remembrance

Written by: Wilk

Photographs by: Lassie

I want to talk about something important today. Yeah, I know. This is supposed to be a blog about abandoned places and urban exploring. That’s what you all come here to read about. But this is also a personal blog. I try to share my experiences and life lessons with anyone who cares to listen. If reading my words was enough to help just one person, that’s all I’ve ever wanted. We’ve had a lot of readers reach out over the last year telling us how much our work means to them. And there is no greater compliment to us than that. Especially considering how rough last year was. And so today’s piece is going to be a little different. I get one of these a year, so please bare with me. If this isn’t for you, I won’t be offended if you stop reading or unsubscribe. You have that right. I want to talk today about mental health. It’s something that I personally have struggled with for a long time. And I know that a lot of us here feel the same way. I advocate for mental health awareness whenever I can. We’ve all either had our issues with mental health or know someone who does. It’s never easy to talk about. Sometimes it can be down right terrifying. No matter how hard we try, there will always be this stigma around mental health. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last few years, but some still have a hard time accepting that it’s okay to not be okay.

And so allow me to introduce our July investigation: The Garden of Sweet Remembrance. Located in the town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, this place was once the lavish home of one of the area’s most prominent businessmen. Matthew J. Whittall was the owner of the property, and christened it Juniper Hall. There was a vast estate to behold, but the garden was the true jewel in the crown. Mr. Whittall and his wife were so very proud of their garden that they invited all manners of the public to tour it whenever they pleased. But like the blooming flowers, nothing lasts forever. The proprietor and founder passed away in 1929. The garden’s pergola was dedicated to him by his widow and christened the name “The Garden of Sweet Remembrance.” Following Mr. Whittall’s passing, the mansion changed hands several times before finally being demolished after years of abandonment. All that remains of this once lavish wonderland are the old pergola and the once flourishing garden. The property remained this way for many years. The weeds and vines grew wild, overtaking this once sacred place. But it was never truly forgotten. A small movement grew and grew to eventually restore the property and garden to their former glory. Now, what remains of the property has been revived and resides in Shrewsbury’s Prospect Park.

This, once again, was my birthday investigation. I always try to explore something on my birthday. It’s just a great way to spend the day away from the world with my partner Lassie. Doing what we love. I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to find at The Garden of Sweet Remembrance. I had received a tip about it a few months ago, but found conflicting information on the web. The land had been lost for a long time. And though the movement dedicated to it’s upkeep has grown over the years, vandalism has still continued to scar the face of the iconic pergola. So we decided to go take a look. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon. We usually NEVER go exploring on Saturdays (too many people out and about) but, it was my birthday after all. So, what the Hell, right? We arrived at Prospect Park as the only visitors. There is still a grand stone archway at the entrance with a brand new sign. There are trail maps and well marked paths throughout the grounds. The garden itself is a relatively short walk down one of these paths. All throughout the woods, there are old relics marking what this park once was. Old fire hydrants rust into oblivion. Ghostly power poles blend in amongst the fading trees. And there is a certain mystique in the air here. But once you arrive at the garden, this slightly mystical place truly comes back to life.

I haven’t used the word “abandoned” in the title or tags of this article for a reason. Because it’s clearly not. The garden itself is truly alive and well. Flowers and all kinds of plant life burst through the fertile soil. It has also become a collection point for painted rocks from people all across New England. The pergola, on the other hand, stands at the far back of the garden. It’s presence looms like a great shadow of both remembrance and sorrow. The wooden roof has collapsed all together. The blue sky floods in like a ship taking on water. The foundation crumbles slightly, yet never wavers. Graffiti adorns the outer shell, but the words “GARDEN OF SWEET REMEMBRANCE” still stand strong. But what makes this place so special are the names. On certain pillars of the pergola, and some of the painted rocks, the names of people have been painted. Out of respect for the families, I will not name these names here. But what I can tell you is that each of these names are victims of suicide. Most were just teenagers. We even found a bundle of old roses left beside one of the names. This garden has clearly once again found it’s home as a place of remembrance. It brought about a mix of both sadness and spirituality seeing them. It shows that no matter what, it is the job of those of us left behind to carry on the memory of those we’ve lost.

Like I said in my introduction, this place is not going to be for everyone. It isn’t one that we usually cover and was not what we were expecting at all. But honestly, I am happy to be proven wrong. And while this post goes against most of what we post here, I would highly recommend the Garden of Sweet Remembrance to all of our readers. Not for adventure or thrill-seeking. But for reflection. It really is a beautiful place. Seeing the names on the walls of the pergola and on the painted rocks was a very moving experience. I lost one close friend to suicide five years ago this summer. His name was Troy. He was an actor like me. And I think about him everyday. It’s always hard to process losing someone like that. Much like these beautiful flowers, we are all slowly fading away. That’s why we always have to remember to keep ourselves well and to keep those we’ve lost in our memories. The Garden of Sweet Remembrance’s history reminded me a lot of the struggles we all go through everyday. There were good times. There were bad times. There were times where all hope seemed to be lost. But with a little bit of help, this place came back to life. And always remember, it’s okay to not be okay. Never be afraid to ask for a little help.

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with mental health issues, please check out the list below. Psychology Today in particular is incredibly helpful for finding someone to talk to. You can narrow your search based on provider locations, areas of expertise, and accepted insurance plans.

Find a Therapist, Psychologist, Counselorhttp://www.psychologytoday.com/therapists

Suicide Prevention Hotlinehttps://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Mental Health Americahttp://www.mhanational.org

Or, if you’re like me, here are a few songs to listen to if you’re feeling a bit lost. Stay strong, everyone.

Mike Shinoda – Crossing a Line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2sRc3j7IU0

All Time Low – Missing You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4OG7O8B0C8

Story of the Year – Can Anybody Hear Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjBpM31a51c

Forgotten Fantasy — The Abandoned Little People’s Village

Posted: July 8, 2015 by Hidden Wonders Photography in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Connecticut, Abandoned Farm, abandoned home, Abandoned House, abandoned new england, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Wonders, Broken, Closed, Connecticut, darkness, Death, Destruction, dreams, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, fantasy, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, forgotten home, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunting, Hiking, History, Homeless, House, Information, left behind, Little People's Village, lost, Magic, Middlebury, Mystery, nature, new england, nightmares, overgrown, photography, research, Ruins, Safety First, Searching, Stories, time, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, writing
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Forgotten Fantasy

The Abandoned Little People’s Village

Written by: Wilk

Photographs by: Lassie

A small kingdom lies in ruin on the forest floor. Mosquitoes and flies soar through the air in packs. Wild deer trot along the beaten path into the wilderness. An old stone house crumbles into despair. The foundations of tiny buildings liter the ground around it, like something out of a dark fairy tale. It appears to be fixture of the days of magic that are now long since passed, or a world of elves and pixies jumped of the pages of a children’s book and into the woods of New England. This is the Little People’s Village, one of Connecticut’s greatest and most haunting urban legends. Though it is hidden deep in the woods, this place has both captivated and disturbed all who have visited it over the last half century. There are countless rumors as to what this place is and where it came from. But all have proven to be nothing more than just legends and old fashioned ghost stories.

As far as our research has gone, we have found no definitive history of the Little People’s Village. Legends and myths abound about this place, each one darker than the last. One of the oldest stories about the village is that a couple living in the area some hundred years ago began to see small pixie like creatures around their home. They built the small village for them whilst under what is believed to be a magic spell. Another version of the legend is that an old man in the area during the 1900’s was driven mad by the voices of these small creatures, who commanded him to build the little kingdom. The most logical of the legends is that this was merely a former train side attraction for the local amusement park, which eventually fell into disrepair when the trolley system was shut down. But even this story has allegedly been reputed by the owners of the amusement park.

So all in all, this place is just one big mystery. Due to its highly intriguing nature and dark urban legends, the place has since become a hotspot for ghost hunters and vandals. Much like most abandoned locations, the Little People’s Village has suffered greatly at the hands of those who visit it. A curse has allegedly been placed upon the grounds by ancient magic. The throne of the village, which still partially stands, was believed to cause death to whoever sat in it. According to legend, any person who dared to sit in the throne of the Little People would die within seven years. Many who have sat in this throne and live to this day have disputed this claim, yet its legend still hangs in the air. These myths and tall tales have given the Little People’s Village quite the reputation, and it has been deemed one of the greatest haunting hotspots in all of Connecticut.

Nestled deep in the woods of Middlebury, Connecticut, reaching the Little People’s Village was a bit of a hike for us. The village lies along a small path in the woods off a utilities access road. First on the trail is the old stone house that allegedly once belonged to the village’s creators. A small tunnel system lies under the foundation, and a tiny staircase will take you to the top of the structure. Further down the path are the ruins of the village itself. Unfortunately, only one real tiny house remains standing. The rest have been destroyed over the years by vandals. For some reason, just this one has remained spared. Towards the end of the path is what is left of the city. A few foundations still stand here. There appears to be some sort of door built into the earth behind it, but this is actually what is left of the infamous throne. Neither of us quite felt like taking the risk sitting in it though.

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Though we witnessed no fairy tale creatures or heard any magical voices during our visit, there is definitely a presence to be felt here. While taking pictures at one point, we looked up to see a deer less than ten feet away from us. She had been watching our every move, just as fascinated with us as we were with the ruins of the village. If you do your research and know your route, the Little People’s Village isn’t too difficult to find. Just watch where you step and watch where you park. Urban explorers are not looked upon too kindly in this neighborhood. If you are feeling adventurous, it is worth a visit. The Little People’s Village is truly a sight to see. It is as puzzling as it is mesmerizing, spurring the imagination of just where this place came from and what its purpose actually was.  Even as it slowly fades into ruin, this forgotten fantasy continues to haunt the world around it.

What We Left Behind

The Mysteriously Abandoned Green House

 Written by: Sean L.

Photographs by: Amanda H.

The older we get, the more things we have to leave behind. That’s life. Friendships. Habits. Memories. Times change, and some things do not change with you. These are the things that we leave behind. But some things don’t go as easily. Some things that should not have been forgotten, still wait in their darkest hour. This is true of the abandoned Green House. Before reading any further, understand that this article will be unlike any other previously seen on this site. There will be no history, identifiable landmarks, or anything that can help you find this place. It’s nothing personal; it’s just that this place is a mystery, even to us. And we wish to keep it that way. This place is so dark, depressing, and dangerous that it is best that it stay lost and forgotten. It is better for this lost home to stay in shadow.

There is no history here for us to report. We found no information at all from anyone on this strange site. Though it sits beside a very busy and highly trafficked road, this mysteriously abandoned house sits completely empty and utterly silent. Just to be clear, the Green House is our label for this place. We don’t know who once lived here, or why they left. And, based on the signs posted on the front door of this strange house, neither does the bank that now owns this derelict property. We simply call it the Green House because of its distinct green color. What separates this house from many of the other abandoned sites we have explored, this place was seemingly left overnight. There is still food in the fridge. A calendar still hangs on the wall. Children’s toys still wait for their return. But it will never come.

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I have driven past the abandoned Green House many times over the last few months. It caught my eye because I never saw anyone coming or going from it, and the lights never came on. It always sat in darkness and in silence. Large amounts of trash bags and liter surrounded the outside of the house as well. Unfortunately, the Green House sits alongside a very busy road. It has a high traffic rate and a large police presence. Since we were not able to find any information on this place, caution had to be taken. Luckily, a series of hiking trails stood a short walk away from the abandoned house. This is where we chose to park to avoid any suspicion. We chose to visit this site on a gloomy winter day. The leaves had all fallen from the trees. The skies were grey. And a thin layer of ice coated the ground.

The Green House is located in a small former farming town in New England. Following parking our car at the local walking trails, we began our short walk along this busy stretch of road. Until at last we came upon the Green House. Right off the bat, there is a very unsettling feeling about this place. It is clear that all feeling of comfort and joy were ripped away from the Green House many years ago. It is now devoid all of things bright, standing  in complete despair. Windows are smashed. Doors are open. Paint peels from the siding. Bags of trash and former possessions lie strewn about the property. Nothing lives here anymore, other than the sad ghosts of what once was. There is a small driveway out front, though it would be unwise to park there. Not only would you be in plain sight of all passerby’s, but the pavement is also in very poor shape.

The building itself is in very poor shape. It is just one floor, with some sort of small attic above that. A beat up garage stands beside it. In the backyard, an old swing set has been crushed by a falling tree. As previously mentioned, a sign is taped to the front door. It states that the house has been winterized for up until the year 2017. Curiously, it also requests that if you know or are the owners of this property to please contact them. It made us wonder just who once lived here, and what happened to them. The house was obviously abandoned in a hurry, a very abrupt one at that. Whoever once lived here left behind literally all of their possessions. They are now sadly scattered all over the property. Everything from clothing, trash, old basketballs, and stuffed animals cover the front yard. It was literally an apocalypse movie come to life.

The inside of the buildings are complete chaos. The smell was unimaginable. We’ve had some bad smelling places, but this one took the cake. All kinds of stuff was all over the floor. Believe it or not an old Bow Flex workout machine was still standing in the garage, though covered in trash. A lot of trashed old 90’s things were amongst the liter. VHS tapes, CD’s, and Nintendo controllers could all be spotted in and out of the house. The inside of the house was the edge of Hell. The side door was just sitting open, beckoning anyone and everyone to witness the horrors inside. There are holes in the floor. The roof is collapsed in spots. The stairway to the attic is still open, though only darkness emanates from it. The bedrooms of children and adults alike lay in complete ruin, with the things they once treasured cast about all over the place like mere trash.

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Trust us when we say, this place is not for the faint of heart. For it is indeed heartbreaking. Only a few times has an abandoned place been as unsettling and as depressing as the Green House. There is a reason that this article is the first we have ever released to not include any information. The place that a family once called home has been reduced to near rubble, still waiting for them to return. Not even the bank knows what happened to them. But this place was more than just their home. It was the place where family bonds were grown. It was the place where childhoods were experienced. It was the place that people once found comfort above all others. It is now the place that they left behind.

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The Thrill of the Hunt

Thoughts on Urban Exploring

By: Sean L.

We all do this for different reasons. For some of us, it is just a hobby. To others, it is an adrenaline fix. But to some, it can even be a career. Me personally? I love the thrill of the hunt. Too many people in this community expect everything to be handed to them. They see a post on a website and simply ask questions. Where is this place? How do you get in? Then these people just sit there and wait for an answer, only getting upset when none comes. These questions go unanswered because research is part of the experience. A true explorer does not want to be fed answers, they seek them out. They hunt for answers, both online and onsite of abandoned places. It is called urban EXPLORATION. Not urban TOURISM. Aside from the few places that we have just stumbled upon, we research all of the places that we explore very in depth. As made clear in our articles, we love history. We cannot truly appreciate an abandoned place without knowing what it was once like before the dark times.

It is one of our 5 rules to know your route. Safety and smarts are the best tools that you can ever bring with you while urban exploring. Before an investigation, we find out everything we can about a place. It is imperative to get as much information as you can and be as prepared as humanly possible before exploring an abandoned place. Especially if it is illegal to be there. Once you have all of your information, the next phase of the hunt is to find the place you are going to explore. Sometimes it’s really easy. Sometimes it’s really difficult. But just like the research, this is part of the experience. Some locations we have visited you just drive up to. But some others, like Fort Mansfield in Rhode Island or Cedar Hill Rail Yard in Connecticut, require a lot of real exploring.

But once you find these places, the real experience begins. A lot of us like to take pictures. Some of us enjoy making videos. I personally like to write these articles. There is just something really great about researching a place, finding it, then successfully documenting it. It is the thrill of the hunt that makes these places fun for us. It is all a part of the experience of being an urban explorer. Not to destroy or deface these forgotten beauties. But to enjoy something that few people will ever see, and even fewer are even aware of. Now it’s your turn. Why do you do what you do? What’s your favorite part of urban exploring? Don’t be shy.