Posts Tagged ‘textiles’

What Was Forgotten

The Abandoned Broad Brook Company

Written by: Wilk

Photographs by: Lassie

Hello, there. Happy New Year. It doesn’t feel much different from the last. Frankly, it never does to me. Time keeps on rolling. The wind keeps on blowing. Change is made in leaps and bounds. It doesn’t just happen over night. No matter what the movies tell us. We are still very much on our winter hiatus. But I just came by to talk for awhile. See who is still out there. See who will listen. Winter sucks for exploring. It’s cold. It’s bleak. The sun goes away too fast. And snow can be a real burden when you’re trying to slip in and out of places that you are not supposed to be. The one upside of winter is that I get to tell stories of adventures long since passed. Not every abandoned place we cover is worthy of a spot on our site. We go. We take pictures. Sometimes, a place just really isn’t that visually interesting or exciting enough. And so we just back the photos up on a hard-drive and move on. They sit there just collecting virtual dust for years at a time. But during these dark months, I get to go through our archives and shed a little bit of light on the forgotten subjects. Today is one of those days. Be forewarned, this is a story piece. It will be told through words. Not by photographs. If this doesn’t interest you, that’s okay. I get it. But this is a place that I think deserves to be talked about. So let’s talk.

Our story begins the summer of 2020. It is hot. It is depressing. Our air conditioner was really loud. Much like winter, summer is also a tricky time for exploring. Especially during a pandemic. There are more people out and about. You have to bring excessive amounts of water. And the sun can really do some damage to your skin. I was cruising Reddit one morning, as I always do, and someone spoke of a place. It was a place that I had never heard of. This place had a very interesting story. Many years ago, a mill was built in a sleepy little village in northern Connecticut. It brought jobs. It brought success. It brought luster. The town was literally built on the back of this mill. But much like many nearby towns, this mill would eventually fall. It served many purposes over the years, seeing actions as a center for both manufacturing and services. But in the 1990’s, a newer much more different purpose was bestowed upon it: real estate. The old mill was converted into condominiums. But something happened then that nobody could’ve seen coming. The old mill’s past came back to haunt her. Poisonous solvents and chemicals were discovered in the soil surrounding this place. The hazardous materials forced it to close and evict all of its tenants for their safety. It was then shuttered. Left to rot. And there it waits.

And so we took a drive. That afternoon. This was close by. So we just hopped in the car and went to check it out. Spontaneity came be fun sometimes. Especially during the summer. It’s weird. I had driven by this place a thousand times. We had enough eaten at the pub one evening that sits right out front. And I never knew this place was hear. It is even a registered historical landmark. Coming upon it was haunting. It has a very grand appearance. It’s architecture is captivating. It is a red brick fortress accented with stark white trim. The old mill is crammed in behind a bunch of stores and apartment complexes. It is also eerily quiet. Despite all of the hustle and bustle around it, the old mill is as quiet as a tomb. Like a void into another dimension. But it is also completely sealed off from the outside world. A sturdy chain-link fence surrounds the entire perimeter. We know. We know because we checked. We went around the entire property looking for a hole in the fence. But there is none. This place is totally and completely locked down. Even the old street that served as the entrance to the complex has been completely sealed off. There was no way in. We have never broken our way into an abandoned place. And we never will. It’s not our style. I could’ve easily climbed this fence, but I didn’t.

DANGER. KEEP OUT. NO TRESPASSING. The warnings are there. And apparently for good reason. Though the lawn appears to be well maintained, the soil is said to be incredibly toxic. But the archaic building is truly captivating. It stood there ominously before us, casting it’s shadow across the summer sky. Windows have been smashed on the upper levels. But this was clearly done by outsiders throwing projectiles at them. Like a besieged medieval castle. But no return volley is fired. Doors are boarded up. Trees grow wild and dangerous. And the complex has clearly lain dormant for a long time, trapped inside of its own little exclusion zone. After finding the perimeter completely impenetrable, we just kind of sat outside the fence and stared at the looming abandoned monster. I guess we just kind of hoped that something would happen. Nobody bothered us. Nobody even cared that we were there. Though there is not much to see, it is still a wonder to behold. And that’s why I’ve written this piece. This story could’ve just sat rotting in our archives, much as she rots in real life. But I feel as though this place’s story deserves to be told. After all that’s it’s been through, it does not deserve to be forgotten.

So let’s always remember: the abandoned Broad Brook Company. Also known as the Broad Brook Mill. There is only one picture here because that is the only good picture we could get of the place. But I think it does it’s job well. In our experiences, places like this one are usually in much bigger towns. If anyone reading this has any experiences with this place, please do share. Whether you be employees, former residents, or just passed through one day. There’s extremely little information on the Broad Brook Company out there. And I’d love to spread a little more knowledge of her story out there to the world. I find it to be a tragic tale. That the Broad Brook Company was once a jewel of this community. Then forced to close down shop due to a changing economy. A beacon of hope brought it back to life. But then it’s past finally killed it off for good. I have heard there is a grant out there to redesign and rehabilitate the old complex. So let’s see what happens. But until then, the memories and experiences remain behind bars. A quiet and untouched world now grows within the confines of those steels fences. The village carries on with all of its comings and goings. But whether they see it or not, the abandoned Broad Brook Company is still there.

Haven of the Outcasts

The Abandoned Talcottville Mill

Written by: Sean L.

Photographs by: Amanda H.

“God help the outcasts, hungry from birth. Show them the mercy they didn’t find on Earth. God help my people, we look to you still. God help the outcasts, or nobody will.” The gypsy princess Esmeralda sings this haunting lullaby while walking through the streets of Paris in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The people she speaks of, the gypsies, were the lost and persecuted souls who found refuge in the abandoned tunnels beneath an old graveyard. They escaped the hate and suspicion they faced by hiding together from the world above. Today, the outcasts still dwell in these dark and troubled places. Much like the tunnels of Paris, they may not be easy to find, even when they are hiding in plain sight. In our travels, we have covered many of these havens. But the largest and most grim of them all has been this one: The Talcottville Mill.


For centuries, the Talcottville area was known for its production of cotton and wool. The first mills in the area first appeared in the late eighteenth century. The Talcottville Mill was first established in 1795, not receiving its official name until 1856 when it was purchased by the wealthy Talcott brothers. A raging fire destroyed the original mill in 1869, but it was shortly rebuilt. For years, the mill was a prospering staple of the local community. But as the times continued to change, the mill slowly began to outlive its uses. The Talcott brothers closed up shop in the 1940’s. The property was sold off and used for other manufacturing purposes. For several years, it limped on before finally closing for good.

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We had seen the Talcottville Mill many times whilst driving around the area. It stands ominously silent, just begging for attention that it never receives. Though she stands in plain sight, none of the people in all of their comings and goings ever seem to notice it. In fact it took us awhile to actually go have a look at this place for ourselves. The building is huge, undoubtedly one of the largest abandoned mills we have ever investigated. She is a large rectangular building, with a brick foundation with rotting bone white wooden siding. Judging from the tall spire from the back of the mill, we almost mistook it for a church. There is plenty of grass and overgrown weeds all along the outside. Most of the windows on the upper levels have been smashed, while those on the lower levels have been boarded up.

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Inside the mill is an echoing labyrinth of darkness. Plenty of stuff from the mill’s heyday has been left behind: old barrels, machinery, metals, tools. Even an old television lay shattered outside the main entrance. Many of the walls have been tagged with graffiti. There was also plenty of evidence of the homeless living here. Due to the boarded up windows and doors, the lower level lies in near complete shadow. But the upper levels are much brighter and open. Vibrant beams of sunlight stab through the cracks under doors and illuminate the upper halls of this empty mill. You cannot really get a feel of the size of this place until you are inside. Though a busy street lies just beside the grounds, the cavernous insides of the mill are eerily silent. The place was so big, we didn’t realize another group of explorers was inside until we had already exited the building.

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The Talcottville Mill is certainly one of our favorites. While exploring the grounds, we didn’t come across a single NO TRESPASSING or KEEP SIGN. It’s as if this place has just been completely forgotten. Sadly, it was once a cornerstone of the local community. Now it is nothing more than a haven for the homeless, the mischievous, and the lost. It is a haven of the outcasts, as the old mill seems to be just as much of an outcast as her now current occupants. “God help the outcasts, the tattered, the torn. Seeking an answer to why they were born. Winds of misfortune have blown them about. You made the outcasts. Don’t cast them out.”