An Authentic Looking Haunted House Cake

Source – Jaynee Cakes on Cakes Decor

I like all the detail. Plus, it’s not the typical black mansion/ castle looking house drawn up to be spooky. This is a house you could find, abandoned somewhere not far from your own street. Too bad there isn’t a photo of the back of the cake. I hope it has a decorated back, not just a front for show. I looked up her site, Jaynee Cakes. (Somewhere in the US. I did not find a location, just a phone number).

The House is Long Gone

This was the first house I photographed with a digital camera.  Both the house and the camera are gone now. I bought a new camera, but the house was irreplaceable. To me the old houses become stoic individuals, one of a kind, the longer they remain abandoned. Please don’t vandalize, salvage, or take souvenirs. (I partially exempt garden plants because they are living things which can bloom again).

Threatened Chimney Swifts Make Nests in Old Places

A threatened bird, the chimney swift, only stops flying to land on vertical perches inside hollow trees, chimneys of old buildings, abandoned wells, grain silos, air shafts, barns, sheds and derelict houses.

The population is threatened due to habitat loss. Interesting as so much of their habitat has adapted to live alongside people. There are many animals living in urban environments but I hadn’t heard of the chimney swifts before.

Dawson House in Chesley, Ontario

So far I haven’t found an update for this house. It was put up for sale by the municipality in 2013. I found it on Google Street View but the images are from 2013, so no clue there.

It had been a museum at one time, the Chesley Heritage and Woodworking Museum. Most if it seems to be rental units now. Old buildings tend to deteriorate faster as rental units. (My brother has lived that experience with an old house he bought in Orillia).

Here are images of the Dawson house, in Chesley, from Google Maps. There are stained glass windows still remaining on most of the first floor windows. There is a mysterious bell at one side of the front of the buiding. If the town had to give up on it, there must be a lot of expensive work needed. But, it will be a shame to see this place fall down around itself.

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The Stray Shopping Cart Project

strayshoppingcartsJulian Montague – The Stray Shopping Cart Project

Next time you see a shopping cart in the wild, will you document it? I have taken a couple of photos but I don’t think I ever posted them. Shopping carts are a very urban/ suburban thing. Something overlooked and yet they turn up in so many places. I’ve never taken one home myself. Once, I did bring a cart all the way to the end of the parking lot where I caught the bus. Just once… maybe twice. But, I had a lot of groceries that day – they were heavy and I didn’t want to miss the bus.

Why Do We Like History?

Do you have something you tell people when they ask you why you explore the old places? I can say a few words about history, a love for the old workmanship, etc. But, there is more to it. Things I don’t put into words because they make me seem a sad and lonely person. I don’t feel that way about myself. But, if my photographs are about preserving the past and feelings of things lost, fading and forgotten… I think that says something about me. It makes me seem needy, vulnerable. So, I don’t have an answer for the question of why I explore, other than touching the surface about liking history.

The email I’ve cut and pasted below was from 2011. I thought it would be easy to send a reply back, but I’ve never managed to answer the question without feeling vulnerable or lacking sincerity. I could have sent a fluff answer. But, I don’t want to. Some day there will be nothing left of me but what I did, wrote or photographed. None of those things are permanent. My existence will slip through history, like most people. The least I can do is put integrity and honesty into the very little remnants there will be.

I think about this still. The question I thought would be simple to answer, but isn’t.

Thanks for sending the link. Your photos look wonderful. You’ve definitely got a better eye through the lens than I.

I’ve spoken to a couple of environmental historians and the message seems to be the same. For your collection to be of use to a historian for research purposes, it would need extensive metadata about exactly where and when the photos were taken. Preferably following a standard metadata convension used by professional archivists (eg, Dublin Core http://dublincore.org/).

The historians also believed that your collection is much more likely to be of interest to someone for research purposes in 30 or 40 years and that perhaps then the interest would be in you as a photographer interested in old buildings, as opposed to the contents of the photos themselves.

Having said that, the photos are great and if you’d like to write a few paragraphs about why you’ve decided to take them and why you think it’s important to preserve these types of buildings on film, we’d be happy to share the story and a link to your photos on our news feed. Our readers tend to have a keen interest in the past and how we can understand the past. Your knowledge of photography and preserving would certainly be worth understanding further.

Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Adam Crymble