Photographer and artist Sue Hardy viewed Michigan’s Upper Thumb as her canvas. In the 1980s and ’90s, she took up her camera and captured some amazing views. Many of her subjects and places are gone forever. The study here is abandoned farmhouses and farm implements—some of which are now undoubtedly lost to time and the elements.
One small part of Ted Kooser’s poem Abandoned Farmhouse may have said it best.
“Something went wrong, says the empty house in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.“
We are sometimes drawn to an abandoned farmhouse or structure, not because of its beauty, but because we think there is a story. Many folks are drawn to get closer to such structures, even if they know their trespassing. There is magnetism, a mystery, a curious itch that isn’t satisfied. We want to know what went wrong. Why was it left to decay.
One of our favorite stories and pictures about buildings and property in decay is about the tiny 1800s village of Kilmanagh. The general store and its antique gas pump were just about to fall in on itself until the owner began a huge Kilmanagh General Store restoration project. Likewise, some buildings are to far gone to attempt any repair. For example, this was the case for the Pinnebog General Store located near the tip of Michigan’s Thumb.
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