April202014
Button Factory- Washington, IA

In the early 20th century, clothing buttons were primarily made from the pearl insides of clams and oysters from the beds of the Mississippi River and many other tributaries or bodies of water. This particular factory was a facility that did just that. Clams and oysters were shipped into the small town of Washington to be turned into accessories and fasteners. 

Closed since 1965 due to the massive increase and ease of access that came from making plastic buttons instead of pearl, the facility stands strong in a state of active decomposition. Instead of seeing glistening pearl dust on the ground, broken class and various pieces of rusted metal litter the grounds of the former largest employer in the area. 

Also, special thanks to Inma Mateos Aguilar for taking the time to film and interview me as I took pictures!

Sources and more info found here:

http://www.muscatinehistory.org/whos-got-the-button
 


http://www6.semo.edu/universitypress/Knopp_Harvest.htm
 
— inWashington, IA.
April152014

Just some edits I’ve done over the months.

 Critique, comments, and constructive criticism is welcome.

April132014
April12014

Beaver Elementary School- Beaver, IA

After the spring warmth comes and melts away the snow, but before the weeds can plant their roots and the shrubs fill their twigs with foliage, this three story school house bares all. 

What was once a bustling school in rural Boone county, now stands only as a dilapidated reminder of its former life. Classrooms now lie in a pile of rubble in the basement; shards of blackboards litter the lowest floor.

March302014

Cambria Consolidated School- Cambria, IA

To say Cambria is a disincorporated town would be an incorrect statement; the tiny rural community never technically incorporated, inspite of this, Cambria has existed since 1849- just three years after the state of Iowa became established. 

One can imagine that Cambria is a pretty unremarkable, small town. Calling it quaint would be giving it a little too much credit. Within the city limits of Cambria, however, is a fine example of a common school house during the early to mid 20th century. Opened in 1923, Cambria Consolidated School is still in remarkable shape- signs of continued maintenance and upkeep are apparent, but the creeping signs of decay are becoming more and more prevalent; cracks int he foundation, crumbling sidewalks and stairs, a slowly rusting and failing fire escape, the school bell which once signaled the beginning and end of the school day dangles precariously by its wiring out of the brick masonry.

More info check out the Wayne county website:
http://www.waynecountyiowa.com/Villages/VillagesofWayneCountyIowa.asp
March272014

thewanderlustofme asked: The stone bridge in Boone that you posted is where my friend killed himself.

My condolences. I am sorry to hear that.

10PM
CNW Stone Arch Bridge- Boone, IA

Rows of headstones and memorial plaques line the several acre Linwood Cemetary in Boone, The remains of past residents buried ceremoniously six feet under the surface. Little do the funeral processions, wandering grievers, and gravediggers realize that the sacred ground is also home to the remains of a very unique former railroad bridge. Built in 1881, the bridge arched over Honey Creek and provided the support necessary for the famous Boone locomotives as they passed over. 

The railroad was part of the now defunct Chicago North West Transportation Company; one of the most successful and, as a result of mergers and buy outs, became one of the longest railroads in the US.

Now, the arch still remains standing strong. A culvert, under the berm the arch was constructed next to, now channels water into the local Honey Creek. Evidence of civilization still remain in on the non-cemetery side of the bridge. A partially submerged, but largely intact, water pipe snakes out from under the bridge and into the bank on the other side of the stream. 

Sources and more info found here:
"Chicago & North Western 1385". midcontinent.org. Retrieved 2007-09-10.

http://bridgehunter.com/ia/boone/bh55907/

— in Boone, IA.

9PM

s0cialanxiety asked: Thanks so much! What bridges would you recommend me searching out? Well than how about just some buildings pretty close to the Des Moines area that not too many people know about? Because I wouldn't want to run into any people. I'll be wary of police haha..(:

I use the website Bridgehunter.com to find abandoned bridges. Its an awesome resource and has each state broken up by county. I highly recommend it.

March262014

s0cialanxiety asked: You live in Iowa? I've been wanting to go look around the abandoned buildings! Do you know any places in Des Moines that are easily accessible? :D

Easily accesible? Well, most places in the Des Moines area have been sealed up pretty tight (see wallace elementary) however, bridges are usually always on public county/city roads and can legally be accessed. Theres one big place that Ive always wanted to explore, but the population of homeless plus police presence keep me from doing so.

March242014

sarahhobart asked: Have you been to Derby? The former, pseudo-famous Derby Cafe stands empty, as does the old opera house and a service station.

I havent! But its not too far away from where I live sooo maybe this weekend ill make the trip!

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