Sunday, March 15, 2009

#186: House Rambling

I've been out taking pictures around where I live and I have this weird fascination with houses, especially of the older and abandoned variety. My first experience with an abandoned was when I lived in Baldwin City. There was this old house outside of town that had a grave of two young children on it so of course everyone figured it was haunted. I only went there a few times before new owners took over and really began locking it up. I've been a few times since, hopping over the fence and one time the gate was open so I drove in a took a look at it. I want to buy the house although it would cost too much to fix up so I would just want to build a new house and replace the doors and windows to keep people out. I'd also put up a new fence and gate and would maybe replace the graves because they've seen better days. People have no respect. I plan on using the house and the area for a novel I want to write because I have a really good story planned for it.

Another house in the Baldwin area was near the highway. This house actually still looked like someone lived there. It was kind of creepy being able to see all of this family's stuff and what pictures hung on their wall. When Baldwin built the new elementary school, the house was torn down which was a bummer but I have a few keepsakes from that place like a crayon picture done on piece of newspaper of the comic strip Mopsy and a couple of really old books from the late 19th Century. I saw in the paper one day an auction for all the stuff for the house but I wasn't able to go.

South of Big Springs I saw this really nice house as I drove by and I noticed that it was abandoned so I backed up and stopped to take a picture. It was a really nice house if you ignore the broken windows and the fact that it had been abandoned for a few years. It was near a quarry so I'm thinking the quarry bought the land from the people and just kept the house and the other buildings standing until they need to expand. Later, south of Lone Star, I came up to another that had obviously been abandoned for more than a couple of years. I stopped and took a picture of that too.

As I entered the southern tier of the county, I decided to stop and finally get a decent picture of the Simmon Stage Station which was an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail. The house fell into disrepair over the years especially when the AT&T microwave tower was constructed in the seventies. Someday it may be saved but it looks like time is running out for it.

The last house I went by on my trek wasn't abandoned or anything. It was the home of Ottawa University founder, Ottawa Indian representative and Tauy Creek namesake John Tecumseh "Tauy" Jones. This is another house that I would love to live in because it's just so amazing. Okay, I'm done rambling now.

I just often wonder why the house was abandoned. It's a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a mystery (a "rinigstery") and I just like wondering what happened. I feel the Miller House (pictured first) fell into the hands of someone who didn't really want the property; the Big Springs house (second) was bought by the nearby quarry; the Lone Star house (third) I'm not really sure, it's the more mysterious of the houses; Simmon's Point (fourth) was occupied until the microwave tower was constructed and is currently owned by someone who just uses the farmland surrounding the house.

The Tauy Jones house is the only house currently occupied so hopefully that house will remain standing for many years to come.

Until next time, I remain...