Aging in Place: that which Remains

I recently came across an old dilapidated homestead near the Salt Point State Park along CA Highway 1.   I think the Parks’ folks or someone else must have cleared some trees exposing a small grouping of buildings which were part of an old homestead, long since abandoned.   I’ve driven past this area many times and only just now noticed these buildings, so I decided to investigate.  I really can’t say why, but for some reason I’m drawn to these old buildings resting in an overgrown landscape, slowly being reclaimed by nature.  In some respects, it’s rather depressing to walk through the vestiges of some long-ago family’s dreams and hopes slowly decaying over time.  Kind of like how I feel when I visit some antique collective and peruse all the leftovers of various people’s lives.  But I also think such remains are a unique piece of history, and not only offer a glimpse into the past here, but also makes for some provocative photography.   

Old Farm Equipment

More Old Farm Equipment

Old School Desk

These first three images show some old relics, decaying where they last came to rest; some old farm equipment and, of all things, an old school desk.  I have no explanation for the placement or existence of these things; all I could do was to photograph them where they stood.  I chose black and white for all the images because, well…I just liked how the starkness of the B&W rendition seemed to resonate with me from when I rummaged through this site.

Main House Remains

Master "Suite"

Old Shirt

The fourth image shows what’s left of the main house, such as it is.  The last two images, which are also 9-image HDR composits,  are from the inside of the old house.  You can still see the remnants of the last layer of wall paper peeling off the wall, and an old iron bed anchoring the rest of the room’s ‘décor’ elements.  There was no odor in this room, as I suspect that what’s left is so old as to have lost all its last remaining scent.  The last image is my favorite, because there’s an old rag of a shirt still hanging on the nail where it was left, probably decades ago, barely enough remaining to be recognizable.  I wonder who left it there. 

Nature was not kind to this place, but that’s the fate of our built world in the absence of its inhabitants.  It’s what remains, aging in place.

 

Equipment:  Nikon D3s; Lens: Nikkor 24-70 mm f2.8.  Images were processed with Photoshop CS5 and NIk’s Color Efex Pro.

This entry was posted in Coastal meadows, History, Landscapes, Old Buildings, Sonoma County, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Aging in Place: that which Remains

  1. D. Tolles says:

    Hi Phil,
    I, too, am drawn, attracted, intrigued by the ruins of old buildings and the contents left behind. There is something sad about the remains and the unknown people who lived there.
    Your images are so expressive, as are your words.
    Lovely.

    • Phil Wendt says:

      Thanks very much Dee Dee. This was a bit of a departure for me, and I very much appreciate your feedback. This was an interesting way to spend an afternoon.

      Thanks again, Dee Dee…always great to hear from you.

      Phil

  2. Pingback: Return to Old Salt Point Homestead | Phil Wendt

Comments are closed.