Who in their right mind drives their car 2427 miles, from New York to Nevada to take pictures of a junkyard in 110°F heat? That would be, me. And who also believes that there is an island somewhere that misfit toys go to be played with and taken care of? Okay, that is a little too much, even for me. But, I do believe there is a paradise that photographers go to and can take thousands of photos and still not capture all there is to see. And, I believe I have found such a place.
Drive out to Vegas, hang a left. About 30 miles south on i95, hang another left and head out into the desert. Somewhere along that lonely highway between the Highland Range and Arizona border, you will come across paradise. It may not look like paradise at first, but trust me, if you are a photographer or adventurer, it most certainly is. The minute I stepped out of your vehicle, the heat hits me like a Roger Clemens brick, the distant caw of the ever watchful crow screeches through the air and sinks deep into my bones, this, THIS is the place.
Destination: Jackson Sanatorium
When I was doing research online for this place, everyone was calling it a sanitarium, which is, in case you are unaware is a home/hospital for the mentally ill. I later found out that the true designation for the building affectionately known to the locals of Dansville, NY as “Our Home on The Hillside” was actually a Sanatorium. Which by definition is a combination resort/recreational facility and a medical facility to provide short-term complex rest and medical services.
A Decaying Mecca Part III of III
On my third visit to Grossinger’s I would visit areas that I had previously skipped over. There would be the usual trip to the indoor pool of course but this time we would explore a few of the surrounding cottages and the famous Jenny G building. The reason being not only for exploratory purposes but this time, for video purposes. Seems our previous trips to the G had caught the eye of a television show producer from New York City. They approached us via email and were basically looking for a couple of hosts for a television show idea that they had. They wanted to feature to explorers/photographers/contractors as the explored abandoned sites. We had a very loose idea of what they wanted but they were mainly interested in our on screen appeal and chemistry together. With 3 days to plan, an emergency video cameraman, and an outline script in our hands, we headed off to the G.
A Decaying Mecca Part II of III
It had been some time since my last visit to Grossinger’s and this time I was on a mission to get some shots that I had missed during the previous adventure. This time it would be in the summer and instead of dodging golf balls to get in we decided to try a different route. While this was a shorter distance it was a bit trickier to navigate. Once inside the huge complex we head down the hill and hang a left into the first open doorway we see which happens to be the hotels main lobby.
Part I of III
Right around the turn of the century Asher Selig Grossinger, after failing at several businesses, moved from his New York City home to a larger home in Ferndale, New York with the hopes of being a farmer. Ferndale used to be known as Liberty Falls and is located in Sullivan County in the Catskill Mountain region of New York. Asher, along with his wife Malke, and his now famous daughter Jennie would end up operating a kosher kitchen and renting their home out to vacationers visiting from New York City. At the time, their home was known as the Longbrook House.