Berkshire, New York is a sleepy little town about halfway between the two megatropolis cities of Ithaca and Owego, New York. Upstate New York is full of small towns just like Berkshire. Once bustling with business and industry, now just small hamlets with a smattering of homes, abandonments, and the families that used to work there. Many weekends are spent on the road just driving to see what I can see an this was one such trip. While heading towards a site that was suggested by a friend, something interesting caught the corner of my
“The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Early in 2011 I was contacted by a central Pennsylvania graphic artist about touring and photographing an old mill in Maryland. This was no normal mill though, this was the last completely in-tact Silk mill, left in the United States. Like a lot of abandoned sites, to tour this site, I had to agree not to disclose the name, location, etc. I really wanted to tell the story of the old mill so at the time, I decided that this particular photo essay would be shelved. The mill’s owner Herb has seen that he can generate income from those who wish to explore peacefully and offers “free roaming” tours for $100 per person. The money he charges barely puts a dent is his costs to maintain security, taxes, and upkeep at the mill and keep it in its in-tact condition, but every little bit helps. Right now the mill is in bad
I have spent my entire life attending school, and that school is the school some people refer to as “hard knocks”. Now I am not claiming to be some tough guy from the wrong side of the tracks, but I am a firm believer in the fact that screwing up in life (to a point) is okay. The more I screw up, the more I learn not to do it again, and the better I get at life. Now I do my best and succeed in not making a lot of mistakes and I am pretty proud of that. And the more I
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 during it’s days in operation as “Our Home on The Hillside” and then later as “Our Castle on the Hill” 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
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.