As a young man from a low-income family I learned from an early age that if you break it, and can’t fix it, you go without. I guess this is where I get my smarts from. I was never afraid to take things apart and see how they work, repair, change them, etc. My girlfriend even purchased me a shirt that says, “I void warranties”. I don’t know about that. I will admit, I have never run across much that I cannot fix if it ain’t broken. Anyway, what am I getting at here? Well all of this leads me to my love of machines and my trip to Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Steamtown is a Technology Museum and a History Museum combined into
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.
One of the reasons I choose to do abandoned site photography is because I love connecting with people and their stories about these old places. Every building or site I visit has a story to tell. That, in part and turn, allows me to write my own stories and share with all you folks. Through these stories, sometimes sad, sometimes joyous, I hope to raise awareness to the fact that we need to preserve these wonderful old buildings and sites. Re-purpose them and allow them to bring enjoyment to generations to come. If we should lose our heritage, we lose who we are.
I have always had a fascination with the way things work. Since I was a kid, I would constantly take things apart, re-assemble them and try to make them better. Machinery and I just get along real well. Recently on an urban exploration “vacation” with 3 of my friends, a location came up that really got me excited. It was an old coal breaker in Pennsylvania called “St. Nicholas”. How cool is that right? Still full of old machinery, workman’s boots, control panels, wooden dies for giant machine castings, this really was an industrial playground and I was super excited.