Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little's Jewelry

This little jewel of an abandonment is on Main Street in downtown Mt. Sterling. I'm not sure how long Little's Jewelry has been closed, but to my eye, it looks like at least the eighties.

The blue box above the awning says "Burglar Alarm". I would love to get into the apartments upstairs and see what's there.

Check out the old neon work! Wonder if it were plugged in if it would still fire up?

The Weirdness Next Door...

I always feel kinda redneck when I tell people my beauty shop is "next to the old taxidermy place."

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

As far as reportedly haunted locations go, Waverly Hills Sanatorium is a legend. The hospital building was completed in 1926 and was considered to be one of the most modern facilities for treating the disease tuberculosis. Patients with TB had to be quarantined away from the general public. Before antibiotics, the prescribed treatments involved plenty of rest, fresh air, and sunlight. The hospital had long porches called solariums where the patients would be wheeled outside, even in the winter. Electric blankets were invented specifically for sanatoriums to assist in this practice. If the weather was too inclement to take them outside, the patients would sit under sunlamps in the hope that the ultraviolet light would kill the bacteria. If these treatments didn't work, the last resorts were Pneumothorax and Thoracoplasty. Both surgical procedures seem downright brutal by today's standards, but back then, it was all they had. Pneumothorax was a way of collapsing part of the lung and giving it a chance to heal. It also closed any holes the disease may have caused. Thoracoplasty involved opening the person's chest and removing some of the rib cage bones. It was only safe to remove a few at a time, so many patients had to endure the agonizing procedure several times before it was complete.

Of course, no discussion of Waverly is complete without mention of the Body Chute aka the Death Tunnel. At the height of the epidemic, patients were dying every day. In order to keep up the spirits of the living, the staff discreetly removed the dead bodies using the underground passage, which employed a rail car wench system. It was originally constructed to bring supplies and heat up to the hospital, but also served as a good way for the staff to get up and down the hill in the winter. Over the course of the years, approximately 30,000 people made their last trip down the hill in this fashion.

After the invention of antibiotics, sanatoriums were no longer needed. Waverly was closed down, disinfected, and re-purposed as WoodHaven, a geriatric home. It was closed down in 1980 by the state due to patient abuse. The building sat abandoned for many years. In that time, the legends surrounding Waverly only grew...

Many specters are said to still haunt the premises. One of the most famous stories is the nurse of room 502. According to the tales, she was unmarried and pregnant. Supposedly, she was so overcome with grief at her situation, she hung herself in room 502. Her presence has been felt by many, especially pregnant women. They are said to get very sick and dizzy when they go into this room. A few years later, another nurse committed suicide by jumping out the window of 502. No one knows why she did it.

A homeless man and his dog lived here while the building sat unused. He fell down an elevator shaft to his death, but is often seen along with his ever-loyal dog who never left his side. There have been many reports of disembodied voices and poltergeist activity, but to me the most unsettling involve the children's ward. In that area of the hospital, voices have been heard singing "Ring Around the Rosy." Creepy!

Waverly Hills was bought several years ago by Charlie and Tina Mattingly who have been working tirelessly to restore and preserve the site. Every year they put on one heck of a haunted house! My friends and I went a few nights ago, and while we had to wait for four hours in line, it was absolutely worth it. It was a great show, and the tour seemed to go on forever. It was very dark, so my shots of the exterior didn't come out as well as I had hoped. They also do overnight visits, but they sell out quickly! We were going to go this summer, but they were already booked up, so make those reservations early.

I have been to this place twice and can tell you from personal experience that there is an energy here. Whether you believe in these things or not, it isn't anything I can really describe except a feeling of imposing. The building and the grounds resonate with something more than we can see and I can't wait to go back to find out more!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shoes by the Road

Every time I see a shoe by the side of the road, I am filled with so many questions... Who lost a boot? Where were they going? What happened to the other one? This is an old work boot I saw on 460. My best guess is that someone had it on the back of a truck and it fell off. Any other ideas?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giraffe Lawn Ornament

I love creative lawn ornaments and this one takes the cake! A big giraffe peeks out from beside a house in downtown Mt. Sterling. Look carefully, or you might miss him!

Red Caboose in Powell County

We took the kiddos to Natural Bridge, and stopped to check out this re-purposed red caboose! I have no idea which train line it was a part of, but according to the sign, it serves as the Powell County Tourism Information Center. No one was there when we stopped, and it was full of boxes. Maybe they are using it for storage?

There's ONE Druther's left!

First, the joy... There is one Druther's left in the world. Druther's was a chain of restaurants that began as Burger Queen. They changed the name after a few years to reflect that they had more than just burgers. Druther's offered fried chicken, a salad bar, and the best fish sandwich you ever ate! We had one in my hometown of Morehead, and it was quite a popular spot. I really don't know why the chain shut down- it always seemed busy, and I know my family was always there. Many of the old Druther's restaurants were converted into Dairy Queens in the late 80's and early 90's, but there was one holdout... This one is located at 101 N Columbia Ave, Campbellsville, KY.

Note the Queenie Bee still on the sign:

My girlfriends and I took a jaunt out to the Maker's Mark distillery and planned to stop in Campbellsville on the way back for a snack and some nostalgia. Now the sorrow... THEY CLOSE AT FIVE!!!! We arrived just as they locked the doors! Talk about a heartbreak! However, this very sweet girl saw us taking pictures and asked if we wanted to have a picture with a Druther's worker. Of course we said "Heck yeah, we do!"

No Royal Burgers for us, but we plan to go back much earlier next time!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Strange Trailer Phenomonon

In Salt Lick, near the By-Pass Church stand two very old trailers. They look like the metal has been ripped off the sides leaving the insulation to blow in the wind. What is the purpose of this? Was it to recycle the metal? Whatever the reason, it looks uglier than homemade sin.

Lonely Farmers

These two abandoned houses sit across old US 60 from each other. They haven't been occupied in over 20 years.

The door is blocked to keep the curious out....

This one looks quite a bit older than the other.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Abandoned Salt Lick and Ale-8 Mural

Just off of US 60, in Salt Lick, Ky 211 snakes through the tiny community. These two buildings rest quietly on Main Street. Salt Lick used to be a bustling little town, boasting at least two hotels, a number of stores, and a train station. I can remember going to this store when it was a five and dime. I believe it was last open in the mid-eighties. The Ale-8 mural still looks good for the most part.

The Ale-8 mural was originally painted by Bill Fitch. I have started looking for more info on this artist, but haven't had luck, yet. I'd really love to know if he did any other murals that are still visible. According to the date, he did this in January! I looked up what the weather was that day, and the Farmer's Almanac site lists the high on January 24, 1958 as 35 degrees! Eeeek! I don't like to venture out if it's below 50, and this guy did a whole mural in the cold!

Re-painted by Rhonda Armitage...

The windows are broken, but bars keep everyone out.

Ron left his mark here.

The shelves are still there, but haven't held any merchandise in a while. The sun trickles in through holes in the ceiling.

If anyone has any info or stories about these buildings, or the painters of the mural, please inform us in the comments!

By Pass Church of God

US 60 was re-routed several years ago to straighten the road between Salt Lick and Midland. Sitting high on the hill, overlooking the new alignment rests this old church. It is wasting away, like so many other small country churches in rural Kentucky.

All the doors were locked, but I put my arm through the broken window to snap these shots of the interior. It looks as if the members got up after the service and just never went back. Bibles and pillows still sit on the pews, waiting. I wonder about things like: Who sat in those seats and why didn't they come back? Did anyone get married here? Did any funerals take place? Who was the pastor? And who painted that mural of Jesus?

In the basement were the Sunday School rooms, where the children played and learned. Overall, the building is really in decent shape, except for the broken windows. Maybe it could be rescued.

Abandoned in Farmers

This once cozy little cottage is disintegrating quickly. Looks like a lot of water damage and mold... Ew!

Ingram-Stevens Cemetery

Hard to believe after all the exploring and roaming I have done in this area, that I could miss this tiny cemetery right under my nose! On US 60 in Farmers, beside the old Beach Way/Krossroads Diner is this tiny plot in an odd location, just steps away from the busy highway.

New Spot Roller Rink

You gotta love a place that hasn't changed...ever! I started coming to New Spot Roller Rink when I was in elementary school about 25 years ago. It still looks exactly the same as I remember, and suspect it looks pretty much like it did when it opened in 1947. The battered wood panel walls are lined with LP covers from the 70's and early 80's featuring former jukebox choices as Kenny Rogers, The Temptations and Barbara Streisand. The benches are the same, the hand-painted signs are still there, and come to think of it, those roller skates look familiar, too! The people are friendly, the prices are awesome, but best of all is the old-school feel of stepping back into your childhood. The rink is located on US 60 in Salt Lick.