Friday, June 10, 2011

Roadside Attractions?

From Kristen Smith:

Maybe you haven’t noticed them, but they’re there, peering out as you whiz by. Once you pick up on them though, they seem to come out from the shadows to haunt you. Mysterious. Odd. Mournful. Ramshackle. Puzzling. Even whimsical. Yeah, I’m talking about those weird little shacks on the side of the road that make you go “hmmmm.” At least that’s what they do to me.

This one (somewhere in Vermont), for example, had a sink in that little turret part and a bed and armchair in the main section. Even a tiny breezeway with cabinets on the wall. All decrepit now and totally falling apart, but just look at it. So cool.

Fractured Fairytale

For years I’ve been photographing them. They fascinate me. Strange structures now falling into disuse and decay. Who built them? Why? When? Sometimes it’s obvious, like this old greenhouse in Plymouth NH. Someone put a lot of love and attention into it once. It had lots of shelves and plenty of work-space, hooks overhead, nice windows and even electricity.


Sometimes, well, less obvious is a kind phrase. Most of the time I have no idea what the heck I’m looking at. A kid’s playhouse? A little shack to protect a well or some machinery like a pump? Tool shed? Take this example: the door isn’t full sized, but the window is. It’s next to a pond right by the side of the road.

Roadside Attraction

No idea. I love the four-sided roof, though. Wintertime is the best season for spotting them, for obvious reasons. Sometimes you can see one well back from the road that isn’t ordinarily visible. Those are tougher to photograph in winter, but more interesting to explore once the snow melts. I’ll stop and check them out even while on vacation, like this amazing house in rural Montana. The lure of The Backside is ever-present.

Abandoned house from above


  1. I love these sort of finds!! I hate when I can't stop to take a photo.

  2. I love these too! I was in NH this weekend and saw a good one, but couldn't stop. Hope to get back and get it. Great Shots!

  3. I'm drawn to these also.Loved your post.