One of the reason I love to explore old buildings is finding links to the past. When a building has furniture, decor and other artifacts left by it’s occupants, you feel like you are stepping back in time.
As many kids in the 1980s, when they found the wreckage in 1985, I couldn’t get enough of seeing old jars, shoes (haha), plates and cups. I was a huge fan of anything related to the Titanic. I guess my love affair with forgotten places goes back to that. The feeling I get when I walk in to these places is weird… the best comparison is the movie Titanic. Near the end of the movie you see a scene where the staircase goes from what it was in the past to what it is in the wreckage.
That is what I felt when walking into this hidden resort. From the 5 stories, the central tower, wrapping porches, you can almost picture the occupants sipping on a brandy, playing a game of cards and just laughing the night away… while the staff run back and forth keeping things running.
My girlfriend and I actually came upon this place late at night, shining our flashlights from the car through some trees and spotted a structure further in the forest. We did some quick exploration at night. I had planned on just looking around outside, she had other plans and was already opening the door in the pitch black with only her small pocket flashlight to show her where to go. After 10-15 minutes, we decided to get back to the car and come back in the morning. Never thought I’d be the voice of reason haha 😉
The grounds used to be home to a small tavern in the late 1700s. A popular watering hole for the locals. As was the way back in the day, father passed the tavern down to his son, who expanded the tavern into a hotel. Couldn’t ask for better timing when a train station opened nearby and roads got paved to allow easier stage coach access, which brought a bunch of wealthy tourists looking to take in the lush grounds, golf course, go skiing or take in the pure mountain springs.
Fire burnt the hotel to the ground in the mid 1800s and the owners decided to rebuild, bigger, grander! That building still stands today (well, kinda lopsided, but is standing). It became a huge tourist destination with the hotel name often being shown on area maps, while the little town it is near isn’t even mentioned.
Fast forward about 70 years… in come airplanes and the automobile, making travel that much easier and long stays in a single place less popular. Capitalizing on this were the creators of chain hotels (those Hiltons, Holiday Inns and so on) which began sprouting up all over the place… and this was the start of the end of the resort.
As time went on, the owners couldn’t afford to fix up such a massive building (and the several other surrounding buildings). Building and health codes ensured the resort wouldn’t be reopened without a massive clean up as it contains lead paint and asbestos.
And now…it’s beyond repair. But yet, when you first view this antebellum era building, you still get the sense that it’s standing proud. Like an old war veteran in his jacket full of medals and his empty stare.
It’s been abandoned since the early 1970s. That’s 40 years of being left for nature to reclaim. The main tower has had the top 4 floors collapse down. Due to wood rot, the side buildings have actually detached from the main structure. A few years ago, the stairs were still accessible, but now I wouldn’t venture up there even if I could find a way up. I leaned on a wall in the front area and heard a crack shoot up the whole interior. Yeah… this beauty won’t last that much longer. I’m glad I had the chance to see it’s room, it’s old couch, the kitchen with shelves still stocked and get a glimpse of the rooms with their peeling wallpaper.
Sounds corny, but I’m kinda proud to be able to display the images I’ve taken of the place. A truly remarkable find. Here are a few more images … and no… before anyone asks, I won’t tell you where it is 😉
**The next two images are taken from just inside the red front doors (shown above). You can see how things look like when 4 floors fall on top of each other. Pictured in the first image, lower left, is a couch you will see later on in another room.