A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

The Worst Was Last


Ambrose, North Dakota

This house stood just four doors down the street from where we were staying.  I had walked by it numerous times, sometimes taking Beans for a walk. I never realized there stood a house behind that wall of shrubbery. 

There were three cement steps up from street level onto the front walkway.
Hard to see but they are there.

This house provided easy access with the front door wide open.

I could tell right away that this house stood out from all the rest with its design.
It may have been one of the more expensive homes in town at the time.

You will see why this ceiling is the way it is.

The kitchen area.

It had two stoves.  A small plain looking electric and...

...this beautiful old wood burner.

The refrigerator and probably upright freezer had been tossed out into the back yard.

Had the lady of the house devoted how many hours creating this pillow cushion?

The stairs to the second floor were much nicer than any of the other houses.
Wonderful woodwork that must have glowed with polish.

No other set of stairs in the other homes had this nice switchback design.
This house was showing an excessive amount of crumbling plaster.

All the balusters were missing.
They must be a collector’s item for some reason.

It was up here on the second level I could see this house was losing the battle against time and decay.
Sunlight streamed in from the ceiling...

...and through the walls.

How much rain, hail, sleet and snow comes in through the exposed roof?

It all settles on the floor accelerating the rotting away.
I stood there looking at the floor in front of me hearing the voice of Billy in my head saying
“This place is going to fall apart around you.”
I imagined myself going through the floor.

I took once final photo of the current residents 
then carefully but quickly got out from that crumbling mansion-a mansion by Ambrose standards.

- comment reply -
I saw your comment Ellen on my email feed.  Don’t know why it doesn’t show on the blog.  There is one there ‘deleted by author’.  There is a reply on yesterday’s post that may answer your question.


Debby said...

The deleted by author one was me. Sorry about that. I was using my phone to type a reply and my finger accidently published a comment before I was done.

That old lathe and plaster is getting wet. It's fun to consider what these houses were at one time. It's thinking like that that turns you into someone who buys these old houses and fixes them up.

Ellen D. said...

You are right that it was a fancy house at one time. Too bad it was left to rot. You were lucky to get out of there safely! Have you ever been injured during your explorations?
I am glad you are careful, John!

Red said...

This has been a great series of photos. I know why these houses are left. People died and didn't have relatives or friends to clean the place out. Nobody was there to buy the house . Here once the taxes are not being paid they bull doze the house. I've enjoyed this series .

Barbara R. said...

To have that much wood still standing, I'd guess the roof hasn't been gone but a few years...stairs for instance. Building with all that lathe and plaster, someone probably knows when that was the "better" construction material. Not me. Love the old wood stove, it's a beauty!

Debby said...

Old lathe and plaster, the really old stuff, is so durable...if it starts to deteriorate though, it seems to go quickly.