Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. However, there were some curious finds in the former Baptist church my compadre and I discovered deep in the Texas Hill Country last December. We set out in the afternoon. Our custom on these little excursions is to grab a drink from Sonic and decide which direction we’re going in. I picked east.
She drove down a county road as I looked at the map. “Any ideas?” She asked me. “Yeah, I think I’ve got one,” I replied.
If I hadn’t already known what I was looking for we probably would have missed the place. It was surrounded by a thick wall of dead and dying cedar trees. The only thing visible was an antenna sticking out above the roof. I already knew this place was once a church, but the truth is I never really know what I’m walking into. Most of the time everything is fabulous. I get great shots and a new story to tell. Luckily, this location was one of those!
I didn’t take any shots of the outside because it was pretty much consumed with trees, brush, and briers so I focused on the inside. There were some real treats waiting to be discovered.
The church appeared to be repurposed at some point as a youth group area based on the kind of stuff I found there. When I was a teenager my youth group building also had a pool table and lounge chairs and couches.
Yikes, that is one scary looking heater!
In my research, I found that this place was built in the 1880’s. It was a lovely country church at one time and truthfully I think it still is beautiful.
Imagine this: Sometime in the past, a person put down the pool cue and left the balls on the table and walked away forever. On a side note, I can’t imagine leaving a perfectly good pool table behind. Strange.
The cabinet had remnants of napkins and coffee filters in it. Also, an ample amount of bird’s nests.
Junk everywhere is extremely common in these places. I think I’d be scared if I entered an abandoned structure that was clean because it might not be abandoned after all! The reality is that stuff gets scattered by looters, vandals, animals, and weather. The impression I get from the items pictured is that they were collecting stuff to donate. There were quite a few shoes, clothes, books, and several mattresses.
Looks comfy, right?
An open window allowing rain to blow in.
Section B of the Austin American Statesman. The date is April 18th, 1992.
The pulpit covered in junk and a mattress.
One lonely, bare lightbulb.
One of these things is not like the others…
Finding this letter just made me sad. It reads,
We’ve been there for each other through thick & thin. We always held the other head up. We did everything together. And now we hold up our own heads. We always said we would be friends forever but we weren’t the day came when we turned our backs and slow walked away for good.
And today as I sit there I rember (sic) all our fun times and I will always be there for you as long as we live no matter what you say or do. You stood by me through thick and thin and now it’s my turn to stand by you. Though we don’t act like it I promise we are friends forever to the end of the world and nobody can stop us for as long as we live. I just wanted to say we’re friends forever
This is my favorite shot from this location. Who doesn’t love a red rotary telephone!? Seeing it flooded me with memories of my own youth. I used to love talking on the phone with friends about nothing for hours. I also loved all those teenybopper magazines with articles on how to kiss and pictures of all the cute boy celebrities. No shame!
So there you have it: Our very first post in the Adventures in Abandonment series. Hope you had as good as time as we did. And remember, always be safe, smart, and respectful!