Monday, November 15, 2010

A Casualty Of Time And Neglect

Here in the Southwest there are numerous once grand turn of the Century Ranches, Homes and Commercial Buildings that are Casualties of time and neglect. Now laying in ruins... many too decayed and long neglected and vandalized to ever be restored to their former grandeur and it ALWAYS grieves me tremendously.  As an avid preservationist and  lover of all things old and unique it saddens me to see parts of History lost forever and wonder why so few seem to care or even notice?   Sure, new things are great, but I do believe there should be a balance... between what was and what now is.   I know that many of these old Treasures are probably being photographed, documented and appreciated for perhaps the last time before they are either razed in the name of progress... or completely go to ruin with the ravages of time and nobody bothering to maintain or save them.  It is with great sadness that I see these lost properties... and wonder about their History... how old are they... who occupied them... what is their story... why were they abandoned and allowed to decay?  I imagine my own story that I conceive about each one... which may or may not be accurate at all if there is no knowledge or way to discover the truth.  I also fantasize about acquiring each one and restoring it... just because... and though I know that in some cases that wouldn't be feasible or possible even if I were wealthy and granted every wish and desire... it amuses me to dream of the possibilities of each place... if somebody would... could... bring new life to them again!?

Such a place I've shared in today's post... I've driven by it for over 35 years now... always wondering about it... always hoping someone would purchase it and do great things with it.  Alas, it was never to be... and though it was obviously once a grand Homestead Ranch of some significance, probably circa early 1900... based on the size and number of buildings and acreage of the property, quality of building materials (given how remote it STILL is)... and the Grand "Bonanza" style entrance *not photographed as it was far from the main structures* it was impressive for it's day... rural properties in the olden days out here were usually far more modest and basic than this place indicates so that would indicate someone with means... however, regardless of past Glory, it now sits in total ruin. *le sigh*  I had much imaginings of what it once looked like and used to be... and when was it last occupied and by how many people... as there were several outdoor auditorium style seating areas with cobblestone floors, a very large stable, even several outdoor restrooms!  The Main House has a Victorian Style structure to the East and a two story Rustic Wooden Log Cabin style structure attached to the West side... and many rooms.   Was it an old working Ranch, Riding Stables or Old West Hotel I wondered?  The Stables/Barn building was quite large with many stalls, rooms and river rock foundation... it had stood the test of time far better than the Main House.  The latilla shade structure on the upper deck of the Main House was still in remarkable shape and casting good shade... definitely a bonus feature for any building in this harsh climate... and the view of the majestic White Tank Mountain Range was priceless!!!  And remarkably, in spite of no longer being irrigated or tended for all these years... most of the native landscaping has managed to survive... including a few Lodgepole Pine... pretty remarkable in the outskirts of the Phoenix Desert.  Yes, this place definitely had an Old West Cowboy feel to it... and so I imagined how it might have looked back in the day... when it belonged to someone who cared and who had obviously spent a lot of time, expense and work... creating and developing such a grand ole Homestead in a most remote and unpopulated area... back when this was still the Wild, Wild West...  Dawn... The Bohemian

  Certain things catch your eye, But pursue only those that capture your heart.
~ old Indian saying

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
~ Cherokee Expression

When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
~ Cree Prophecy

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