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roadhound

American Roadside Architecture - Catch it Before It's Gone

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I would like to start a thread that captures those buildings along the roadside whose days of glory are in the past and now wait for time to take it's ultimate toll. 

During my road trip travels I am always on the lookout for those buildings that were once part of the road trip experience but are now likely relegated to a distant memories of road trips past. Whenever I pass through a small town, or along what was once the major thoroughfare through an area that is now bypassed by the Interstate, I always keep an eye out for that former gas station, diner, or motel. Sometimes they have been repurposed to fulfill another roll, others are in a state of suspended animation, but many times they are abandoned likely to never be a stop along the highway again. 

In the 15 or so years that I have taken an active interest in the history of the American road I have had the opportunity to visit sites multiple times seperated by a few years and have witnessed the accelerated decay of some of these buildings, some are even gone completely. The "Kamp"ground office at Two Guns is an example that comes to mind. Each time I pass through that area east of Flagstaff I pull off the Interstate and take a look. Each time there is more grafitti, less of the buildings siding intact, and more of the interior exposed to the elements. I'm sure there are many more examples out there and I hope you will share some of what you've seen.

SC117621-5D03466.jpg

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/painted-desert-trading-post-at-sunset-rick-pisio.html

I'll start with an iconic building that I have attempted to reach 3 times, once successfully, but don't expect to see the next time I pass through Arizona. The Painted Desert Trading Post stands in the middle of nowhere, east of Painted Desert National Park, and nearly inaccessible. The section of Route 66 that this building sits on was bypassed sometime in the 50's and like many Route 66 buildings that lost traffic to the Interstate it eventually was abandoned. It has survived the 70 or so years since it last saw customers only because of its remoteness. Time and the elements have taken their toll however. When I was last there the east side of the building has started to slip, the stucco was flaking off, parts of the walls are gone, massive cracks are present in the foundation, and you can see the sky through the roof.

There may be hope for the old gal yet. As I was writing the draft for this post I was looking online for some information and came across this article. It would appear that a group has purchased the land and the building with an eye to preserving the structure. I wish them the best of luck!

http://www.route66news.com/2018/04/08/group-buys-painted-desert-trading-post/

Roadhound

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Dave,

That is outstanding and exactly what I had in mind. If one picture is worth a thousand words then your sense of history and skillful writing multiplies that by at least a factor of 10. I can see the scene exactly as you describe it. The photo itself has such depth with the wide open desert surrounding it and Mt. Hood standing tall behind it. The structure looks forlorn and forgotten, the echoes of laughter, fiddles, and accordions long since faded away.


It's also very timely that you would choose that location and subject. I have been researching and planning a trip to that area in the (hopefully) not to distant future and finding this building would be an objective of that trip. I hope that the building is still standing for me to find.

Rick

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Rick,

 

Thanks for your feedback! I recall that you were headed to that area soon.

I do hesitate to advertise the locations of fragile roadside architecture, but at the same time, why tell about them, and not share how to find them.

The area south of The Dalles within a ten mile circle around Dufur, Oregon is unusually rich in structures from early last century. I meant to write and share more about the area after my visit there in June, but have not until I read your post. I will do that, but probably not before you leave.

So I will provide you and others a very quick guide to a very interesting and under appreciated area. Any good map will guide you to these places.

Dufur, is a classic 1900 town. I have photos from 1912 that practically match perfectly with shots taken today. The general store is a live gem, and the Balch Hotel (stay there if you can) is a pure joy from 1907, and not only authentic, it is finely appointed and comfortable. You can read my review on Trip Advisor.

The road from Boyd down to Tygh Ridge is an old stage road and the former (1912-15) main auto road,. There is a 1916 wooden grain elevator, great old barn, 1920’s concrete arch bridge, Nansene, the wooden bridge in my post, a great abandoned (haunted? :) house, and beautiful vistas with Mt Hood in the background along the way

Friend is on the old road that replaced to road via Boyd and getting there will take you along parts of the old Barlow Trail of Oregon Trail days.. Friend itself was the terminus of the Great Southern Railroad, and has an abandoned pioneer general store and one room schoolhouse, against a backdrop of Mt Hood.

Tygh Valley is a small farm community on the Barlow Trail with a general store and small cafe and on the outskirts, a storage yard for old amusement rides.

East from Tygh Valley is the very early White River power plant in a spectacular canyon, at the base of a fantastic waterfall. There is a trail down to the abandoned powerhouse, and I believe it still has much of its huge equipment…..but I need you younger guys to do the photography as I would probably need a medivac on the climb back out of the canyon!! :)

Further east you drop into the Deschutes River canyon to a pioneer bridge crossing. You can see the stage road clearly on the canyons east side, watch Native Americans fish from shaky platforms over a waterfall as they did 150 years ago, and if you wish, drive on to Bakeoven and Shaniko with the Columbia Southern Hotel from the turn of the last century.

That is a very quick summary to help you with trip planning! Forgive the lack of photos, maps and details….for now, but I wanted this to get to you in time.

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

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That is great info Dave. My road trip to that area is still off a bit in the future, and a bit fluid in regards to timing, so I still have time to research the routes and locations. The White River Falls area looks very interesting and hiking down to the power plant looks worthwhile. Thanks! 

One unusual thing I did notice was east of Grass Valley off of Hwy 97. That's a nice looking road course out in the middle of nowhere. Build it and they will drive?

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Rick,

I have followed the Oregon Trail in that general area….years ago. The Trail forded the John Day River at McDonalds (25 miles northeast of Grass Valley) and as I recall the pioneer auto road went from Wasco to Klondike, then across the John Day there also. Klondike had an abandoned general store when I visited, but it is one of those roadside artifacts that are gone. But there may still be a brick schoolhouse at Klondike.  Google Earth will get you oriented to these sites.

 

South of Grass Valley is an abandoned service station worth visiting at Kent. In fact Kent is definitely worth a stop for old buildings.

 

Dave

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On 9/1/2018 at 11:25 PM, roadhound said:

I would like to start a thread that captures those buildings along the roadside whose days of glory are in the past and now wait for time to take it's ultimate toll. 

During my road trip travels I am always on the lookout for those buildings that were once part of the road trip experience but are now likely relegated to a distant memories of road trips past. Whenever I pass through a small town, or along what was once the major thoroughfare through an area that is now bypassed by the Interstate, I always keep an eye out for that former gas station, diner, or motel. Sometimes they have been repurposed to fulfill another roll, others are in a state of suspended animation, but many times they are abandoned likely to never be a stop along the highway again. 

In the 15 or so years that I have taken an active interest in the history of the American road I have had the opportunity to visit sites multiple times seperated by a few years and have witnessed the accelerated decay of some of these buildings, some are even gone completely. The "Kamp"ground office at Two Guns is an example that comes to mind. Each time I pass through that area east of Flagstaff I pull off the Interstate and take a look. Each time there is more grafitti, less of the buildings siding intact, and more of the interior exposed to the elements. I'm sure there are many more examples out there and I hope you will share some of what you've seen.

SC117621-5D03466.jpg

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/painted-desert-trading-post-at-sunset-rick-pisio.html

I'll start with an iconic building that I have attempted to reach 3 times, once successfully, but don't expect to see the next time I pass through Arizona. The Painted Desert Trading Post stands in the middle of nowhere, east of Painted Desert National Park, and nearly inaccessible. The section of Route 66 that this building sits on was bypassed sometime in the 50's and like many Route 66 buildings that lost traffic to the Interstate it eventually was abandoned. It has survived the 70 or so years since it last saw customers only because of its remoteness. Time and the elements have taken their toll however. When I was last there the east side of the building has started to slip, the stucco was flaking off, parts of the walls are gone, massive cracks are present in the foundation, and you can see the sky through the roof.

There may be hope for the old gal yet. As I was writing the draft for this post I was looking online for some information and came across this article. It would appear that a group has purchased the land and the building with an eye to preserving the structure. I wish them the best of luck!

http://www.route66news.com/2018/04/08/group-buys-painted-desert-trading-post/

Roadhound

Minor correction:  The correct name of the national park is Petrified Forest National Park.  The Painted Desert itself occupies the northern third or so of the park, and extends outside the park boundaries to  east, north, and west.  The entire park is a wonderful place.

Edited by mga707
clarification

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Hazen Market along US 50A in Nevada

I was traveling east on the Reno Highway, US 50-A, having just passed through Fernley headed towards Fallon and points east when my eye caught the Hazen Market sitting on the north side of the highway. The building looked to be no longer in use but in good shape overall with the exception of some weathering on the facade.

After taking a few pictures I moved on, postponing any research on the building until after returning home.  

The information found on Wikepedia is fairly basic:

"The Hazen Store is a small complex of buildings in Hazen, Nevada, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The store provided a stopping point in a remote portion of U.S. Route 50 and served as a focal point in the small town of Hazen. The store was built in 1944 to replace an earlier store that was demolished to make way for a realignment of Route 50.[2]

The property comprises the main store, a garage, and a bunkhouse formerly used by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The central portion of the structure dates to about 1904, operating at a different location as a saloon called Shorty's Bar until it was relocated in 1944.[2]

The Hazen Store was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 28, 2002, as an illustration of a commercial property on the Reno Highway"

I also found this article from the Lincoln Highway News from 2008 that shows the building all shined up and looking for new occupants.

https://lincolnhighwaynews.com/2008/07/15/road-changes-close-classic-hazen-market-in-nv/

Hazen Market along US-50A in Hazen, Nevada

SC120903-5D09552.jpg

Building that I assume to be the garage mentioned in the Wikipedia article

SC120901-5D09551.jpg

Gas pump in front of the Hazen Market 

SC120904-5D09555.jpg


It's a shame that after 70 years of business the Hazen Market has sat idle for the last 10 watching watching the traffic pass it by.

Roadhound

http://rick-pisio.pixels.com

 

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Eastgate Station Today

Eastgate Station sits on Nevada Highway 722 and between about 1924 and 1962 was the route of the Lincoln Highway and US 50 through the area. In 1962 US 50 was re-routed to the north through New Pass and Cold Springs, bypassing Eastgate. 

Keep the Show on the Road! had previously posted some excellent historic photos of this site in the Lincoln Highway forum. 
https://www.americanroadmagazine.com/forum/topic/1116-rediscovered-lincoln-highway-gas-station-in-nevada/?tab=comments#comment-12491  

I have been to this site twice now with an 11 year span between visits. On my most recent visit in Sept 2018 the building looked about the same as it had on my previous visit with the exception of the roof. However, on my previous visit the shingles were, for the most part, intact. 

This picture by Russel Rein was scanned from Brian Butko's "Greetings From the Lincoln Highway" and looks to be from the late 50's.
eastgate001.jpg

Today the form of the building is recognizable, the slope of the terrain has been altered, the gas pumps are long gone, and the shingles have departed the roof but the flagpole still remains.

eastgate002.jpg 

Roadhound

http://rick-pisio.pixels.com

 

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