i live in a small farming town in the middle of nowhere in the midwest. welcome to my midwest gothic page. all pictures are from where i live and the neighboring towns.
dumb little stories
when i was a kid...we went on a little county field trip.
visited the waterfalls...the county jail, met the sheriff.
We went to the potholes.. and another part of it was to go to Mudlavia.
If you'd never heard of this place.. it was this hotel with mud spas
that supposedly would cure you of aching joints.
it was this super big place where rich people would stay, but it burned down
like...two times? three times in a row maybe.
i don't know, i know it burned down at least twice, and it burned down the same
way each time.
they don't know what started the fire, but both times it began in a janitors/supply
they kept trying to rebuild it, but after it kept burning down, they just sort
of let it go.
i think the owners sold spring water from the springs for a few years after the
property was closed off.
supposedly the terror gang from the great depression stayed there once, and
there was a gang shootout.
i remember staring into the black water of the wells, dead decayed leaves and
brush floating on top.
i don't know if the gang part is true.. but i later found out that they found
bodies dumped in the wells.
-i was born on a little farm in an ungoverned settlement in Indiana, but when i turned old enough, my mom moved us closer to a county that actually had a school, so i could attend school.
we moved from one little place in the middle of nowhere, to another. this one's a little more neighborly, though, and there's a town hall and a post office. we still don't get any public services other than the p.o. though, and the national postal service's website doesn't consider my home address one that even exists..so they disappointingly, won't let me order official stamps online and send them to me. :(..
anywho, this house we moved into had probably been here since the late 1800s-early 1900s, just about like everything else in this town, and the basement actually used to be a cellar. it's concrete, its dark, and its leaky. i didn't know most modern houses actually had nice lookin' basements, until i went to a friends birthday party in highschool. he had carpeting down there and everything. lucky son of a bitch.
my basement is essentially, just as it had always been, a cellar. the only difference is that someone at some point had built some stairs leading down from the house into the basement, when i assume previously, the only entrance was the cellar hatch from the outside.
this hatch, there's not longer any trace of it from the outside of our house. it's long been buried and grown over with weeds and grass. however for some reason, nobody ever thought to remove the other side of the door.
so the door from the cellar leading to the hatch remains.
every time the house wiring fails and there's a blackout, i have to go into the basement to reset the breaker switches, and i see it staring at me, the wood rotted and decayed.
i swear sometimes its open, even though i would've sworn it was closed before. i don't believe in the supernatural or anything of that sort. it's probably just the rotting wood collapsing in onto itself, forcing the old rusted hinges to swing open, and i doubt that the latch is anything but a rusted heaping mess. it probably doesn't actually latch closed anymore. but still, its a bit eerie.
i've looked inside a couple of times, and there's nothing but a couple of concrete steps leading into a wall. in the first step, there's an imprint of someone's small hands. a child's. one of the kids of the family who first built this house. i wonder if they'd even be alive now. it's almost sweet, their memory saved indefinitely in the concrete stairway, leading to nothing but cobwebs and dust.
-i used to be friends with this girl in highschool, and we both didn't really have the money to do any uhh...more reputable activities for fun, so we'd take to wandering the town, and occasionally trespassing through the woods.
i remember one time walking down this gravel road leading down to the creek a couple miles outside of the town, we spotted an old abandoned camper lying near the
water in the distance, so we went to investigate.
there was an old rusted fishing chair still sitting upright in the grass, and it was hard to imagine that the water had ever even been high enough for someone to fish there. there was nothing nowadays but moss and the occasional crawdad.
when we went inside the camper, it looked like a tornado had blown through. there was a dead mouse in the sink. and a tin can of crayola crowns lying in the cabinet
from the 1940's.
we switched on the light switch for shit's n giggles, but sure enough, half of the electric was still working, somehow. the camper must've still been plugged into
a buried line. but half of the lights had shorted out long ago.
was it wrong to be snooping? probably, but we were curious. we found some newspapers dating way back to the early 1900s, proving nobody had been inside in a very
long time. i even found some old postcards, and took them home for a souvenir.
i tried to go back to show my brother the crazy old abandoned camper i had found on the edge of the creek that one time a few years back, but we were stopped by a fence i had never seen before, blocking the way to the creek.
i remember asking him, "how long's that been there? is that new?"
"what do you mean?" he told me. "it's always been there."
update- i found one of the postcards.
-my town has a long history of fires. i don't know how else to describe it, but when it comes to "catastrophic life-destroying fires," you probably don't want to be able to count more than one.
everyone can count someone who's lost their home to a fire, which is understandable, especially considering when you have winters that drop 40 below 0, and everyone needs fire to stay warm. accidents happen.
i'm one of the people who's lost my home to a fire, too. we lost everything, and it had to be rebuilt. not really entirely rebuilt? but the damages had to be replaced. i was only in gradeschool when it happened.
i remember being called to the office and sent home with my grandparents and my ma and dad, and we went home, and stood on the street corner to watch it burn.
it's heartbreaking the first time it happens.
the second time it happens, you get used to it.
the third time it happens, you bring marshmallows and roasting sticks. you make s'mores and then you put it out yourself.
everyone here is used to it. everyone's also used to helping eachother out when you lose your home, so it really isn't that big of a deal anymore, as long as you got insurance to repair damages.
so what you lose everything? none of us had anything to begin with.
back in 2011, we also lost the entire downtown to a wood stove fire. it spread and destroyed almost the entire district on the left side of the street.
there's still nothing there but the cement and shards of glass.
after that, the biggest library in the county burned down. it seemed like everyone who lived here stood to watch that one go up in flame.
every time the roaring fire hit another bookcase, the flames would shoot another ten feet in the air. everyone looked solemn, losing the past century of history and books to the smoke, but at the same time, you can't look away.
more recently, there was another fire here downtown. about a couple years ago, a controlled burn that got uhh...out of control. even being supervised by the fire chief. isn't that embarassing? it was the biggest fire i'd ever seen in my life, even bringing the one we lost the downtown district by to it's knees.
well, the thing was, on the same block of this massive fire, there were a couple of big ass propane tanks.
if the fire reached those tanks, they would have blown up and blasted the entire town to smithereens like a damned bomb.
we were on the state news. my dad, being a firefighter too, he was on tv. (yeah! im gonna brag! my dad was on tv!) we had like 19 fire departments from around the state down here trying to save our dumb asses. and you know what we did?
me and my neighbors just strolled around on the sidewalks and staring at it, like a car rubbernecking an accident. resuming life as usual.
all our lives were at risk, and i just don't think anyone cared.
just another day in fuck all america.