O L D   F A R M

There are places and moments in which one is so completely alone that one sees the world entire --Jules Renard

Old Farm, Jackson/Howell, New Jersey

explored & photographed by: Shady

 

Driving down Jackson Mills Road, in Jackson/Howell, you might not ever see this large, ramshackle old place- even though it's lies in the woods just off of the road, it's hidden behind a dense screen of foliage

I pulled onto the narrow, rutted dirt path that runs alongside the place right at dusk, after spotting it through the trees by pure luck. I was just hoping to have enough daylight left to get some good pics. Talk about your creeeeepy places... the forbidding looking green farmhouse looms out of the forest, surrounded by waist-high grass and skeletal trees.

As I approached the house, I found many odd things lying discarded in the grass... some chairs now overgrown with ropy vines, a child's bicycle buried in the ground with just the wheels poking out. Branches and brambles are climbing up and over every corner of the farmhouse. The chimney is not in great shape... it's propped up by a big stick, and absolutely covered in thorny vines.

This place was so spooky. As I circled the farmhouse, I became aware of the total silence around the place... usually, when I am in an isolated, wooded spot like this, I encounter all kinds of critters (squirrels, crows, deer, etc), and it's actually quite noisy with wildlife. But this time, I did not see (or even hear) one single, solitary living thing anywhere near the place. The realization gave me goosebumps. I saw the moon rising above the boarded up farmhouse, the sun sinking lower in the sky, and thought that maybe I'd better head out of there. As I stood at the back of the place, looking into the woods, I saw a whole other section of the farm almost hidden back there (above, bottom right) that I hadn't even noticed before! Well, I had to check it out before leaving...

There is a whole bunch of farm equipment, cages, and other weird stuff back in those woods behind the house. The whole area is huge; I found at least three big metal incinerator-type thingys back there, as well as many different cages and coops. There was a horrible stench clouding the whole area- it smelled like death back there, that's the only way I can describe it. I didn't find the source of the smell (thank goodness), but there was the unmistakable odor of something dead and decaying back there.

Nature has taken the farm back; the structures are collapsing and the forest is growing over everything back there. I could see that the farm area reached way back into the woods, as far as I could see... with more cages, coops, and other equipment. The sun had sunk behind the horizon at this point and I was starting to dread being in that place after dark... the utter silence and the smell of death all around me was creepy enough in daylight, thanks.

This must have been a rather large working farm in it's time, it would be interesting to find out what exactly the place was used for. Now that I know what's back there, I can't drive down Jackson Mills Road without slowing down for a peek into the dark woods at that curve in the road, where the Old Farm lies silently waiting...

Do you have any background information or stories to tell about this abandoned site?

 

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