Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend --Theophrastus

Jamesway, Lakewood, New Jersey

explored & photographed by: Shady

Route 9, in Lakewood... the Jamesway, which used to be a huge department store, now lies empty and deserted on the edge of it's big barren parking lot. Weeds push their way through the criss-crossing cracks in the pavement.

Weird to see this once-bustling shopping haven standing so empty and alone.... no need to compete for parking spaces now. The big entryway doors are now boarded up and silent; the Jamesway feels like it's miles away from civilization even though it's right off of Route 9. It's just so forgotten and neglected. It's a gigantic place, I'd hate to be caught inside alone... it must be very dark and freaky in there...

This vacant old store has become home to a whole flock of pigeons; I hung out and watched them fly in and out of the cavernous building via a small hole high above one of the boarded up doors.


As I stood close to the front entrance, I could hear the soft cooing of dozens of birds coming from inside. There is still a sign listing loading hours, and wooden pallets lie forever waiting outside the building...


Our visitor witch flosser sent us the following email about Jamesway titled 'still present'... "I work across the street and this place is still abandoned. It's pretty creepy, esp. at night. All the local drunks seem to hang out at this spot. The windows are out and recently there was a rape in the Shoprite Center across the street. The police did get the guy and I believe he is in jail. I would caution anyone to never go there at night, esp. on a full moon, and never go alone. Not a safe area..."

old_486_acer writes, "Jamesway filed for protection under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in July 1993, emerged from the chapter 11 case in January 1995 and re-filed for protection under chapter 11in October 1995. Hope this helps" :)

Our Virtual Scoob Katia reports, "Hi, Shady... This old, abandoned Jamesway was actually derelict long before it closed it's doors to the public. The store became a retail slum, partly because it was no longer a desirable place to shop, partly because of it's location, which became inconvenient, partly because of the downslide of it's geography. Junkies and drunks and a good share of whores were forever hanging around the back lot after dark. The bathroom, which was located in the outside entry, was always occupied by dubious characters, until the management "locked" the door and restricted it's use. There were actually fights in the store all the time and the shoddiness and roughness of the place kept customers away. There were crimes in the parking lot and a shooting or stabbing (can't remember which). It closed years and years ago, long before the Corporation actually went under. So, Lakewood Jamesway now belongs to the haunted living who hide in the nighttime shadows of this hollow, abandoned place, creating their dark, exclusive underworld in the buildings we throw away and forget. That's the story!" :-)

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

Another Route 9 Roadside Find! For even more, check out Trippin' On 9


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