Written by: Storytrail
On a cold day in the middle of Winter, Bumblebee and I were out driving snowy backroads while listening to music; one of our most common dates. Holding hands and talking, we suddenly found ourselves faced with an unassuming farmhouse, positioned far off the road. The lack of footsteps or vehicle tracks leading to the structure made it clear that we had stumbled upon an abandonment. After a few minutes of contemplating, we decided to return at a later date – it was getting late. We marked down the location, and proceeded on our way.
Months later, we again found ourselves gazing upon the now familiar abandoned farmhouse. We returned with two exploring companions; Ikonorchid and amurmur<left. As we all walked up the long overgrown driveway with our camera equipment and tripods, we tried to hazard a guess as to what lay inside. Nothing could have prepared us for what we saw as we walked through the unlocked door. Our highest expectations had far been exceeded.
Finding a piano in an abandonment is not at all uncommon. They are heavy, and therefore difficult to move. They are often left behind in otherwise empty buildings. Despite these facts, we are always excited to find a piano when exploring. The piano that sat in front of us was no exception – a rare, antique Estey baby grand made in 1868 New York. The red carpet beneath our feet only further added to the scene, creating an almost regal air around the majestic instrument. We got to work immediately, extending our tripods and snapping shots.
As Bumblebee studied the piano with the others, I walked deeper inside. What had begun as a (literal) grand entrance slowly faded as I toured the remainder of the house. Through the next doorway was a small bathroom now in ruins – spider webs everywhere, a toilet fallen over, and garbage all over the floor. Moving on, I walked into the kitchen. A place that once likely held family dinners had been stripped. Cupboards hung open, shelves missing. The room itself had already been cleaned out, and only trash remained, with various odds and ends mixed in. Moving back to the piano room, I walked up a colorful carpeted stairway to the second floor.
It was clear that raccoons had been here – various amounts of their waste were scattered around the floor, most unfortunate was the use of an old typewriter as their litter box. Despite the smell and the waste, there were still some gems to find. A closet full of encyclopedias was hidden away in the box of one bedroom, while the other three were covered in at least couple feet of junk and belongings. Worried about holes in the floor, I stepped carefully when setting up my tripod.
After getting my initial shots, I began digging for paperwork – anything with a name on it. I found a baptismal certificate and a family album of photos. I found a couple of bills with the homeowner’s name on them. I took the stack of papers and brought them downstairs to the kitchen where I could lay them on a flat surface to photograph in good light. As I did this, the others began bringing me history. Ikonorchid brought me more paperwork and some albums, but Bumblebee found the key to the story left behind here: a diary. I flipped through it and was immediately amazed at how much information was contained inside – the author wrote in it daily for months as she lived here. The first page was dated January 1st, 1979.
Katrina was in her last year of high school when she began writing in a diary. She’d known a boy in school who died, and the notebook of writing he had left behind was a welcome glimpse into his life for those who didn’t know him. She was inspired by his actions, and bought her own diary so that one day, those who found it would understand her better, especially those she loved.
Kat writes in the diary daily for nearly 3 months. Sometime in the middle, she notes that she has no idea why she even writes about how she feels and what is happening in her life because who will ever care? Who will ever read her words? How ironic that her family home was later abandoned, causing urban explorers to find her diary almost 40 years later?
Just before the start of the diary, Kat falls in love with a boy named Mason. He is several years older than her, as he has already graduated high school and begun full time work. Kat details the inner workings of her mind in the beginning stages of their relationship. The bond between Kat and Mason grows stronger each day, and Kat constantly writes about her undying affection for him. They go skating, they have dinner together often, and they talk on the phone nearly every night. Kat also speaks of her home life – she has a brother, but he is not home very often, and likely much older. She has a better relationship with her mother than her father, but still feels isolated at times. During one entry, Kat notes that her mother is dying, but that it does not feel like a reality. She does not elaborate on this thought, and one can only assume that her mother was diagnosed with something that could not be cured in 1979. Kat’s father works out of town, and only comes home once every couple of weeks to visit. It is clear that the family is just getting by, and Kat does her best to do her part and get her chores done. Towards the end of the diary, Kat shares her deepest insecurities. A few weeks later, the world she has surrounded herself with comes crashing down as Mason breaks up with her.
After the diary ends, we know little about what happened to Kat. Google searches have not revealed many clues; we know that she graduated high school. We do not know where she went after that. Her father filed for disability years later due to a severe heart condition. It is unknown what happened to her mother, or why the house was later abandoned. What we do know is that while some of the family’s belongings were cleared out, much still remains. Photo albums, clothes, and books are scattered throughout the home. Further inspection would likely turn up more information, but we did not have the time.
As the group of us packs up our camera gear, we leave out the back door, passing a small play kitchen for children. Bumblebee and I walk down the driveway ahead of Ikonorchid and amurmur<left, already talking about our next location – the next story to tell.
P.S. For those interested, transcribed versions of Kat’s diary can be found at this link: http://urbexploration.ca/inside-kats-diary-1979/. All names contained in this entry have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.
If you have any information regarding this location, please do not reveal it in a comment below, as it will be deleted. We believe in respecting and protecting all abandoned locations from destruction.