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Monday, April 8, 2024

This Fire Station was constructed in the 1930's. It appears to have shut down in ~1990.

The yellow truck is a mid-to-late 1980's Ford C900 series fire engine. It was surprising to find here considering that it was a current production model and probably still had that new car smell at the time of this station's closure. It could have been in use at another engine house until it was retired to the garage here, but it looks to me like it's been deteriorating where it sits for about as long as everything else. Even more surprising, though, was the one sitting next to it; The red truck is an American LaFrance Type 75 fire engine. This model was produced between 1915 and 1927. The Type 75 featured a 750gpm water pump and was the flagship model of its time. It's entirely possible that this Type 75 was in operation here in the early days of this facility.

Note: This is part 3 of 4 from a series of "loosely related blog posts". Part 1 was The Gas Station, Part 2 was The Train Station and Part 3 is this Fire Station. Coming up next in Part 4 is the juiciest location ever. Stay tuned...

The Fire Station by sublunar
The Fire Station Fire Truck by sublunar

The Fire Station by sublunar
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The Fire Station by sublunar
The Fire Station Bunk Room and Fire Pole by sublunar

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Firefighter's Uniform by sublunar

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The Fire Station Ford V8 Electrical Generator by sublunar

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The 1920's American LaFrance Type 75 Fire Engine by sublunar

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The 1920's American LaFrance Type 75 Fire Engine by sublunar

The Fire Station by sublunar
The 1920's American LaFrance Type 75 Fire Engine by sublunar

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Imagine being a physical newspaper company in the early 2000's. Print journalism had already been on a steady, predictable, decline over the decade prior and now this newfangled thing called "the internet" was capable of spreading the written word instantaneously across the globe. For free, even. Average print circulation was dropping 1% every year and household subscriptions had declined nearly 15%. The writing was on the wall.

Faced with numbers like the above, one brave newspaper made a bold move. At a time when declining subscriptions and ad revenue forced many of their peers into collapse, this newspaper decided to spend roughly one gazillion dollars (nearly $300 Million USD adjusted for inflation) to build this giant 6-story printing press and its supporting infrastructure.

To the surprise of at least a small handful of people, it wasn't long before their financial outlook was, and I quote, "bleak". The time soon came when they could no longer justify keeping this monstrosity running. So now it sits empty... along with their historic 100+ year old former headquarters, which they abandoned when they decided to build this mega-facility. The company does still exist, surprisingly, but now they operate out of smaller offices and must resort to paying to have their papers printed hundreds of miles away and then shipped into town.

If you're equally bad at spotting trends, reading the room, etc, then you'll be delighted to know that this massive newspaper printing facility is currently on the market for about 1/10th the cost to originally build it. But wait. Hold the presses. Contact me right now and I'll give you a much better deal. I accept cash offers. As you can see, it's in mint condition and probably runs great.

"I'll tell you what, though.. Blogs. They aren't going anywhere. People love this shit!" the author insisted as he firmly but affectionately slapped his antique photography blog which caused the thick layer of dust to waft through the air. "This social media craze is just a shiny new thing. It's a trend that will fade out. I couldn't even tell you how many visitors I had to my blog this month". The statcounter plugin stopped working about 10 years ago. "But it was probably several. Several unique visitors." And then he hobbled off back to his peaceful retirement community while bitching to himself about some "dumb kids" on instagram.

Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
The Newspaper Factory by sublunar

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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
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I was pretty excited to see this complete Linotype machine here. One of my favorite locations from a decade or two ago (the Wright Arcade) had a newspaper office in it that was full of these, but in much worse condition.

Newspaper Factory 2024 sublunar
The Newspaper Factory by sublunar

NOTE 1: It's been over a year since this visit occurred and in the meantime they've auctioned off a lot of the more significant items in here. So a lot has changed here and this location has been deemed safe to post here.

NOTE 2: This blog post does not correlate to the "4 part series of loosely related posts" mentioned in the previous two updates. Consider this one a bonus. We will return to the 4-part series on the next post.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Train Station was constructed in 1907 as a combination passenger and freight depot. Passenger service was available 5 days per week with stops at 6am, 7:30am, noon and 6pm. Freight and mail service was available twice daily. The ticket booth is in the center of the building with men's and women's passenger waiting areas on either side. In the waiting room to the left of the ticket booth is an old floor-integrated Fairbanks platform scale. The express mail room is through the next door past the scale on the far end of the building. Across from the scale, stairs lead down to a basement made of stone and brick and an earth floor running the length of the building.

The increased ownership of automobiles in the United States, which was most notable from the 1950's through the 1970's, correlated to an 80% decline in the use of commuter trains across the country. Passenger service at this rural location was subsequently discontinued in April 1967. Freight service was terminated shortly thereafter and with it, this depot's 60 years of service came to an end. The building was later briefly used as a residence but it has otherwise been abandoned and mostly unchanged since it closed back in 1967. This means that for the ~120 years of its existence thus far, this station has now been sitting empty for nearly the same amount of time that it was operational. The tracks that run right past its doors, however, have kept humming all this time. And so, at the same regular daily intervals to which it has long been accusomed, the old bones of this depot still shake to the scheduled rhythm of passing trains which rumble and hiss and stir up ghosts in their wake to dance among the cobwebs and the shadows until the last locomotive disappears down the tracks as quickly as it arrived and the dust settles once more where riders no longer disembark and from where no travelers depart.

Note: This post is #2 in a series of 4 loosely related upcoming blog posts which will culminate with the juiciest location/post ever*. Stay tuned..

*This claim has not been verified.

The Train Station copyright 2024 sublunar
The Train Station by sublunar

The Train Station copyright 2024 sublunar
The Train Station by sublunar

The Train Station copyright 2024 sublunar
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The Train Station copyright 2024 sublunar
The Train Station by sublunar

The Train Station copyright 2024 sublunar
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The Train Station copyright 2024 sublunar
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