Carolyn L. Braun (

Taking the back roads … to Duluth (Part1)

Last Saturday we decided to take a drive, looking for old buildings and wildlife to photograph. What started as a few hour trip turned into an all day trip, ending up in Duluth (MN). We took photos of nature and animals, buildings and structures, and Great Lakes ships (once a ‘boat nerd,’ always a boat nerd). This blog will feature the buildings and structures we found along the way.

We were looking for old barns and sheds that were becoming dilapitated. I must say, we also saw many houses that were in poor shape. Most of them were inhabited, however, so we did not photograph any of them – just out-buildings or unhabitated houses.

There is something graceful about a building that is in its final stages of ‘life.’ Each building or structure holds a mostly untold story – about the lives of those who once used the building, the children who placed in or around the building – perhaps hiding in a game of “Hide and Seek,” people working on the farm, or the animals who lived within.

Do you think anyone ever climbed this wind mill? Was it original to the homestead? Was the pickup used on the site? I bet they share a story.

Near the end

The picture above shows another pair – the barn and windmill – toward the end of their time. We were surprised by the number of windmills still standing – although some were not much more than a tower with a few paddles left on the mill.

The barn shown below will soon be gone …

Another barn, crumbling, letting go
Starting to let go . . .
Also starting to let go

We also found a few homes that were past their time. Some, however, were so covered with overgrown vegetation that you couldn’t see much of the home. Many were still occupied so they were not photographed.

Abandoned and alone – do you see someone looking out of that upper story window?

We plan to take many more day trips, in search of old buildings and more. Keep watch for more photos!

The next blog will feature nature and animal photos from this trip.

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.

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