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Urban Exploration: Destination Missouri

on 25 January, 2015

I’ve been kind of wrapped up this past weekend and didn’t get Thursday’s adventure written.

For those who are new, The Kid and I do what we call ‘abandoned house hunting’ in the rural back roads of Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. Mostly we just explore, although there are times when we run across a treasure that we cannot leave behind.

This time through, we walked through four or five old, falling down farm houses and barns. An old turquoise mason jar, a very old blowtorch (currently being restored by said Kid), an old Coca-Cola bottle and a bunch of feed corn on cobs.

Walk through our adventure with us… this was the first house:

DSCN3051This house must have been spectacular in its day. It is absolutely huge compared to most of the houses built in that period.


IMG_9588The house had a covered porch on two levels…

IMG_9579The exterior doors were still in good shape. A little ‘plain jane’ considering the house behind it.

IMG_6704A little animal had crawled into the enclosed porch and died. Must have been a LONG time ago, considering it was down to the skeleton… while creepy, it was also kind of cool.

IMG_1979The OUATWAVNH again… someone had stripped a lot of the wood molding around the doors and windows…

IMG_1944IMG_1342This photo kind of shows you the elegant doors. They have the window that opens above the door, to allow for circulation. Wouldn’t mind having a couple of these doors either!

DSCN30611This is the ‘once upon a time was a very nice house’ house (OUATWAVNH)… I love this molding over the staircase.

DSCN3072Again, the OUATWAVNH, had a beautiful porch and an upstairs balcony. The wrought iron railings and trellis must have been a fortune all those years ago. And look across the roof line… these corbels go all the way around in pairs.


DSCN3070And the roof line is straight as an arrow all these years later.

DSCN3069This was a barn behind the property. Not in as good shape as the house!

DSCN3068Had hoped they had some treasure stored under the workshop – a separate building off the back of the kitchen – but no such luck!


DSCN3067This was the workshop. On the wall you cannot see, were cans of paint and parts and tools. If that hanging cooler had been in one piece, that would have been a real score! I remember my family having one just like it.

DSCN3066Another shot of the corbels on the OUATWAVNH…

DSCN3065…and another….

DSCN3064…and one more. If I could have figured out how to get up to them, I would have taken them all. They have really stood up to the weather and time and image they would be awesome in some sort of project. Or even on my house.

DSCN3063A shot of the outside of the OUATWAVNH. You can see the two porches, The Kid was bowled over by this design element.


DSCN3061A close up of the molding over the staircase… and all these years later, there are still as solid as the day they went up.

DSCN3056The house this one bathroom. If it is anything like the big houses I grew up in, they were built long before there was indoor plumbing, so what happened is space was carved out of bigger rooms… like a closet or part of a bedroom.

DSCN3053This room had one of those dropped ceilings with a kind of faux tin ceiling look. There was a time in history when it wasn’t cool to have such high ceilings. Glad that went back out of style!

DSCN3052The next photos are the other houses we explored. The pictures ended up out of order, since it was me using my DSLR, my iPhone and The Kid’s iPhone. I think we started out at the first house without a camera, so these photos are of the other two (or three?) houses we checked out.



IMG_3344Always tricking maneuvering in these old houses, the floors often are rotted through and one step and you’d be examining the basement!





DSCN3058I love this photo… the center of this wall is where the fireplace and chimney stood in the kitchen, just through the door on the right. But look at the angle of both door frames… we’ve got some serious settling!

DSCN3057Banking paperwork was spread out all over the floor of this house The most recent date was 1983… so we figure the house has been vacant about 30 years or so. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly Mother Nature reclaims the land. Something had gone through the roof above the main room and staircase just to the left of the interior of the house. That’s what gets her a foothold in reclaiming the house, as rain and snow can then get in. Goes pretty quickly after that.

Well, that was it for Thursday and about 6 hours of the day. Although the weather wasn’t the best – temps in the freezing range – it was a great day.



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