Ghost Town In The Sky: Part II

As we headed up the steep and windy path along the mountainside, we finally came upon this welcome sign to “The Coburn & Sons Midway” and another breathtaking view of the mountains.

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As we passed under the carnival sign, we discovered we had entered the children’s area of the park.  This zone  included a few rides, a concessions stand and more amazing views of the mountainside.

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After exiting the children’s carnival area, we went across the street to the entrance of the actual “Ghost Town in the Sky”.  Before entering the town we came upon what used to be a tour train along with the train station that listed the altitude of the Ghost Town.

610The combination of a great replica of an old western town and the fact that the park had been abandoned for years, made it feel like we had transported back in time to the wild west.

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After some exploration of the town, we decided we should make our way back down the mountain.  In fear of suspicious locals getting impatient that had seen us drive up the mountain and park, we wanted to be sure not to over stay our welcome.  As we took some final glances of the beautiful mountain views and the forgotten town, we made our way back to the truck knowing we would never forget this extraordinary exploration.

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Ghost Town In The Sky

I have finally decided to devote some time to write a new, and long overdue, post. In anticipation of my favorite season, I have decided to share our exploration at a defunct amusement park during a Fall trip to the Smoky Mountains…

Ironically enough, this abandoned amusement park was called “Ghost Town In The Sky”. When the park was in operation, the only way visitors could get up to the park was by chairlift. Because of this, I feared that we would not be able to find a way up there to explore. However, thanks to smartphones and map apps, we found a road that looked as though it would take us all the way to the park. **NOTE: I would not recommend anyone take this drive- it was very treacherous and even worse going back down!**. After my fiancé, our courageous driver, got us safely up the narrow, steep and windy road, we decided to stop and park where the road was chained off.

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We went on foot from there, continuously asking ourselves if the road was really going to lead us to the park and also fearful that a local had made the police known of our trespassing. Just when we all thought our strenuous and stressful journey would all be in vain, it appeared as though we had reached our destination…

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As we hiked up and around the corner, this is what we saw…

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The view was breathtaking. Probably one of the best views in the Smokies, with its unobstructed views of the mountains as far as the eye could see. We were all shocked that an amusement park in such a serene setting, that seemed to have had something for people young and old, had not survived. We began to explore the “Heritage Town Square”…

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A roller coaster, games, restaurant and gift shop- just when we thought we had explored it all, we realized we had actually just begun! The road lead up to even more beautiful views, kids rides, and the actual “ghost town in the sky”, all to be continued in “Ghost Town In The Sky: Part II”.

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District 12 in “The Hunger Games” (aka Henry River Mill Village): Part 1

I heard about this abandoned mill town before “The Hunger Games” movie hit the theaters.  It is actually how I came to know “The Hunger Games” Trilogy.  I wanted to explore this abandoned town after I read about it a few years ago but had also read that the roads to this town were all blocked off because a movie was being filmed at this location.  I thought nothing much of it except that I was very disappointed that I could not explore Henry River Mill Village.  However, I waited it out, and eventually took the journey to Hildebran, NC; when we arrived it appeared as if no one had stepped foot in this ghost town for ages.  The only indication that part a major motion picture had been shot here was the “Pastries” and “Cakes” that had been added to the main town building; this even looked as though it had always been there.  And trying to make a long story short, I discovered the movie filmed at this location was called “The Hunger Games”, found out it was based on the first of a three book series, read the books, became obsessed and was one of the many fanatics that saw the first showing at 12:00am.  (In the movie this town was portrayed as District 12)

You can find a good amount of interesting history about this abandoned mill town online.  Because I personally like pictures more than words and I fear I may already be reaching the end of your attention span, I will let you seek out this info instead of me lengthening this post with the town’s history.

This is private property and I have heard that there is now a good force of security protecting the property since “The Hunger Games” hit the theaters.  Because of this, I am very excited about the fact that I was able to take these photos prior to the fan madness in North Carolina so I can share them with all of you.  Hope you enjoy!

There is a screen shot in the movie very similar to this photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made a point to stop here a second time on our way to the Smoky Mountains in the Fall

North Carolina’s First Juvenile Detention Facility: Part 1

This juvenile detention facility was opened in 1909 was to serve as a facility to place troubled youths separate from adults.  The institution originally spanned 280 acres, with the campus covering 88 of those acres.  The state reduced the population of the facility in the 1970s because ideas about treating youths changed and they were seldom incarcerated for offenses as minor as delinquency.

Eventually, a new facility was built on the grounds that currently is used for serious offenders involved in drug abuse and weapons-related charges.   About 150 young men are generally held here.  The new facility, covering about sixty acres, is enclosed by a 15-foot-high fence.  Many of the original buildings have all been left to decay…

Part 2 will include photos of the inside of some of these buildings.  Follow me by email and get a notification when Part 2 is posted!