So, here are some pictures of random sites I dug out from the cobwebbed corners of my hard drive. They’re oddities that I’d probably never dedicate a full article to for various reasons, but they’re still worth padding out an itinerary with if you’re ever near one of them.
Worcester State Hospital, Worcester, MA: This 185-year-old abandoned asylum is, like Danvers State Asylum, a Kirkbride building. Also like Danvers, most of it has been torn down to make way for a new projects, this time a medical complex. However, the clock tower building still stands at 305 Belmont Street, empty and awkward and generally unsure what to do with itself.
Old Burying Ground, Beaufort, NC: Pretty much everything you need to know about this small, idyllic cemetery on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is found in the pictures below. Everything, that is, except that it's in the same town as Blackbeard's house.
Abandoned House, West Virginia: I dig, dig, dig derelict houses, even when I don't know anything about them. We stumbled upon this beauty of an eyesore, with its bricked-up front entrance and impressive collection of "No Trespassing" signs on the back roads of the state on our way to Prabhupada's Palace of Gold.
Christopher Wild Suicide Spot, Colebrook, NH: In 1984, this abandoned gas station close to the border of Canada was open for business. That year, it was also the site where serial killer Christopher Wild shot himself in the chest while fighting with state police after a national crime spree of raping and murdering.
Grave of Sarah Tillinghast, Vampire, Exeter, RI: Ordinarily, this little colonial-era gem would have gotten its own entry, but since I've already written about the graves of fellow Rhode Island vampires Mercy Brown and Simon Whipple on this site, Sarah only gets this passing mention between a windy road and cement statue of a monster. Here's her story, though, probably embellished.
Bigfoot Statue, Kid Valley, Washington: It's a 28-foot tall cement statue of Bigfoot on the side of the road in the shadow of Mt. Saint Helen's volcano. It's part of a small tourist attraction that includes a gift shop and an A-frame house still half-buried from the eruption. I really need to write about my visit to that volcano at some point.
Redstone Rocket, Warren, NH: When somebody offers you an actual rocket, you say, "Yes, put it right here."And that's just what the people of the small town of Warren did when a local with NASA connections named Ted Asselin offered them a surplus missile of the kind that shot Alan Shepard, also a native of New Hampshire, outside the planet's atmosphere for the first U.S. manned space mission.
Arch the Bridge Transformer, Pittsburgh, PA: This giant sculpture by Glenn Kaino is a tribute to Pittsburgh's iconic yellow bridges, its steel industry, and its robotics heritage. When I saw it, it was located at Seventh Street and Fort Duquesne Boulevard, right at the Fort Duquesne Bridge, but that was in November of 2010. It has since been taken down for restoration, and it's future placement in Pittsburgh is uncertain.