The New York Grimpendium: Tahawus Ghost Town

My new book, The New York Grimpendium, comes out October 1 [UPDATE: Available now]. Like its predecessor The New England Grimpendium, it covers my experiences traveling to hundreds of death-related locations and artifacts in the region. Below is one of a series of photo essays from sites in the book that I’ll be posting over the next few weeks. If you live in or like New York, the book is for you. If you’re a bit morbid, the book is also for you, even if you’ve never been to the Empire State. After all, death is a punch line we all get.

September 29, 2012 — I’m not going to lie to you, Tahawus is kind of a drive-up ghost town. You don’t have to hike through wilderness, trespass on private property, or dig up esoteric maps off the Internet to find it. But it’s also one of the best ghost towns I’ve seen of the admittedly handful that I’ve visited on the East Coast.

Located in the Adirondacks on a large nature preserve, the 185-year-old ghost town was original built around an iron mine. Today, all the buildings that still survive teeter at a vicarious but almost aesthetically perfect balance between intact and decayed. In one of the buildings, the only one that’s in the process of being restored, in fact, is where Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was staying during a hiking trip when he learned that President William McKinley had been shot. Although the area is still in a pretty secluded spot, most of the buildings line a paved road that leads to one of the trailheads on the preserve, although more can be found back in the woods.

Theodore Roosevelt's Cabin

Read all about my visit to Tahawus in The New York Grimpendium, which is on sale now: