What is a ghost town anyway?

I passed by an old pioneer house in downtown Washington the other day and just had to come back with my Holga lens. It’s not a ghost town, in fact the home next door is very clearly occupied but the structure clearly matches the feeling and emotion you find at any abandoned town site.

So what is a ghost town and is that what this project is about?

A pioneer era home in disrepair on 100 South in Washington City.

Is it about the abandoned towns that humans once called home? Or is it about the structures that once housed life and laughter, work and play, interaction between people and yet now are left to decay in the landscape?

Certainly entire towns that evoke this feeling are more dramatic and we all want to go find those ghost towns where we can experience all those memories and all that history at one time but there are also those other buildings, those other spaces that capture the same essence.

I’d hate to leave them out of this project because I think they have something to say as well. They are also part of our history even if there are still neighbors living next door to those now vacant spaces.

Modena is a perfect example of a place that once was bustling but now is well on it’s way to becoming a ghost town. I wrote about the town for the Spectrum back in 2015. While the town is mostly abandoned, there are still some residents and that, I think, makes Modena a spectacular place to explore.

There is the history told by the decaying buildings, but at the same time there are the memories of those who still call the place home to provide insight into the lives that were lived in that place.

I haven’t had the chance to get back out to Modena with my digital Holga yet, but I intend to pay the town a visit soon.