There are more than just bananas in there...

Korn Grain Co.

I am a big fan of abandoned places and I love to explore them. If you sit quietly in an old building you can almost feel the echoes of the events that happened there. I often wonder what happened to make people leave, how were they able to abandon an often beautiful structure and leave it to the mercy of the elements.  Weekend before last we had the great pleasure to visit the geocache, Korn Grain Co. about 20 miles west of Erin, Tennessee. As we approach the season of the witch, I thought I would share some of my photographs. I desaturated them and blew out the highlights to give them an artsy, pretentious feel. This will hopefully convince you that I am a deeply sensitive, tortured artist.

In this case there is no question why this great old structure was abandoned, it now resides in the middle of the Tennessee River. According to the story, when the dam was built to create Kentucky Lake it raised the level of the river so that now only two and a half storeys of this five storey grain elevator remain above the waterline. Over the years, vandals and the elements have taken their toll, but it is still an eerily beautiful place.

Neat place, huh? To approach you have to put in at a boat ramp about a half mile upriver. We hitched a ride with our buddy Joe in his boat and it was a good call, between the chop and the current, paddling back to the ramp in our kayaks would have been a challenge.

Time and vandals have taken their toll, but what a great and eerie place.

A view of a derelict railroad bridge just north of the structure, the boatramp is just beyond it.

I love this shot, especially the fish. I am a careless photographer though, note my water bottle right in the middle of the shot.

This one was shot from the steps, gives a nice low-angle Orson Welles feel to it. I call this one “Dear Old”.

As I said the elements have taken their toll as well. The entire west wall was full of holes and showed signs of numerous collisions. Some of these walls are actually just chunks of concrete hanging from rebar.

See what I mean about that west wall?

I call this one “peeping tom”.

Here is a better shot of the fish graffiti, I call this one “Jonah” cause I am clever like that.

Sticking with that theme, here is the view from the belly of the whale.

I did not even notice the beer can until I was downloading the shots from the camera.

I was outside exploring when I noticed that Joe and Bob had taken up seats in the windows, it just kind of struck me as cool, so I snapped the shot that I call, “Brothers”.

I left the color in these last couple of shots. I love this one, I call it “Something Eternal”.

We would have never known this was there, but I decided to try and climb outside to see if I could get on the roof. I never made it to the roof, but I did discover this great old sign. You can also see the concrete hanging free farther down the wall.

Nothing too artsy here, but I thought it was cool. It is sad, but I must admit that even though there were other people with us who could have taken this shot, it is actually two shots merged. I took the picture of Laura and then held the camera in place until she could take over and snap a shot of me, photoshop did the rest.

Technical note for folks who care about that sort of thing: All photos were taken using an Olympus Stylus 770 SW. Postproduction in Photoshop 7, final image sizes posted here are 600X450 pixels @ 72ppi. If you would like high-res copies of any of these just drop me a line.

1 Comment

  1. Melissa

    intriguing. a sobering experience softened by the lighthearted nature of the artist. the compositions linger in memory.
    Don’t mistake the pretentious tone of the critique…I really enjoyed this.

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