Can you make out the letters on the peak of the building? Would you keep your money in this bank? I guess the garage door is for the Brinks armoured van to drive right on in.
When I see an abandoned building, I wonder what the story is. Someone lived there once. Someone left. Were the people happy living there? What changed for them? Why did they leave? Where did they go?
Rural Montana has many old abandoned buildings. It’s a beautiful state, but the conditions, especially in winter, must be very harsh. Ranches are large, so the houses are far apart. The winter snow is deep and blizzards and white out conditions are common. Visiting neighbours or friends must have been difficult or impossible at times. And let’s hope no one was sick. Where would you find a doctor? It’s no wonder so many people left this place of broken dreams.
I’m not sure if this was a schoolhouse in its day, but it certainly has all the looks of one. Across the street from it is a modern school much larger than this one, but still with only 22 children in it, grades one to eight.
In spring , early summer, and fall, the old schoolhouse was probably comfortable enough – perhaps a bit hot on those last June days before school was out. They certainly had a huge playground for recess time. But in the winter months, I can imagine the students (and probably the teacher too) huddling around the stove for warmth.
What fodder for a story! Need I say more? You can imagine it all.
Much of the evidence of the broken dreams still stands today, but there is a new generation in Montana with a new set of dreams. The weather conditions are as harsh as ever, but communication is hugely improved. There will still be heartbreaks and failures but the chances of “making a go of it” are much better than they were 50 years ago.