The Roundhouse

Trains were a very important part of transportation and are still today. Trains had become the most important mode of transportation for both people and goods before the time of the cars. However, they could not function without the Roundhouse. I'm not going to give a complete history on roundhouses, but they generally had two major functions. The first was to service locomotive engines. They had to have large buildings to service many engines at a time and a turntable to get the engines in and out (think of a large garage but semi circle due to the limited mobility of the train). Also, early trains only pretty much went one way. In other words, trains could not go backwards effectively and the engines had to be turned around so they could change directions. The turntables would also be used for that. We found no remnants of the turntable, but I'm sure it had one at some point. However, like we said, this place was probably used for other things in it's latter years. Roundhouses like this one generally became obsolete because they were too small for diesel engine trains. So there is a good chance they no longer used it for that in the 1940's.

We actually found this place while checking out another...this is pretty much down the street and undoubtedly used to turn trains around to ship the its products. However, we did not check this place out until months later. This complex sits off the another complex which is still used. However, the roundhouse area is completely unattended and abandoned. It's quite interesting actually. This place hasn't seen a lawnmower in years, but just outside it's adjacent warehouse, which is used, the grass is neat and cut.

I'm not sure about this particular places history, but I know it is from the steam days, which makes it very, very old. Unfortunately, most of it has fallen under it's own weight. We found many appliances from later days. We found a fridge from the 50's and more recently some modular phone wires probably from the 70's. So it's obvious this place was used for something more recently, but we have no idea what.

Here is a wonderful picture provided by Google Earth. You can actually see where the tracks used to lay and how this once functioned. It was difficult to see some of the track ruins one the ground.

There was the roundhouse, which is all but ruins, and some nearby buildings as seen on the above photo. They were actually in very good condition and still had some nice artifacts in them.

This is facing right at the middle of the roundhouse. You can see the old stacks from the steam powered facility. You can see also how part of it has no walls left.

I will organize these by building.

The Roundhouse

It was an adventure in it's own right just getting into this place. We had to follow some abandoned tracks, traverse some woods, enter what was left of a gate, and cross through some thick foliage, but it was worth it.

I'll try to explain this building as much as possible. It's pretty simple. You have your semi-circle shape. The the middle of the back were three rooms, which were behind the control center, and in the front middle was the stacks that powered the whole thing. I'm sort of posting these in the order they were taken. We basically entered the south end and followed up way up to the east end going though the side buildings along the way. The architecture was quite amazing. The back of the building was mostly brick and the front was mostly gone. That is mainly because most of the large doors that once opened for the trains have rotted. However, some remain so you can see what it was like.

A picture of the whole roundhouse just to see what we are dealing with. A better angle. Looking up at the stacks.

Following the tracks was kinda like following the yellow brick road. An old pole for electric lines buried in foliage.
Through the clearing is the roundhouse. Looking over a bit you can see the grounds a little better. Just inside what used to be a large door.
Looking about that large door. This large door used to open up to house the train engines. Just inside what used to be a large door.
Part of the back wall. Actually the back of the building was about the only part to actually have a well left. Looking down the building.
In the middle was what looked to be the control center. Behind that on the back wall was one of a few rooms. Not much left in here.
Through the clearing is the roundhouse. The next side room though, had this beast in it still.
a close up of the box.
The last side room I promise.
Nothing inside fortunately.
The back wall on the other end of the building. The other end was even more in ruin.
An obvious old conveyer. At the far end looking back to the other side. The back wall of the roundhouse.
The far end of the building with what's left of an arm with a pulley. This is the stacks from the outside.
Looking towards to steam stacks. An old pressure gauge maybe? Looking up at one of the stacks.
The other stack ...obviously. There was a second level on the stacks which was foolishly went up. The back wall to the second level.
A closer look. The kiln that used to power the place. Looking at the kiln to see the boiler above it.

The Other buildings

The other buildings where incredible. They were left mainly intact. Thankfully, no vandals had trashed these places. You will see how cool abandoned buildings can be when they are left just to time.

These four buildings were located on the other side of the grounds next to a warehouse which still looks to be in use.

Looking across what used to be tracks to see the other buildings. Following the patch. Some old fuel tanks.
Looking at the roundhouse from the other buildings.

The Warehouse

This building is located on the far left of the other buildings. It is the largest and most hidden by foliage.

The warehouse from a distance. The door left a very itching impression. Just inside.
The whole thing. Showing the wall. Nice window.
The back door. Looking back towards the way in. Another window.
Storage rack with a wrench left on it. Looks like wheels to trains were stored here. The other door.

The Small Middle Building

This building was just to the right of the warehouse It was quite small, but very interesting. It was very long and skinny and we have no idea what it was used for.

Positioned between the warehouse and the next building. It was one long room.
The ceiling had a very strange texture. It looked as it if had been tarred. Looking towards the side we entered from.

The Main Building

I call this the main building because other than the warehouse it was the largest. It looked like it could have been used for an office or maybe lodging. Judge for yourself. Regardless what it was used for, it was definitely my favorite. It had two rooms; a large main room and a small room in the back.

As sits to the fight of the narrow building. Just inside. The wall to the right.
A space heater probably from the 1950's. Looking back towards the front door. The awesome ceiling.
The wall in the back room. The back wall of the building. Same thing slightly different angle.
The bricked floor. Looking out towards the front into the main room. A sweet sign left here from the good old days.


This is the last building. It was pretty cool. I call it the supply room because it had locks and bars on the windows. It also had a front desk.

From a distance. The side. Entrance.
Just inside the door. The waiting area. Behind the front desk.
The back room. Up the stairs. A very hot, very dusty attic.
And old typewriter.


Some miscellaneous stuff found around.

An old magazine. Someone left this here. They don't make 'em like they used to.

Overall, an amazing peice of history. Sure, the roundhouse has all but rotted itself to nothing, but still was amazing to see what was left. And the rest of the buildings were a true testiment to what buildings can look like if they are left alone. I really like this place. I will probably go back one day in the winter so I can get better pictures.