Showing posts from November, 2023

Historic Killingly Ballouville Mill

  As I recall that April day in 2018, the memory unfolds with the vividness of a carefully preserved photograph. The sky, a vast expanse of unyielding blue, served as the perfect backdrop for our excursion. J and I, driven by curiosity and a keen sense of adventure, stood at the threshold of the historic Ballouville Mill in Killingly, Connecticut. This relic of a bygone industrial era was nestled imposingly between two homes as if guarding the secrets of its storied past. Our entry into the mill was less an act of intrusion and more a gentle push through time's veil. An opening – not quite a door, nor a window – beckoned us into the heart of a forgotten world. Inside, the mill presented itself as a cathedral of industry, now silent and solemn. Wooden beams and columns, like the ribs of a great leviathan, stretched upwards, supporting the weight of history and time. The machinery, once the pulsing heart of this place, had long since ceased their hum of productivity. In their absence

Maas & Waldstein Lost Archive Recovery

In the digital labyrinth of my archival exploits, the rediscovery of Maas & Waldstein's lost files proved to be a journey through the annals of my urban exploration saga. Over the past decade, my collection of portable hard drives, scattered across time and space since 2013, became a tapestry of hidden gems and misplaced memories. In the early days, navigating the sprawl of unidentified buildings (aptly marked 'UBxx') took precedence over meticulous cataloging. File folders were a chaotic mosaic, each holding snippets of history waiting to be unveiled. Today, armed with experience and refined tools, the obscure 'UBxx' pins on my maps unfold into rich narratives, revealing the untold stories of Maas & Waldstein. The bottom floor of the former lacquer building. The lost archives, now resurfaced, illuminate the trio of structures that once housed the essence of the company. The Enamel building, a soaring three-story testament, stands proud. The Laboratory, a tw

Urban Explorer's Must-Have Essentials for 2024

Urban exploration, the art of uncovering the hidden and mysterious, demands more than just a curious spirit. As a fervent and dedicated urban explorer, you know that being well-prepared can be the difference between an unforgettable adventure and a regrettable mishap. While your checklist may vary depending on the nature of your missions, there are a few indispensable items that every urban explorer should carry with them, no matter where their journey takes them. 1. Toilet Paper - An Unexpected Essential You might wonder why toilet paper ranks among the must-haves for urban exploration. The truth is, when nature calls during one of your upstate expeditions, you'll be grateful for this simple necessity. You can't always rely on public restrooms or the quality of their supplies. Restaurant toilet paper, often thin and abrasive, can leave you less than comfortable in the rear area. To avoid such discomfort, stash a roll or two in your trunk. Trust me; restaurant napkins are no ma

Doorway on the Passaic River

In the realm of industrial history along the Passaic River in Northern New Jersey lies a captivating tale of an oil company's struggle for survival against the evolving landscape of progress. Amidst the modernization of Route 21 in the 1950s, the Riverbank Petroleum Company later renamed to Northern New Jersey Oil Company stood as a fierce opponent to the development. Their existence pivoted on the river's access, a lifeline for their business. Relinquishing it meant demise, so they fiercely contested the eminent domain battles. Ultimately, a compromise was reached: a tunnel beneath McCarter Highway, enabling oil transportation without disrupting the flow of the newly expanded route. Riverbank Petroleum Company Wharf had its last recorded shipment of under 2,000 tons of fuel oils in 1997. Time has seen the oil company fade into history, leaving behind an abandoned, flooded tunnel. However, a peculiar sight remains – a doorway, a relic from the past, etched onto the side of Rou