Strong, enduring – and abandoned

It is not uncommon to find a chimney all by itself in a field somewhere. It is the one part of a house that remains after the house collapses following decades of non-occupancy. The fireplace and chimney had to be constructed from brick or stone even if the rest of the house was built with wood. Usually, it’s a skinny little thing that keeps on enduring long past the last occupants abandoned the place, and long past the rest of the house has disappeared.

So I was quite surprised when I came across this very substantial fireplace and chimney still standing its ground in the middle of a field, somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley.

chimney in the field

chimney in the field

It was constructed with rocks, bricks, and cinderblocks. The cinderblocks, especially, seemed out of place. Were they used later on to repair deteriorating brick work? Were the bricks there from the beginning? What time period are we looking at?

Bricks and cinderblock

Bricks and cinderblock

Weeds growing inside the fireplace seemed particularly out of place but reinforced the theme of nature taking over the man-made structure:

Weeds in the fireplace

Weeds in the fireplace

These little baby vines are just beginning to climb up on the lichen-studded layered rock:

Lichen on chimney rock

Lichen on chimney rock

More mature vines have spent years embedding themselves in the mortar and brick, strong and enduring themselves.

vines

vines

I wonder what kind of a house stood here, who built it, what kind of families lived here, who were the last occupants, why did they leave? There’s only one thing I know for sure: they believed in warm, cozy fires to keep them warm.

chimney

Don’t you just love it when three different photo challenges come together as a unified theme!?

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance.
Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Strong.
Sunday Stills, The Next Challenge: Abandoned.

About Beauty Along the Road

My name is Annette. I am passionate about nature, health, simplicity, self-reliance, truth, and life-long learning. Originally from Germany, I now live in Virginia, USA. I am a therapist, health coach, writer, photographer, and organic gardener.
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25 Responses to Strong, enduring – and abandoned

  1. cindy knoke says:

    it is indeed, beauty, along the road! kudos~

    Like

  2. utesmile says:

    How bizarre, nice fireplace…. one can always build a house around it again….

    Like

  3. Wow, you’re right about the three challenges unifying into one awesome post. Yes, I wonder about those cinderblocks too which lead me to believe the time period had to be more recent (at least in the repairs) than I initially thought. A mystery, Annette, for sure. And seriously, those vines….I am convinced they would take over the world in about three years if we weren’t constantly whacking them back!!

    Like

    • Vines will rule the world in the time we look away! I had my husband look at the masonry and he concluded that it was a “hodgepodge job” – some bricks standing up, some laying down with no apparent pattern. Cinderblocks perhaps for stronger structural support….but a mystery, like you said🙂

      Like

  4. indacampo says:

    As my husband said yesterday; “Left alone, it doesn’t take long for nature to take over again.” Beautiful interpretation of all of the themes Annette.

    Like

  5. Barneysday says:

    Very interesting topic. We have two prominent fireplace structures in the general area. Both are the last remaining stands of the previous homes. The story on one is the house burned down many years ago, and has never been replaced.

    The story on the other is unknown, as it stands by itself in an open field. The interesting thing on this one is it is made entirely of stones from the local fields. Not a brick in the entire structure. It has to be well over 100 years old.

    Great topic, thanks for sharing.

    Like

  6. Cee Neuner says:

    So many different colors, textures and layers. Wonderfully captured.

    Like

  7. Tom K says:

    Great survivor! Tom The Backroads Traveller

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Michelle says:

    This looks so much like the type of pictures my husband likes to take. If it’s old and falling down or faded or rusted..he wants to photograph it.

    Great pictures!

    Like

  9. elinwaldal says:

    Love this. As a child we lived briefly at a home where the barn had burned to the ground, what was left was the stone foundation. I remember wishing it still stood, but loving the way the vines wrapped around what was left as if in an embrace.

    Like

  10. I really enjoyed your photos of the abandoned chimney. Whenever I see one I wonder about what happened to the house and the family that lived there. Great post.

    Like

  11. Bodynsoil says:

    I love your photos and would be equally curious. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mpejovic says:

    That is such mismatch of materials, but a great subject to photograph.

    Like

  13. jpeggytaylor says:

    It does seem strange how the bricks and blocks seem so modern, almost as if someone chanced upon the old stone base and built the top with new materials. … though equally odd that there is no sign of a house to go with it! An interesting find that worked wonderfully for the challenges🙂

    Like

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