Sunday, December 3, 2023

The Ruins of Grafton | Site Six

The Ruins of Grafton: Site Six
By John Bulmer, John Bulmer Photography

Today marked the addition of a sixth site to my ruins mapping project within Grafton Lakes State Park. The rain and bare forest reveal the shape of the land, making it easier to see further and imagine what this forgotten community must have been like before it was abandoned.

The landscape is scattered with subtle hints of its past – impressions of driveways and remnants of single-lane roads, now obscured by decades of nature. Though overgrown, these features remain unmistakable.
Time has treated each of these sites differently. Site Six is marked by two foundations and two sets of stairs, each constructed of a layered combination of brick, cement, and white-colored fieldstones. Adjacent to the camp, I found the poignant sight of a shovel's blade and a bottle, entwined within the grasp of two trees, as if frozen in time – a reminder of the passage of time.

Like the other locations in my ruins mapping project, there were abandoned power poles scattered throughout the park, some pointing the way to the next homestead. Some of these sites have underground pipes and Romex cables. The infrastructure of this forgotten community seems harder to erase than the foundations and fieldstone fireplaces that sink under the seasons of leaves a little more each year. Seasons of freezing and thawing are not kind to concrete.

The land in parts of Grafton Lakes State Park, once a cluster of homes and camps, now bears the remnants of a bygone era.

To date, my mapping project has recorded details on six abandoned homesteads, each with its unique story. Among them are seven fieldstone fireplaces, some of which defy association with any known home sites. The landscape also features extensive stone walls, numerous footings, and the lingering traces of household items that once helped to make these long-forgotten homesites a home.

© 2023 John Bulmer Media, John Bulmer Photography.