Exploring an Abandoned Castle in Upstate NY

craig-e

Historic photo from dupointcastle.com

Once before I had made the trip to check out this castle, but poor logistics and wary groundskeepers had made the visit a brief one that resulted in my not getting to explore it in the manner that I wanted to. However today all of that changed and we managed to visit the castle, walk its grounds, and wander around inside of it. On top of that I scored some sweet bourbon from a prohibition era distillery in nearby Roscoe NY and met a couple of fellow urbexers!

image image

A Brief History on the Upstate NY Castle

While we were snapping photos of the surrounding scenery¬†¬†were lucky enough to meet one of the local groundskeepers who has been living in the area for 20 years and visiting it for over 40, he was kind enough to relay his knowledge of the castle to us. Originally the area was actually a small village with its own post office and everything. However as time went by it didn’t have the level of livelihood required to maintain the village and everything just went away, people included. The castle of course stayed standing and eventually the property was purchased by the masons who in turn turned it into a masonic retreat. However, that too didn’t last forever and eventually the property gave way to disuse. Now unfortunately it is frequently vandalized and not maintained at all. Still, the outside structure is still beautiful as is the interior. Compiled contributions on Dupont Castle suggest that the castle was built in 1921 and the interior marble work and style certainly suggests that is accurate.

The castle gate

The castle gate

Safety Precautions

If you happen upon the castle there really isn’t that much to look out for. The flooring is solid marble and the majority of the structure is stone and solid in nature. There is some woodwork here and there that has rotted but it didn’t seem to be too dangerous and doesn’t really contribute to the structural integrity of the castle. Certain basement areas have flooded but that is incredibly obvious before you get into them. Ultimately the largest safety issues would be local wildlife and the fact that you are trespassing.

DSCN3493

The Castle!

Exploring the Castle

The castle is in upstate New York near Roscoe and is easily accessible if you know where to look. Again, both the interior and exterior of the structure is gorgeous considering the upkeep neglect. There is a slew of unfurnished bedrooms and bathrooms, the kitchen, and some odd watchtower things. Certainly worth the trip and unlikely to go away anytime soon.

One of the many bedrooms inside

One of the many bedrooms inside

A video of the exploration:

A link to today’s photo album:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.910393819043948.1073741833.248729741877029&type=1&l=1ea6e5c2f0

Exploring Charlotte Kenyon Elementary School

chenangoforksschool1

Historical photo of Charlotte Kenyon from http://www.pressconnects.com

Being back in my home town for a couple of weeks I have decided to go around and visit some of my old favorite haunts, particularly the ones that got me into urbexing. Having heard that an old school in the area is slated to be refurbished into community housing or something to that effect I have made a point of visiting it a couple of times over the course of my stay here, I have made a promise to show several people it on my trip home so there will be updates to this post over the next couple of weeks.

DSCN3455

The front entrance as it appears now

A Brief History on Charlotte Kenyon:

The previously linked article actually has all of the relevant historical data with regards to the school written by a Broome County historian. However an abbreviated version is that the school was originally established during the Great Depression as one of the first centralized high schools of the area to be recognized by the state. Originally it consisted of just a handful of classrooms and a gymnasium as the original graduating class consisted of just 12 students. However, as time wore on more and more students began to attend school at CK and thusly more and more was added to it. Eventually a new high school was established and CK was converted to being the elementary school where it continued to serve this purpose until it was closed and sold in the early 2000s.

DSCN3438

The auditorium

Safety Precautions:

Should you make your way here before it is inevitably converted into something else it is worth noting that there is extensive water damage to portions of the building. While the newer additions to CK are structurally sound the older portions of the school have collapsed roofing/flooring. Rooftop access is possible, but again the water damage from years of neglect make it pretty risky to wander onto. There are also doors that open to random drops, so be careful wandering through the hallways and classrooms.

DSCN3444

One of many collapsed portions of the building

Exploring Charlotte Kenyon:

CK is fairly easy to find should you know where to go in Chenango Forks and has a lot to offer. The additions over the years include a full gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium, and classrooms galore. There are several floors to wander through and you can easily spend all day here. Ultimately CK represents one of my favorite places to urbex and hang out at just because of how extensive it is.

DSCN3452

And lockers galore!

The set of pictures from today’s exploration:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.905797209503609.1073741832.248729741877029&type=1&l=8f832e43e1

The set of pictures from a previous exploration:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.379854405431228.91062.248729741877029&type=1&l=1dc4f8add0

A video, with poor lighting, of a nighttime trip to the school:

My First Few Months Living Abroad

  

I was thankful when I moved from Kansas to Seoul. I am from New York and spending the last few years in the Midwestern United States was wearing on me. When I first got here  I was initially hesitant and reserved with putting myself out there and meeting people. Now that I have I almost want to regret it, because I don’t think I can go back to not experiencing life outside of the United States. 

  

There are a lot of aspects of Korean Culture I love, but they are not my reason for not going back. My lack of a desire to go back to the United States also isn’t a reflection of the loathing of my country or anything to that effect, I’m nothing if not a patriot. Rather, this love for living abroad is a reflection of the people that I have gotten to meet as a result of living abroad and the chance to experience the culture offered here. As I was supping out with an expat friend of mine we were both reflecting on the fact that we have made some very solid friends as a result of living abroad. To get straight to the point, it dawned on me that this ease of finding decent friends is likely a result of the fact that any foreigner you find living here in Korea is going to have something in common with you: you both wanted to live abroad for one reason or another. That’s a powerful baseline for a friendship and a lot of things come along with it; a willingness to try new things, open mind sets, all kinds of qualities that make forming a friendship with someone easier. My aforementioned expat friend and I don’t have a lot in common with regards to how I normally make friends, we really just share a single hobby. However, our shared desire to live abroad and experience different cultures leads to riveting weekly coffee shop and Korean barbecue discussions, and as a result of this friendship I don’t think I can go back to the status quo back home.