Friday, July 16, 2010

My favorite Crisfield Ghost House

Crisfield Ghost House

"The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts." ~ Italo Calvino

This is not really a ghost house. I just like to call it that whenever I pass by. Perhaps there could be ghosts inside, and if so, I am sure they are happy ghosts.

The house, which I have photographed before for this blog, is within walking distance of my house. I have no idea who owns it. I wish I did. If I could get up on the second floor, I would be able to see the bay. For those who have seen my Jenkin's Creek photos, the house is very near the picturesque bridge.

We have a lot of beautiful homes in Crisfield, but we have some homes like this that just make you want to stop and take a photo. Oh, if they could only talk.

Oh, and I have another "ghost house" that I love to photograph. From the top floor the whole world opens up; just a spectacular view of the bay.

Both houses photographed last week.


Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Oh if only these old homes could tell us about the joys and sorrows they have seen within their walls. I have seen and also photographed so many similar houses on the eastern shore. It always totally amazes me how people have seemingly walked away and left these once proud abodes to decay and fall down.

Rebecca said...

I would love this house too!

Anonymous said...

I think the first house is Harry Helsby's mother's place, he lived across the street. Unfortunately, they are both deceased and I don't know any other family around.

Patty said...

Anon: Thank you. If you have any history on the house, I would love to hear it. I am sure the house has seen some happy days. So sad that no one is caring for it.

Gary Tyler said...

The old house at the top used to be in my name. It once belonged to my Uncle Harry Helsby Jr. prior to me owning it. People walk away from these homes because they cannot afford to fix them. No one enjoys selling their heritage or memories, but without the funds needed, the houses will fade away. The house across the road belonged to my Grandmother, Mildred Virginia Helsby who died in the 1980s. Thieves broke in and ripped out most of the metal pipes in that house. Perhaps some families lives now extend beyond Crisfield and it takes all their money to pay bills and survive where they are. Paying property taxes on two houses can be very expensive along with insurance. I have wonderful memories of that town in the 1970's and 1980's. The first house (ghost house) was built by Stouton Sterling probably around 1880 or 1890 and no longer exists as the new owner tore it down There is just not enough money to maintain the properties as they should be. Sometimes, we have to move on to make new memories. When most of one's relatives are in the graveyard, it's hard to visit the town. Hurricane Sandy really hit Grandmom's house hard and it probably would have finally destroyed the other house if it were still there. Just thought I would attempt to shed some light on this topic as someone who was family to the people who once lived there.

Patty said...

Gary: it broke my heart when they tore down the house. It always had so much to say to artists and photographers alike. It was well photographed by many, so will live on, probably longer than Crisfield. The leaders have no idea how to run a town.

I know what you mean about the criminals. You would think the small, quiet town would be free of criminals. I never had to lock my car doors before moving to Crisfield. People would break in to get the change in the console. Back in Georgia, it is nice to be able to leave my car unlocked, at least where we live.

Until people demand new blood and accept new ideas, Crisfield will continue to languish and fall further into the hands of criminals and continue to decay. It is such a beautiful town if you can overlook the politics that serve no one except the people who sit in office or hold a position.

So many people have emailed me over the years telling me how nice Crisfield used to be. Those who have been back are heartbroken when they see what happened to their town. From what I learned, I don't think the town will come back in my lifetime unless it is handed over to an outsider who has full authority to bring in back to life.