The Earth Ran Dry

Thirty-four years ago, Star Lake, New York, once a thriving Adirondack town with a population of a few thousand, a golf club, a drive-in movie theater, and everything else you’d expect in rural New England, collapsed. It had always been a company town, ever since the 1890s when the Sykes family controlled most of the logging in the then town of Clifton, and continuing through decades of stability between the paper mill at Newton Falls, and Benson Mines closer to the village, employing hundreds of union workers and quite literally building the town. Then in 1977 the mines closed, never to return, and only a few months later, by the summer of 1978, Newton Falls closed for what would be the first of many times in its troubled history.

As one might expect for a place that has been gone for so long, Benson Mines is wide open now, left to rot and gradually fall back to nature. A minor earthquake in 2000 led to breaching of the water table, and the mine pit filled in, becoming Lake Benson. The greater majority of the buildings still remain, and are unlikely to see any future use.

Looking back at the entrance, at the corner of routes 3 and 60

Building 1 contained the mine’s front offices and laboratories

The rest of the buildings, 31 in all, were strictly industrial, although their exact functions were gutted with the rest of the equipment
Building 6

All that machinery ended up in neat little compacted cubes, headed for a scrap yard they never reached

One thing that remained surprisingly intact is the complex’s electrical wiring

I think this was a copy machine of some type, it seems to be just the right size to accept blueprints, and is sitting on top of a blueprint/map cabinet

Finally, just some more beautiful destruction, a place falling down entirely on its own, without human assistance or vandalism

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