Abandoned Annapolis

April 3, 2009

With the start date of the Boundary Rock trip drawing nearer, Cody and I took a drive down to the put in site to check out the condition of the roads and the ice.  Along the way, we made a few stops to explore some abandoned houses in some of the more remote rural parts of South Western Nova Scotia.  We ran into some pretty messy roads along the way, and some ice still on the lakes, but we’re not ready to give up yet.  There is still time for the ice to melt and the channels are opening up.  So here is a photo essay of sorts of our adventures on the back roads of South Western Nova Scotia:

Windsor Wear - Paul Maybee

Windsor Wear - Paul Maybee

I spotted this from the highway and decided to pull in to get a closer look.  I loved the look of the old bricks with arched windows.  I thought this was abandoned, but when we got closer, we could see people working inside and it obviously has all new windows.  It’s nice to see something like this being restored for a new purpose.  Such a beautiful old building.  Is it for offices?  loft apartments?  Either way, this one doesn’t technically count, because it’s not abandoned.  It’s just being given a new life.   …and we’re back on the road:

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned: New Minas - Paul Maybee

Abandoned: New Minas - Paul Maybee

The next thing I saw from the road, was this old farmhouse on top of a hill.  I pulled in to try and get a better look, and we decided to stop in for coffee at the Just Us cafe.  After fueling up on coffee, we continued up the road to try and find the old farm house.  It took a couple wrong turns to finally find ourselves on the road that lead to this house.  It was in the middle of a field which had smaller homes popping up all around it.   At one point it must have been all one farm, that had just been divided up bit by bit.  And there it remains in the middle of all these new houses.  This one has a story to tell.  It has such beautiful carpentry work and design that just isn’t seen anymore.

Abandoned: New Minas - Paul Maybee

Abandoned: New Minas - Paul Maybee

Here is another shot of this house, on the way back down the road.  It give the impression of it sinking into the field, or better yet, sinking into the past.  Slowly but surely fading away.

Abandoned farm - Paul Maybee

Abandoned farm - Paul Maybee

This one was interesting as well, because it’s not necessarily abandoned.  It looks like some work is being donw as well on the roof.  There was a newer house built in front of this one, so maybe they’re just saving it from caving in on itself.  This is a beautiful farm set back in the rolling hills of the Annapolis Valley.

Abandoned Annapolis - Paul Maybee

Abandoned Annapolis - Paul Maybee

This house was really quite something.  There was something different about this house, which I didn’t realize at first, but when you enter the house, it becomes very apparent that horses have reclaimed this house as their own.  The inside has become a horse stable!  So when the people moved out of this house, the horses moved in.

Abandoned Annapolis - Paul Maybee

Abandoned Annapolis - Paul Maybee

Here is a glimpse of the inside of the house, where the horses had (obviously) been spending a lot of time over the years.

We continued along the back roads which continued to narrow, and become softer and softer.  The distances between houses increased to the point where there was little sign – short of ATV tracks – of any people having been on the roads.  The road became one lane, and there were sink holes everywhere.  Patches were ice covered and several times we got out of the car to walk up ahead to see if it was passable.  The mist was coming down heavily and the prospects of reaching the put in site began to look very bleak.

Then there came a point where we realized that going any further was just not plausible.  There was no way we could continue unless we wanted to get stuck in the mud an hour’s drive from any civilization.  No thanks.  So we turned the car around – which is very difficult on a one lane, mucky road- and headed back out.

Bear River - Paul Maybee

Bear River - Paul Maybee

We decided then that the best thing to do was to see how passable the road was to the alternate put in site at Lake Jolly.  It was nearby, and took a different dirt road, cross country, to Bear River area…

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Along this new road, we found this old house.  The integrity of this house seems to remain intact on the outside, however the floors inside had given in and there was little left but the shell of the house.

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned Chair - Paul Maybee

Abandoned Chair - Paul Maybee

After this small diversion, we headed along another small road, which was only marginally better than the one we were on before.  It was shorter though, which did give it a great advantage over the road to Sporting Lake Stream.  However, we did encounter some sizeable sink holes that made it impossible to continue.  Thankfully though, at this point, we were within a couple hundered meters of the lake shore.

Sink Hole - Paul Maybee

Sink Hole - Paul Maybee

Lake Jolly - Paul Maybee

Lake Jolly - Paul Maybee

So here’s the bad news: the lake is frozen.  We’re quite disappointed, but we are far from giving up.  The two snowstorms we’ve had in the last month certainly didn’t help the situation, and it seems that winter is holding on by its fingernails this year.  The good news is that the edges of the ice are quite soft, and it’s retreating rapidly.  The forecast is positive for the next few weeks, and eventually, the ice will leave the lakes.  When that happens, you know where we’ll be.

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3 Responses to “Abandoned Annapolis”

  1. leif said

    Hi Paul

    This weekend of wind and warm weather should help, maybe by the 13th the lakes will be more open and roads a bit harder…?

    The third week of April is usually pretty good for getting a first trip in to the Toby.

    Best to do a day trip or two locally to knock the rust off, before heading in…remember to leave a trip plan at home!

    Give me a call at the office if you like.

    • Paul Maybee said

      I hope so Leif. It is supposed to be pretty warm, so we may be able to go soon. But tomorrow was the anticipated start date – ambitious, I know – so we’ll be checking every day until it looks feasable.

  2. Muriel said

    Paul, I love your photos here! And your commentary of how you saw these buildings. So many good ones in this set!! Do you title them? I particularly like the one of the farmhouse sinking into the past.
    Awesome! All of them.

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