Abandoned Buildings and Forgotten Businesses (Part 1)

On my cross-country trip in 2017, I quickly gained fascination for stores, cafes, and other places which went out of business and left empty buildings in their wake. I found many such places in small towns, on state routes, and in rural areas.

I imagined the buildings bustling with activity. Perhaps it was a diner where locals and tourists alike sat at the counter, watching the cooks prepare their meals; a gas station fueling up cars in long distances between towns on lonely roads; a motel with a quaint name; or a store of some sort. Sometimes it is only a shell, with boarded up windows and doors, scratched paint, and decaying wood. Other times the remnants of signage or the presence of artifacts give clues as to the former occupant.

In any case, I found it enthralling to stand outside such places, absorb the surroundings, and wonder what happened to these businesses. This post is divided into two, with one reviewing gas, food, and lodging, and the other businesses and unknown buildings.


The Bonnie & Clyde Gas Station, Gibsland, Louisiana. From this station Texas Ranger Frank Hamer called Colonel Lee Simmons to report that Bonnie & Clyde were dead, having been ambushed on the road just outside of town. [2017]


Carl’s Burgers & Sandwich Shop, Caliente, Nevada. According to online sources, it closed in around 1996, and was owned by Carl Arnoldus (1925-2005) along with his wife Arnelda. [2017]


The Bailey Hotel, Bunkie, Louisiana. The hotel was built in 1907, closed in the 1960s, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, and briefly reopened in 2001 before closing again. [2017]

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