Urban Exploration is the exploration of manmade structures, usually abandoned ruins or hidden components of the manmade environment. Photography and historical interest/documentation are heavily featured in the hobby…
It all started sometime in 2002 when I arrived back in North Carolina after spending most of life in Europe bouncing from country to country as an army brat.
With the freedom of a car and a lifelong interest in “old things” and photography, I started driving around and exploring the town of Statesville, where I had been born but didn’t really know.
Somewhere along the way, I ran across the term “urban exploration” on the internet. I not only didn’t know there was a name for what I had been doing, but that there were other people all over the world already doing it as well.
Towards the end of 2003, with a couple pictures and an Angelfire account, I started the first iteration of Abandoned NC. It lasted there until 2005 before a generous benefactor offered space on their server. It’s due to his generosity that the site has existed for as long as it has. He has been the reason it remained online for 16 more years after all the various facets of daily living for the most part took me away from it.
Now, in 2021 I have come back to this project, and hope to expand it.
“Urban exploration” only takes you so far when you’re trying to learn a story. I love finding physical spaces but I also love finding the obscure stories that form their foundation. Sometimes the information is there waiting to be discovered, sometimes it’s lost forever. Many times you have to speculate based on what you can find. Whatever the result, the trip can be as satisfying as the destination.
This has led me down many other paths of exploration, including dives into local history and folklore.
Over time, the site has become a repository for any sort of esoteric information or content relating to NC that gains my attention.
In the past I have gotten a lot of questions about exploring and finding locations. Generally, I don’t give out locations, and in fact, many I have on my site don’t even exist anymore.
If you’re looking to get into urban exploration, my advice is just get outside and do it. Fill up the gas tank, and start driving. See a road you’ve never been down? Go down it. See some train tracks leading through the old part of town? Follow them. There’s no magic formula for finding locations to photograph, it just takes time and mileage.
The quickest way to reach me is always via e-mail. I enjoy hearing old stories, especially about the local area in Iredell, Wilkes, and Alexander counties, but any good yarn is worth listening to.
Certainly If you have any information or pictures concerning places listed on the site, I’d love to hear from you.
abandoned_nc @ yahoo.com
I’ve also recently joined Instagram.
Or you can also contact me via the site below:
As a disclaimer of sorts, I do not purpot to be an expert on the historical matters which I may write on. I merely attempt to create a coherent narrative from information I am able to collate. Sometimes this leads to speculation, sometimes it leads to creating a framework for the narrative based on what I know about the surrounding time, area, and people.
History is always changing as we discover new and better information. Sources appear, are verified, and are sometimes deemed to be not legitimate. I find myself editing old stories more often than not as new information comes to light.
That being said, the folklore and history subjects on the site are ones I have tried to diligently research and have done my best to explain accurately. However, I understand that there are shadows spread all over our past that can sometimes obscure truth and detail, and if I have anywhere on the site been patently wrong, or if I am lacking information on a subject which you may have, please contact me.