Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lancaster Stockyards

Photobucket

Photobucket

Bluecapriethan told us about the Lancaster Stockyards a few months ago -- and funny enough, I actually pass it every day going to work but never noticed it before. Some explorer I am!

Photobucket

The Stockyards was founded in 1895, and grew to be one of the bigger livestock operations in the eastern half of the country. It was the site of tremendous cruelty to its animals, and Gene Baur has provided some dramatic first-hand stories about the treatment cattle and sheep suffered at the Stockyards, and he's featured in this video on the subject.


Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We (that is to say I) decided not to go poking around inside, as Lancaster was kind of busy awaiting Barack Obama's speech at the train station (why he spoke at the train station is beyond me). It would've been perfect though, as the police were all tied up with security duties. The site is very open; a drive-by is quite easy, and there's still plenty to see.

Thanks again to Bluecapriethan for this one!

18 comments:

bluecapriethan said...

Great photos. That place gets torn down a little bit more each year it seems like. odd side story- back about 10 years ago my dad and I were driving past the stockyards and I saw smoke and flames coming from the office building. I grabbed dad's car phone (not a cell phone, but one of those old ones that was hard-wired into the car) and dialed 911. Later that night when I was watching WGAL do their news story on it, they credited an "unknown passerby calling from a poratable phone" with saving the offices and all of the surrounding buildings by spotting the fire before it spread. Turns out a heater had malfunctioned.

Al Ebaster said...

That's a heck of a story -- so was the place still in business at that time? It's hard to tell from my (very few) resources.

bluecapriethan said...

I think it was actually. I don't think there was much activity, but there was at least an active office at thait point. From what I can tell, it is totally shut down now. It has looked run down like that for as long as I can remember. Over the years, they just slowly shrank and never really demolished what they no longer used. There has been a lot of interest recently in bulldozing it all and putting a shopping center in, so it may not be around much longer.

Karen said...

Wow, that is haunting... I think of all the death and stuff that went on there, and it makes the old building even eerier. Great site, by the way! I love this stuff.

bluecapriethan said...

When do we get to see your next adventure? I have my camera back so once I get a free weekend, I may go out and get some pictures of some of the interesting places around here. A bunch of the real cool places have been bulldozed around here in the past few years though.

Al Ebaster said...

Hey Blue, I'm really not sure when we're heading out to another abandonment... we do have a couple leads, but we're both a bit more busy than last year, and gas sure is getting ridiculous. I'll see if we can get another post up before this site has its first birthday!

bluecapriethan said...

I know what you mean about busy and the price of gas. Each summer I like to do a run to a junkyard up north of Reading every other weekend, but the price of gas is preventing that. We have a Ford Ranger and it is going up for sale because we are replacing it with an Escort wagon. I've been trying to think of other forgotten areas around here to check out, but when you've lived here all your life like I have, you tend to overlook stuff (like the stockyards).

Al Ebaster said...

Well, it looks like the next adventure might be out to Eastern State Penitentiary -- not terribly daring, but hey, an update's an update, haha. Should give us some good pics, too. My sister-in-law knows of a few good places towards Downingtown, so we'll probably check those out too.

I see tons of stuff that's overgrown along 222 -- a couple farmhouses, and what looks to be a whole farm compound with vines crawling all over it. That's always a good sign, but maybe the owners are just lazy?

And an Escort isn't a bad idea -- we have a Focus that does pretty well on gas mileage. Too bad the stereo's shot...

Anonymous said...

Today the complete demolition of The Lancaster Stockyards began. I was interested in your photos and your lack of hesitation in trespassing on private property (clearly posted). Was also interested in your comments on the cruelty described to you by Gene Baur. Clearly you are clueless, not only about the livestock business but also about the history of the Stockyards

Al Ebaster said...

Well, yeah, I guess I am pretty clueless about the livestock industry! I am a vegetarian after all. =D

I did a little more reading about the Stockyards after this post, and I really should update the post to reflect what I did learn about the history of the site. That it was, for a time, the largest cattle operation this side of the Mississippi (and possibly the country?). That the cruelty Gene Baur talked about only really began toward the end of the Stockyards' operation.

I'm sure there is a lot more that is interesting about the site that I still don't know -- that's the fun of this stuff!

If you have a problem with trespassing, well, so do I! I've never broken a law before I started exploring, and frankly I hate trespassing, and always prefer to visit places that are open to the public. But to me, the strangeness and beauty and appreciation for the history of these places (not terribly well reflected in this post) is more than worth the risk.

whiteroom said...

I am trying to find out what is going to happen to the property. It is amazing to me to watch the clean-up progress. I thought the place was overgrown and deserted when I was in high school in the late 80's! Here is a link that you may find interesting (I sure did considering I thought I KNEW it was abandoned in the 80's): http://www.nodowners.org/lancaster2.htm
I'd like to find information about what happened between when this was written and today -- and what is next. Thanks for the photos.

double H said...

Hello. I have photographed the Stockyards very intensely over the past four years, and will be showing most of those images, starting First Friday, December 5, 2008, at The Starving Artist Cafe, downtown Lancaster. I'd love for other Stockyard "enthusiasts" to stop by and share some stories.

Thanks,
Howie Hartman

Brian said...

My uncle bought and sold cattle at the stockyards for 50 years. As a kid I looked forward to going to visit him because I knew I could go hang out with him at work. It was amazing to interact with the farmers who came to the auctions. I miss both him and those memories I have from the Stockyards.

Anonymous said...

the reason soo many animals died in the stockyards is because the stockyards sold animals that farmers sent thier to sell becase thier purpose on the farm was no more. the animals were sick. why let an animal die on the farm when you can sell it before hand and still people can use them for meat. no there is nothing wrong with the meat.

Aquadag said...

Does anyone know what is being built there now? There's new roads and large drain pipes installed.

Aquadag said...

Oh... nevermind. I guess it's gonna be a business park.

Has anyone been to the old quarry lately? Used to play there in the late '60s. I wonder if there's anything left of the brick furnaces?
I guess a lot of people don't know it's there.

Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

ForgottenPA's Fan Box

About ForgottenPA

Created by Al Ebaster in 2007 after a trip to Centralia, ForgottenPA has become one of Pennsylvania's most popular urban-exploration websites. Brian is our photographer, and we're happy to have Ethan Smith, aka Bluecapriethan in the comment sections, on board as an author and photographer as well.

We're always accepting photo submissions! Email your photos to spampoet0023@gmail.com, with a few words about where and when they were taken.

Want to join us? If you have a Blogger/Gmail account and a passion for Pennsylvania abandonments, send us some urban-exploration photos and a few words about yourself to spampoet0023@gmail.com. Our authors retain all rights to the material they post, and are free to publish anything relevant to PA urban exploration at their own pace.

info@testingcompany.info
Powered by WebRing.