“Welcome Home” – an abandoned home surrounded by wheat fields, Oregon

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I went back to visit my great-grandparents’ farm in the dust bowl with my dad a few years ago. Land is so cheap in comparison to the cost of demolishing and hauling away an old house (which you’d then just have to dump on different land…) that you just build a new one on another corner of the farm and keep plowing around the old until it’s gone. The last time he’d been there the old house had already fallen down, but wood takes a long time to rot in that climate, so we still thought we could find the remains. The problem was that since then farms had been consolidated and dirt roads between them plowed up, to the point where we couldn’t find it on our own.

Point is that there’s three factors going on: there’s no incentive to bother with demolishing an old farm house, the dryness means old buildings hang around forever, and larger, industrial farms mean fewer farmers and fewer farm houses.

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