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Jim Sullivan

I've had a fascination with abandoned places for as long as I can remember. When I was young, my dad often took my brothers and me on hikes near my grandparents' farm in rural Wisconsin. Sometimes we'd find collapsed barns or the foundations of old homes.

I'd try to envision what the structures looked like before they became weathered husks overtaken by nature. I'd wonder about the people that knew those buildings, the lives they lived, the hopes they had for their futures, and whether or not they ever came true. And then I'd try to imagine the circumstances leading up to the abandonment. Was it a calm, deliberate event, or hurried and frantic?

A recent trip to the abandoned military base at Treasure Island rekindled my passion for exploration. It inspired me to spend more time visiting and documenting abandoned sites before they succumb to the elements, vandals, or developers.

In 2015 I took a series of road trips across the United States. I spent nearly two months on the road exploring hundreds of abandoned places, from the Gold Rush era ghost towns of the Southwest to the decaying industrial powerhouses in the Rust Belt. It was an incredible experience. To see more pictures and the stories that go with them, visit and subscribe to http://www.placesthatwere.com

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