The Newspaper Room in the Abandoned Poorhouse

Little Girl in abandoned poorhouse by Freaktography
The Newspaper Room in the abandoned Poorhouse

The Newspaper Room in the Abandoned Poorhouse- explained!

One of my most popular locations on my website is a location known as the Abandoned Poorhouse also known as the Abandoned County Home.

This morning I posted a photo from inside this great abandoned building in New York State, someone commented asking me what is the story with all the newspapers in that one room. I have been asked that question numerous times and I have also wondered myself.

abandoned county home poorhouse photography by freaktography
Inside one of my all-time favourite abandoned buildings, an abandoned poorhouse/abandoned county home. An awesome amount of decay, lots of good natural light and an amazingly creepy exterior – and lots of great staircases like this one.


abandoned poorhouse newspaper room
The newspaper room inside the abandoned poorhouse or county home


My hope was that it was someones paper route that he neglected for years on end and simply dumped the papers there for years – but the story is so much better actually.

I contacted the owner of the property, who grants me permission to explore and photograph the property anytime I like.

Here is the story of the newspapers in the newspaper room:

“For a few years the previous owners leased the building to someone. He was one of those guys who always has some new idea, or new plan. Let’s call it a scheme. In this case, he wanted to take recycled paper from the county, and process it into bedding for cows. I think around this time, 1994/95, the county was paying people who might make use of recycled materials due to some statewise short-sightedness of actually HOW to recycle the materials they were now collecting.

So this guy had the idea that he could make money on both ends of the puzzle. Get paid by the county to take the piling up paper and then by selling it to farmers for their cows (who could also cut back on paying for and storing hay). Really, I’ve thought it wasn’t a bad idea.

But it was poorly executed.

So this guy makes the deal with the county to get recycled paper and all of sudden one day big county dump trucks are pulling in the driveway and driving around back behind the home. They’re loading the paper onto a grain elevator going into the middle window of the dining room (those long rooms where the paper is was the dining room) and it is just piling up into a mountain on the floor. This happens several times over a few weeks until they deliver their initial consignment and the room is basically about as full as you see it now.

Then he brings in a wheat thresher. Thinking a wheat thresher is going to be great to grind up the paper. He pulls that up to the next window and has a small dump truck sitting there to catch the ground up paper. Problem is wheat is fibrous, long thin strands, and the thresher is designed to separate the grain from the fiber. Paper isn’t fibrous, it’s pulpy. It bunches up. Clumps together, even when its dry.

Twenty minutes in and the thresher seizes up, clogged every which way with paper. And that would be all she wrote. His lease ended and my mom bought the property and we had a mountain of newspaper in an old dining room.”

So that is the story of the newspaper room in the old abandoned poorhouse!