Photo Essay: The Abandoned Buildings of Westmoreland County, Virginia



Westmoreland County, Virginia, where I live, is loaded with abandoned buildings. Many of them I see on my way to work every day at Stratford Hall along King’s Highway and Route 205 (with its ample roadside trash). Other buildings are just a bit off the beaten path. This is just a sampling of some of the abandoned houses I have seen.

I lived in Arkansas for more than three years. I never saw as many abandoned buildings as I have in Westmoreland County in just a few months. Without doubt, Westmoreland County is an economically distressed area. The place has a McDonald’s and 7-11. But no dry cleaner or bicycle shop or place to get new clothes.

The area is isolated one, too, which adds to the desolate feeling of many country roads. I wonder if many of these buildings were abandoned amid the economic meltdown of 2008-09, or if the problem goes back farther.

Some of these houses have a decaying beauty about them. Others are just creepy.

Here is one by the Food Lion in Colonial Beach.


Here’s an abandoned business along Route 3.


Here’s a hat trick: an abandoned truck next to a crumbling house, next to a bombed out old store (out of view, but just to the right of this picture).


This one….


is next to this one….


which is next to this one.


This one….


is across the street from this one.


This one is so overgrown, it’s hardly visible from the road. In the winter.


Here is the same house from another angle.


Another interesting thing I see in Westmoreland County are abandoned houses on the same property–and in some cases almost touching–as a much newer house. In this photo, I didn’t show the newer house, but it is not far from the old one.


More on the way!





About amerikanrambler

Amerikan Rambler is a Virginia-based blog and podcast hosted by Colin Woodward. Colin is a historian, author, and amateur musician, who works in the archives full-time. Author of Marching Masters: Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army during the Civil War, he is now writing a book on the historical, family, and musical roots of Johnny Cash.
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3 Responses to Photo Essay: The Abandoned Buildings of Westmoreland County, Virginia

  1. This is great. There’s something about abandoned buildings, I don’t what it is, but it’s hard to look away. Maybe it’s the overwhelming human attraction to past glories…

  2. rovingandraving says:

    Also live in this area. These are definitely a sight to see!

  3. Casi Mundy says:

    I hope you keep posting articles like that so our county stays the way it is. If that is all you see in this county you missed a lot. Keep writing though, so it stays the way it is. We all happen to like it here and do not want big box stores. Westmoreland County is rich with history, beautiful waterways and many beautiful homes. I happen to appreciate a peek into the past when I go by buildings like that and many people I know do as well.

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