I was driving along a main road in Ulster County when I saw this and had to stop. Its about 8-9 bungalowes, clearly abandoned. Wellllll…..not abandoned, not in use is the right term. There were two houses obviously lived in so I shot some pictures over the fence and then i noticed an antique store/junk shop right next door. I stopped in andf asked the owner if he knew what that was about.
Told me he was Jan and that was his place. He had ran it for 30 years and then Irene put 3 feet of water into every bungalow. Insurance didn’t cover any of it so he gave up. Thats when he decided to open th store. I bet if I had asked he would’ve let us walk around but I was satisfied with the over the fence shots. Didn’t think it was right to ask him.
Link to all the pics
I first wrote about Hoffman Grove back in 2006 when I explored the area after one of the homes there was listed in the paper for sale. $200K for a house in Wayne? Yeah, what’s the catch? Oh yeah… constant flooding. Read the original post for the full story, but I found much had changed since I last visited in 2008. here’s some pics. At that time the community was still vibrant and most had refused to be bought out. There was an attitude of “this is what we have to put up with” and the desire to stay was string. After several floods in 2008, the state took action and in 2009, 36 homes were slated to be bought out.. There were several bad floods in early 2011, but Hurricane irene in August of 2011 was the final blow. FEMA stepped in and most of the remaining homes were bought out.
I took a visit to Hoffman grove this morning and what I saw was depressing. There were still many homes left, but most had plywood over the 1st level windows. Some had them over the doors and garage entrances as well. Yet I could clearly see curtains and items inside the 2nd floor windows. And some had cars in front of them. After driving around several times it became clear: cars meant there was a current resident. No cars meant no one was there and never would be again. Many left behind gas grills, toys, lawn furniture and other personal possessions. Saddest of all was the sight of this flag, upside down, the official sign for distress.
here are some pictures I took, the rest are on Flickr