Right about now you’re probably drifting into a mild state of confusion over why a picture of some place lightly dusted with fresh powdered snow and the phrase “Ghost Town” have anything to do with each other. Well, it’s simple. Here to break the movie-made ghost town stereotype is the
twice abandoned town of Tahawus, New York!
First things first, let me establish that while this whole shebang is about the ghost town of Tahawus, the actual village of Tahawus is no longer literally in Tahawus, New York. Say that whole thing back to me three times fast and I'll tip my hat to you. Confusing, huh? Let me explain!
To date, the town of Tahawus resides in the village of Newcomb, just a short drive from its original homebase in Tahawus, New York. While the village was first abandoned in 1857 after it failed to thrive as a mining town for iron ore, it was again abandoned for a second time in 1963.
Revived for a second time yet again as a mining town, it was after the company National Lead discovered a large deposit of ilmenite underneath Tahawus that the decision was made to literally move the village so a new pit could be opened. To fully wrap your head around what it meant to move the town of Tahawus, check out this
from the 1963 move!
You'll find that many of its previously standing mining facilities no longer exist and have almost all been completely demolished. While you may be lucky enough to stumble upon a leftover gear or random piece of mining equipment, one of the many incredible things that is still left intact is the McIntyre Blast Furnace! Standing at roughly 50-feet tall, this industrial powerhouse was a true piece of work. Once the furnace was fired up, it would take an entire acre of trees just to keep it up and running for one day! Explorers of Tahawus tend to love walking inside the furnace to truly soak up all of its history!
Now, would a ghost town really be a ghost town without a few whispers of a creepy rumor or ghost sighting? Probably, but what fun would that be? The story told around town is that one of the heads of a mining company in Tahawus had been known to be very strict with his employees and work all of the miners extra hard. Officially it's said that an accident involving a gun going off was what resulted in this man's death, but, unofficially, word on the street is that he was murdered by an angry miner! Legend has it you can see the ghost of David Henderson riding his horse around Tahawus. Scary!
Unlike many stereotypical ghost towns, which look as though everyone living there abandoned the place just a half hour before you showed up, structurally not much of Tahawus remains. Most of the buildings that you see left standing in the village are from the 1940s when a private fish and game club existed in Tahawus.
While this ghost town may have been left to be swallowed whole by the Northern Forest twice, it's currently in the best of hands. In 2003, Open Space Institute acquired all 10,000 acres of land known as the Tahawus Tract for $8.5 million dollars. With the help of Open Space Institute and the Department of Environmental Conservation, efforts have been put forth to help educate the residents of New York on this great area and explain all that has happened here.
The empty town of Tahawus may certainly give you the creeps if you decide to take a visit, but don't let that make you forget what a wonderful place this once was! If you have a chance to speak with anyone who lived in Tahawus or knew of someone who lived there, you're most likely going to hear nothing but heartwarming compliments about the village! Hearing memories told about what this vivacious town once was makes its current state and overall demise all the more sad.
To take a closer look into this New York ghost town, check out the entertaining and informative footage from Tahawus below!
So what do you think? Did you know this abandoned treasure was hiding up in the Adirondacks? Tell us about your visit to Tahawus in the comments below and on our Facebook page,
New York Only!