In The Wilds Of West Virginia

artwhiz47

Hamburg, United States

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In keeping with the interesting trend fostered by Gene Walls, & most recently, Tracy Faught, here’s another derelict ~ a West Virginia FUFH (Farm Unit From Hell) that was (& I stress WAS – have no idea what its current status is) located on the most appropriately named Camp Mistake Run, not far from West Union, WV. I’m reasonably certain about this location – in Doddridge, or perhaps Tyler County in the northwest region of the state. I know that this was Camp Mistake Run, wherever it may be ~ could hardly forget a place like this on a road with a name like that…. I spent a fair amount of time driving around the muddy & oft-impassable tracks that pass for roads in the hills of this beautiful state, travelling with a good friend who was in search of land down there…the remoter the better. Many adventures ensued, but none was as poignant or compelling as the real estate auction we attended in one county town. A good portion of the properties up for grabs were going for taxes, out from under the noses of poor owners who could not afford the small rates but whose holdings were coveted by big companies looking to grab mineral & timber rights. One elderly woman wearing a large diamond spoke to us tearfully ~ her ring was all she had left, & she wouldn’t sell it to try & save her house & land, but she was outraged that her home was to be swept away in an avalanche of greed & avarice. There were three properties on Camp Mistake – all on a single stretch about a half-mile long, & they all resembled this example. Obviously, many years had passed since the last occupation of any of them, & the growth of pole-sized trees around them bespoke their neglected state very well. We drove along the ‘road’, took pictures, got stuck, & eventually made our way back out to relative civilization. Needless to say, neither this property nor any of the others fit my friend’s criteria (though they WERE sufficiently remote), but they were remarkably picturesque. By the way, our ‘FUFH’ designation evolved from the official auction descriptions of ‘Farm Units’ of all kinds – from the working farm to the abandoned wreck. I think it is self-explanatory. ‘Camp Mistake’ got its name when some deer hunters set themselves up at the wrong site somehow, & nearby Camp Misery was infested with biting, stinging insects. Never a dull moment.

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