Ontario, Canada-based Freaktography describes himself as a “self-taught photographer” whose current passion is “urban exploring”, which includes places abandoned—and it’s searching for the word on Flickr that reveals this photo among others.
I confess to being totally captivated by abandoned buildings, exploring them, and wondering what secrets they might reveal about the people who lived or worked within. Mr. Freaktography captures some amazing abandoned places, including an asylum, church (on an Indian reservation), and power plant.
According to the EXIF data, he shot this photo on March 12, 2014, using a Nikon D3200. Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/3 sec, 18mm. Image is by no means Freaktography’s best work, but the story behind it is amazing, as he explains in “Abandoned House of Treasures“.
The building had been abandoned for 30 years, he estimates, and one of the residents died of cancer. While shooting the crumbling, cluttered structure he discovered something unexpected: “$6,800 in cash—old smelly U.S. and Canadian money, tightly rolled. Most of it was bundled up in little elastics marked in pencil with dates and amounts throughout the mid 1960s to the 1970s”.
The find was strangely stereotypical: money tucked under the mattress. He chose not to keep the cash:
I tell my friend that the best option here, in my opinion, is that we reach out to the people who own the property; his research had led him to locate the three siblings who own this land, and he was able to find a phone number…My friend and I had decided to contact the female sibling, who lived a few hours away.
To ease suspicion and tension for the meetup, the two men brought along their ladies. That’s enough for my synopsis. Do read his story and what he learned about the former residents, their descendants, and the money’s origins.
The “Treasures” story leaves me wondering, though: Is some of the cash worth more than the face value because of how long ago it was printed and circulated?
Photo Credit: Freaktography