Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot

Hi everybody, amd Merry Christmas! We're not allowed to say that up here in New York City, where there is a War On Christmas! Just kidding! It's been far too long since I last posted, so here is a long-planned update on your favorite ABR sites, a la at the end of movies when it's like, 




The following post sat idling in draft form probably a year ago or more, as I added a note here and a photo there. I never got to take all the hoped-for photos before moving, but here we are. If anyone wants to supply missing shots and/or more information, I'll be happy to credit you.

But don't think of it as an epilogue for a dead blog; only one that is mostly dead. Consider this also a call for suggestions: I need more curious abandoned sites to feature on ABR. I'll be back in town briefly in April and would love to shoot photos for future posts.

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Abandoned Baton Rouge's 3rd Birthday Giveaway

UPDATE: Congratulations go out to our winner Amber King of Baton Rouge, Louisiana! She chose the lovely Dahlia chair as her prize, in green as a fine accent for her 1950s home. (She's a woman after my own heart.) Thanks to everyone who entered, and in doing so gave me feedback about my Etsy shop.

P.S. Buy stuff from my shoppe.

Hoorah! Little ABR is 3 years old and one of you lucky readers will get the present, thanks to the fine folks at, a site of 200+ stores that sell everything including the proverbial kitchen sink, as well as kitchen tables, appliances, and cookware. (Having just spent a significant chunk of time in CSN's stores picking prizes, I can testify that it's easy to get sucked in.)

The winner gets to choose one item from the prizes below.

1. In honor of all the lonely chairs I've spotted around Baton Rouge, I present a lovely chair for the ladies and delicate gents: The LumiSource Dahlia Chair, also available in black, lime, and white.


(Big dudes will want to avoid this chair.)

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Cinclare Plantation Sugar Mill, Part 2



Apologies for the delay between posts. I was settling back to Brooklyn, procrastinating, freelance writing and looking for a steady job. (I am still looking, and very much hoping for good news about a recent job interview. Wish me luck!)

So! Where were we? In the first real post about Cinclare, we just finished up touring the main mill. But that still leaves numerous intriguing outbuildings and structures, so let's take a look at those. 


The photo below was taken inside the first molasses tank, which has been cut open for storage.


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Abandoned Baton Rouge in Oxford American


Just a reminder, if you haven't already given in to my Twitter and Facebook requests, please pick up the current issue of Oxford American, the Southern magazine of good writing. In it appears my ode to ruin, along with a photo from Abandoned Baton Rouge. It's been a goal of mine to get into this prestigious magazine, so I'm proud to rank among the contributors. The issue is on finer newsstands now through the end of August. 

I made it back to Brooklyn and just got Internet set up, so there will be a new ABR post soon.

Cinclare Plantation Sugar Mill


Cinclare Plantation Sugar Mill was built in 1897 and was active until about five years ago, when it became the last sugar mill in West Baton Rouge to shut down. (More historical information here.)

I first attempted to explore this site in April 2008, but a security guard appeared and I quite literally ran away. Two years later, that same security guard led Kara and I around on a tour of the entire premises. I posted about the first visit anyway back then, because what did I care? The blog was pretty loosey-goosey in those early days.

Looking at those old photos, I see I was not overly concerned with such matters as lining up my subjects in the viewfinder and taking photos from inside cars with glare visible on the window. What I don't know about photography today could still fill the enormous sugar storage unit you'll soon see, but I'm pleased with my progression in many ways. I've learned to take my time and be more careful, but even the two hours spent on this visit was too rushed (because of that, I regret that many photos I took were unusable) and it felt like it was only a scouting mission.

To my surprise, the colors and the light inside the mill were amazing--a photographer's dream. I hope I did justice to the industrial beauty of this site.


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Best Comment Ever, Miss Havisham's Repair Shop Edition


I chose this month's Best Comment Ever from a post about a mysterious TV repair shop because it shed some light on a site that might not be abandoned after all, while adding more layers of mystery.

FWIW, that "TV repair shop" looks totally abandoned, but I don't think it is. The buildings in your first two photographs were occupied by a mysterious...well, TV repair business as recently as 5 years ago. It's a loooong, story, but here's the short-short version: Against my better judgment, I purchased a cheap Akai TV from Sam's Club. The TV, of course, broke after a month. Akai actually had me drop it off at the buildings in your photo (which confused me because they looked much the same at that time). The inside of both buildings was creepy in a way that's hard to describe. The one on the left (top) seemed to be where they actually worked, and the other one seemed to be storage or something, but the contents of both seemed much the same to me--a combination of an old TV repair shop and Miss Havisham's dining room, frozen in time like something you'd find inside a pyramid. The three chain-smoking guys (all men a generation apart in age, probably from the same family) who seemed to own the shop were very odd, but affable enough. Still, I couldn't help but wonder what exactly was going on there that allowed them to make enough money to justify the place's continued existence. (And as for that speaker: They seem to have those wired up throughout the place, and connected to a radio to listen to while whatever it is they do with their time in there. Perhaps the one outside is their way of signaling that someone is "home" because otherwise, it would be difficult to tell.

Thanks to David Pye for that back story. It's comments like this that keep me ever vigilant for more vacant buildings to feature on Abandoned Baton Rouge. 

And welcome newcomers! If you found Abandoned Baton Rouge via my presence at South by Southwest or you're otherwise new to this blog, read on for suggested points of entry.

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Best Comment Ever, Lincoln Theatre Edition


One of the more historic buildings featured on Abandoned Baton Rouge is the 1950s-era Lincoln Theatre, at one time a "blacks only" movie house. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke there when planning the Montgomery bus boycott. According to commenters on the post, musicians such as James Brown and Chuck Berry performed there, it showed porn and blaxsploitation films toward the end, and it was possibly the site of a race riot in 1972, although that was probably at the Temple theater. (Such is the ephemeral nature of "oral" history passed on in blog comments.)

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