Skip Navigation
Regional News
House on County Route 11 in Depauville, NY. The house has since burned down, and photos can be found on the house's page at OABNNY. Photo: <a href="http://oabonny.com/indexpage9.htm">Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York</a>
House on County Route 11 in Depauville, NY. The house has since burned down, and photos can be found on the house's page at OABNNY. Photo: Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York

Watertown man preserves "Old Abandoned Buildings" with web site

We've all driven down the highway in the North Country and been amazed that some structure by the side of the road was still standing. Maybe it used to be a barn, a house, or a gas station, but it's been left to the elements, and these days it's an old abandoned building.

For the past eight years, Jefferson County resident and web designer Marc Mosher has been chronicling just such buildings on a web site called "Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York" (also known as OABNNY.) He describes the site as a combination of photography, urban exploration, and history.

Mosher grew up exploring abandoned buildings with his father, and when he got older he combined that interest with his profession to create OABNNY in 2004. He answered our questions about OABNNY via email.

Share this


Explore this

Reported by

Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

Farmhouse on Gardner Rd outside Lowville, NY. Photo: Glenn M. via <a href="http://oabonny.com/indexpage16.htm">Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York</a>
Farmhouse on Gardner Rd outside Lowville, NY. Photo: Glenn M. via Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York
This site has been going for some time now. Have you had a lot of response?

Quite a lot, I have a comment form for each photo so I get a lot of personal anecdotes and historical snippets and opinions. 

I've gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback except for a couple property owners who seemed to think that some people may have explored their property without permission because of the site. But I make a point of telling people that they shouldn't trespass to get photos and in fact you'll notice that most of the photos are exteriors taken from the road or nearby.

Many people who visit the site comment on the pictures, and sometimes send ones of their own. But are you the main contributor to this site? 

House on Route 72 in Henderson, NY. Photo: <a href="http://oabonny.com/indexpage30.htm#r5">Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York</a>
House on Route 72 in Henderson, NY. Photo: Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York
Originally I was the main and only contributor to the site and it was mostly buildings from Jefferson County, Lewis County, and St. Lawrence County. But it kept expanding to cover the entire state north of New York City, partly because I had chronicled all of the buildings I could find in my local area and partly because by that point I had made a great many contacts and found like-minded individuals who were happy to contribute photos from all over the state.

I have what I call 'guest photographers' send me photos semi-regularly, as well as visitors to the site who also send me some here and there. 

Any plans for OABNNY for the future?

I'm hoping to redesign the site when I have time, and with this many photos and corresponding text it is a major project so it's been on the back burner for quite some time. 

I would like to continue to add photos of old structures to the site from all over New York State, and add research and relevant information to the existing collection of photos - whether it's fact and figures on the buildings or just interesting recollections and anecdotes from those who were familiar with each one.

Graphic manipulation of photos from old Scotch house in Pleasant Lake Wild Forest Area, St. Lawrence County. Image: <a href="http://oabonny.com/oabonnyartwork.htm">Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York</a>
Graphic manipulation of photos from old Scotch house in Pleasant Lake Wild Forest Area, St. Lawrence County. Image: Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York
When some of these houses and barns and such were built they took a significant amount of time and resources and the owners many times spent much of their lives in them, and so the building sometimes became MORE than a simple house or barn - but more a part of the family with a living, breathing personality.

So that's why I'd love to have at least a little something about each one instead of just their approximate locations and when they were photographed (the latter of which is quite important with deteriorating structures). But the amount of digging and research needed can be overwhelming, so I usually concentrate just on the ones that I find the most interesting, and sometimes others send me historical data and other things of interests that I can add to the site.

I've also expanded the site by adding some artwork inspired by the photos from the website, and plan on continuing that. Along the same lines I would like to add more artistic photos using people and the abandoned buildings.

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.