Monday, June 19, 2017

The ruins of a Chinese city, turned into a museum after the Great Sichuan Earthquake


On May 12th, 2008, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit a mountainous region in southwestern Sichuan province of China. Over 70,000 people lost their lives while hundreds of thousands were injured and 5 million remained homeless. 

In Beichuan county 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed and 80% of buildings were destroyed. Qushan Town which was until then Beichuan's county seat was abandoned but instead of pulling them town, authorities decided to stabilize and preserve the ruins as part of the Beichuan Earthquake Museum. There were hydraulic engineering projects to help preserve the site and an underground museum was built at the site of of the old Beichuan High School. 

The Earthquake Museum site also includes Tangjiashan Lake which was formed during the earthquake.  


Monday, June 12, 2017

Inside the abandoned Cottontail Ranch brothel of Nevada



Two and a half hours outside Las Vegas, near the intersection of U.S. Route 95 and State Route 266, stands a small abandoned building that used to host the legendary Cottontail Ranch brothel. The brothel opened in 1967 on leased federal land from the Bureau of Land Management by madam Beverly Harrell, a Jewish girl from Brooklyn and former dancer. 

In its early days one of the most faithful customers was billionaire aviator Howard Hughes who would make several visits while he was living in nearby Las Vegas. He would fly there are a small airstrip exists next to the brothel. 

While Cottontail Ranch was licensed as prostitution is legal in the state of Nevada, the bureau of Land Management evicted her in the 1970's when word leaked of the government's role. In 1974, Harrell attempted to run for a Nevada Assembly seat in 1974 gaining national attention. 

The madam died in 1995 and the brothel finally closed in 2004. Since then it remains abandoned. 







(Click here for the full post)









Monday, June 5, 2017

The deserted Boblo Island Amusement Park of Ontario



For almost 100 years, Boblo Island Amusement Park was known as Michigan's Coney Island, even though it was built on Canadian land. The amusement park opened in 1898 in Ontario's Bois Blanc island, above the mouth of the Detroit River. Its name, Boblo, is an abbreviation of 'Bois Blanc'. 

The island was accessible by boats departing from from Amherstburg, Ontario as well as from Detroit. SS Ste. Clair and the SS Columbia excursion boats, two steamers known as Bob-Lo Boats, served the island for more than 85 years. 

On the island, the most popular attractions were The Nightmare, Falling Star, Wild Mouse, Sky Streak, and Screamer rides, a Ferris wheel, a zoo, and a carousel. Visitors would move between different rides via a railway that the park constructed. Henry Ford financed a dance hall which at the time was the second largest in the world, holding 5,000 dancers at full capacity. 

Boblo Island Amusement Park closed down in 1993 after 95 years of operation. Most of its old fashioned structures were torn down and the island was renovated for luxury homes. A few remains bring back memories from when Boblo was an island of joy.