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  • Erik Whetstone
    Ghost Town Photographer

    A ruin near Allamore, Texas
    About two miles east of Allamore,
    right off I-10
    Photo by Erik Whetstone

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  • The Ghost Town Philosophy of Erik Whetstone

    Growing up in the Dallas area, I became interested in old houses and ghost towns when my Dad and I used to drive down to visit my grandfather in Houston. On each trip we'd note old towns along the way and explore those that we could. After becoming familiar with one route, we would take another on the next trip and cover new ground. Later, when I started exploring Texas on my own, I'd drive as far as I could on a tank of gas.

    I didn't start taking photographs until 1999 when I acquired a digital camera. I first shot buildings around town but soon ran out of subjects. So, I took one of the old routes to Houston my dad and I used to take, but I couldn't find any buildings that I remembered. Then it occurred to me that it wasn't a poor memory; it was because the buildings were simply no longer there. I realized that's pretty much the fate of all older buildings - that sooner or later they'll all be gone.

    I decided to make an effort to visit every county in Texas, and see what I could record. I would try to cover as much ground as I could before sunset. Sometimes an entire day wouldn't produce a single picture, and other times I'd capture a few hundred images.

    I began to think about what to do with my growing collection. I considered creating a website but it never materialized. I found a few websites devoted to ghost towns, but none that I felt I'd want to contribute to. Then one day I was browsing the ghost town section of Texas Escapes and recognized some of the same places I had visited - even some of the same subjects. It was nice to know that other people were recording these towns and so I offered to share my collection with TE's readers so that they might enjoy my images in the same way I enjoyed theirs.

    Erik Whetstone
    January 30, 2004

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