Lonaconing Silk Mill (Klotz Throwing Company) – April 2014

UntitledFriday into Saturday had one goal in mind: to take in and grasp the shuttered silk mill in Lonaconing, MD.

UntitledFriday evening was a rather uneventful but still enjoyable drive through Pennsylvania.  I had booked this particular trip before I knew exactly where it was. UntitledLittle did I know before Googling it – that it would be in the Western panhandle of MD, a good four and a half hours away from home.

UntitledThe winds were whipping up as I arrived to the shattered windows and brickwork that reminded me of the Adirondack’s. After unpacking my gear, I started to walk around the facilities to better gauge it’s condition.

The building closer to the street was clearly more burdened by the last 57 years of weather. Broken windows, weeds, vines, and other signs of age were prevalent. However, the grass was mowed and there were signs that the owner was doing their best to maintain the property. 

UntitledUpon walking in, the smell of oil and mold hits you. It soon passes – either the body gets used to it, or the wind coming in through the windows moves it away. Row after row of machinery line all three floors of the building. Empty thimbles and spools are to be found everywhere. Signs of it’s past life also remain – order tags, cigarette tins, glass Coca-Cola bottles, etc.

UntitledOriginally employing over 500 workers, it employed less than 100 by the time it closed in 1957. It has remained idle and practically untouched since then. Plans to bring life into the facility have faltered, but the owner still holds out hope that the mill will run again. Monies from from the shoot are going toward fixing the roof.

The entire photo shoot can be seen here.


(and on a side note – checked “West Virginia” off my list of states I’d never seen)

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