The Abandoned Stretches of Tennessee State Route 211

Derelict sections of Tennessee State Route 211 in Dyer County.(Image: Pepper6181. Derelict sections of Tennessee State Route 211)

Abandoned stretches of American highways and byways have an eerie desolation about them, and the long-disused sections of Tennessee State Route 211 are no exception. Especially poignant are the derelict bridges that dot the route; structures that may themselves be forgotten, but the memories of those for whom they’re named live on. One example is the Adkison Memorial Bridge just south of Obion, TN.

(Image: Pepper6181)

According to BridgeHunter, the Adkison Memorial Bridge was built in the late 1920s as one of 17 toll bridges on the 17 mile SR211 highway in western Tennessee’s Dyer County. It was constructed across the Obion River near the eponymous rural community of Obion.

Adkison Memorial Bridge and former route of Route 211(Image: Bing Maps. Adkison Memorial Bridge and former route of Route 211)

BridgeHunter writes: “This is one of seventeen toll bridges that the State of Tennessee erected in the late 1920s. About two-thirds were named for World War I veterans, of which six (including this bridge) were named for WWI veterans who won the Congressional Medal of Honor. This route was originally State Route 3, the Jefferson Davis Highway, and later US 51 before becoming State Route 211.”

(Image: Pepper6181)

A context study carried out by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (pdf) on the state’s toll bridges says it was the fifth of the bridges to be built, and the tolls were removed in 1947. The Obion bridge remained free to cross until the construction of the nearby State Route 3 (US 51) led to its abandonment in 1990. But the disused bridge still stands not only as a reminder of another era, but of the extraordinary heroism of one Tennessee man.

Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Adkison(Image: US Army. Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Adkison)

Joseph Bernard Adkison was born in 1892. Twenty-seven years later, on December 31, 1919, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during World War One. Born in Shelby County, Adkison grew up in western Tennessee as the son of a single mother. In 1917, he joined the US Army’s Company C, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division.

Southern approach to derelict Adkison Memorial Bridge on SR211(Image: Pepper6181. Southern approach to derelict Adkison Memorial Bridge)

In 1918, the then-sergeant and his platoon were near Bellicourt, France, when they were pinned down by heavy fire. Adkison – alone – charged the German machine gun nest, kicked over the weapon and captured its operators, allowing his platoon to advance as a result.

(Image: Pepper6181)

Today, the abandoned stretch of Tennessee’s State Route 211 is maintained by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and still serves as access to the CM Gooch Wildlife Management Area. The disused highway also reflects the bravery of men like Joseph B. Adkison, keeping their important personal stories alive as the decades march on.

(Image: Pepper6181)

Related: 10 Haunting Abandoned Bridges and Viaducts to Nowhere

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Abandoned Bedham School & Chapel, West Sussex

The ruined Bedham School and Chapel near Petworth, West Sussex.(Image: Charlesdrakew. The ruined Bedham School and Chapel near Petworth, West Sussex)

Take a stroll through Bedham Copse near Petworth, in West Sussex, and you may stumble upon an unusual set of ruins nestled amid the tranquil woodland. The roofless Victorian abandonment has the look of a chapel, though once served a dual purpose for the community of Bedham, a tiny hamlet in the civil parish of Wisborough Green.

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

The hamlet itself is little more than a farm and several houses on the verdant ridge of the Weald, an area that lies between the distinctive chalk hills of the North and South Downs. During Victorian times the Church of England and local landowners built a small schoolhouse here in order to give local children an elementary education. The one room schoolhouse was built in the style of a country chapel, and church services were held there each Sunday.

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

According to Bepton Ranger: “Built in 1880, the church was built by William Townley Mitford – the Member of Parliament for Midhurst – and dedicated to Saint Michael and All Angels. Back in the 1870s religious morals and education were considered vital for the rural communities in the Sussex Weald, and many buildings were erected to serve as both schoolrooms and places of worship.”

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

Bedham’s Wikipedia page states that “at the end of the school week the chairs were turned to face the east and ink pots removed from the desks.” Sunday services were conducted by the Rector of Fittleworth, a nearby village in the District of Chichester. He was, it’s said, accompanied by a local lady on the harmonium.

During the week, when Bedham School was busy educating the local youth, a curtain was used to separate infant classes from seniors. At its height the school is said to have employed three teachers and served around 60 pupils.

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

But by the end of World War One the building was reportedly falling into disrepair and ceased operating as a school in 1925. It remained in limited use as a chapel but was completely abandoned by 1959. Left to fall into dereliction, the old schoolhouse would become the intriguing ruin we see today.

(Image: Charlesdrakew)

But despite its abandoned condition, the decorative stone and brick shell of Bedham School and Chapel, long since devoid of its roof, appears to be well maintained. The ruin is now a well known landmark of the surrounding woodland, connecting past to present in the timeline of one small English hamlet.

Read Next: 10 Abandoned Synagogues of Europe & America

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Abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube (Defunct CA Radar Base Opens to Public)

The abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube radar tower near Los Gatos, California, is now part of a tourist attraction.(Image: Jason Hickey. The abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube near )

As we move towards the third decade of the 21st century, the West Coast of the Continental United States seems a world away from the threat of air strikes that hung like a dark cloud over Europe during the decades of the Cold War. But the long-abandoned Mount Umunhum Cube serves as a reminder of just how seriously such threats were taken.

Mount Umunhum Cube was part of a Cold War early warning station built around 1957 and abandoned in 1980.(Image: Dawn Ellner)

Dominating the summit of California’s Mount Umunhum, the fourth highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the stark concrete “Cube” is actually a disused radar tower that once formed part of Almaden Air Force Station, a Cold War early warning base that operated between 1957 and 1980.

The Mount Um Cube (or Mount Umunhum Cube Box) once supported a large radar that scanned the Bay Area skies for hostile Soviet aircraft.(Image: Rairden)

Also known as “the Box”, the five-storey Mount Umunhum Cube cuts a foreboding shadow over the mountain, and according to Atlas Obscura has become a well-known Bay Area landmark. The Cube was built in 1962 as part of the General Surveillance Radar station, six miles southeast of Los Gatos, California.

Example of a Avco AN/FPS-24 Radar.(Image: USAF. Example of an AN/FPS-24 Radar.)

Tasked with monitoring the skies for hostile Soviet aircraft during the tense days of the Cold War, the abandoned concrete structure once supported a long range AN/FPS-24 Search Radar. The early warning station was one of many built by the West in the decades after World War Two.

(Image: Derek Wolfgram)

But the Mount Umunhum Cube was left to fall into ruin when Almaden Air Force Station was eventually closed down in 1980. In the years since, this unmistakable local landmark has been boarded up, its eerie concrete form becoming increasingly neglected and off-limits to curious members of the public.

(Image: Don DeBold)

After years of decay, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted in May 2016 to add the Mount Umunhum Box to the County Heritage Resource Inventory, protecting it from demolition and ridding the area around it of hazardous materials and the crumbling vestiges of the mountain’s military past.

(Image: Thomson20192)

The summit of Mount Umunhum (Mount Um to locals) reopened to the public on September 18th for the first time in decades. As Atlas Obscura writes, visitors can now “drive to the summit and park near the Cube, as well as enjoy new trails and a ceremonial space honoring the site’s Native American history.”

(Image: rulenumberone2)

Related: Cold Warning: The Abandoned Radar Stations of the Arctic Circle

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Winston Churchill’s Half-Smoked Cigar Sells for $12,000

Winston Churchill's half-smoked cigar has sold for $12,000(Image: German Federal Archives. Winston Churchill’s half-smoked cigar has sold for $12,000)

A half-finished cigar might not seem like the most likely lot to sell for more than $12,000 (£9,000) at auction. But this cigar was smoked by UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill on a visit to Paris in 1947.

The personalised La Corona cigar from Havana, Cuba, was found at Le Bourget Airport by a British airman named Corporal William Alan Turner. Cpl Turner kept the cigar, which is boasts Churchill’s name on the label.

The Independent reported: “Also included in the online auction was a photo signed by the prime minister that shows him with the cigar in his hand at the airport.”

Winston Churchill was a well-known cigar aficionado and was rarely seen without one during the Second World War. He was also an enthusiastic drinker, once rounding off a 21 hour marathon debate in the House of Commons with a breakfast of sausage, eggs and bacon, followed by a whisky and soda “and the inevitable cigar.”

He was 76-years-old at the time.

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Winston Churchill’s Half-Smoked Cigar Sells for $12,000

Winston Churchill's half-smoked cigar has sold for $12,000(Image: German Federal Archives. Winston Churchill’s half-smoked cigar has sold for $12,000)

A half-finished cigar might not seem like the most likely lot to sell for more than $12,000 (£9,000) at auction. But this cigar was smoked by UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill on a visit to Paris in 1947.

The personalised La Corona cigar from Havana, Cuba, was found at Le Bourget Airport by a British airman named Corporal William Alan Turner. Cpl Turner kept the cigar, which is boasts Churchill’s name on the label.

The Independent reported: “Also included in the online auction was a photo signed by the prime minister that shows him with the cigar in his hand at the airport.”

Winston Churchill was a well-known cigar aficionado and was rarely seen without one during the Second World War. He was also an enthusiastic drinker, once rounding off a 21 hour marathon debate in the House of Commons with a breakfast of sausage, eggs and bacon, followed by a whisky and soda “and the inevitable cigar.”

He was 76-years-old at the time.

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Silent Amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania

The silent amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania.(Image: Vilensija. Silent amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania)

In the woodland of Dovinė River Park in Lithania’s Marijampolė Municipality, this neglected open-air theatre makes for a surprisingly pleasant scene amid the trees and foliage. Unkempt grass has consumed the ground between the amphitheatre’s simple wooden benches, and the scene is blanketed by a layer of autumn leaves. The stage itself boasts a liberal coating of graffiti. Or perhaps it’s a scenic hangover from the last performance held here. It may not be as grand as the ruined amphitheatres of Ancient Rome (which we’ve explored previously). Abandoned or simply closed for the winter, it makes for an interesting landmark in the park.

Animal statue in Dovinė River Park, Marijampolė Municipality, Lithuania.(Image: Vilensija)

Marijampolė is one of 60 municipalities that make up Lithuania. Its territory spans the town of Marijampolė itself, and six surrounding communities. Other attractions in Dovinė River Park include the statue above.

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Silent Amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania

The silent amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania.(Image: Vilensija. Silent amphitheatre in Dovinė River Park, Lithuania)

In the woodland of Dovinė River Park in Lithania’s Marijampolė Municipality, this neglected open-air theatre makes for a surprisingly pleasant scene amid the trees and foliage. Unkempt grass has consumed the ground between the amphitheatre’s simple wooden benches, and the scene is blanketed by a layer of autumn leaves. The stage itself boasts a liberal coating of graffiti. Or perhaps it’s a scenic hangover from the last performance held here. It may not be as grand as the ruined amphitheatres of Ancient Rome (which we’ve explored previously). Abandoned or simply closed for the winter, it makes for an interesting landmark in the park.

Animal statue in Dovinė River Park, Marijampolė Municipality, Lithuania.(Image: Vilensija)

Marijampolė is one of 60 municipalities that make up Lithuania. Its territory spans the town of Marijampolė itself, and six surrounding communities. Other attractions in Dovinė River Park include the statue above.

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Gate to Arakül: Near Ghost Village in Azerbaijan’s Khojavend District

The gate to Arakül (also known as Arakel) ghost town in Azerbaijan, which was occupied by the Armenian Army in 1993 during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.(Image: Unface-Photography Holger Diedrich. Arakül ghost town in Azerbaijan)

This haunting image featured on Wikimedia Commons (by Holger Diedrich) shows the neglected approach to a village that has is described as “almost abandoned”. The lonely gate itself, which is devoid of life and straddles an apparently deserted roadway, could be the stuff of a Hollywood back lot. But this is actually the entrance to Arakül, a near deserted settlement in the Khojavend District of Azerbaijan.

The district is also known as the Hadrut Region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognised state in the South Caucasus on the border of Europe and Asia. Arakül (also known as Arakel) was reportedly occupied by the Armenian Army in 1993, as the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh War neared its end game.

The ruined church at Arakel St. Mariam Astvatsatsin(Image: Unface-Photography Holger Diedrich)

Hundreds of thousands of civilians were displayed on both sides during the violent territorial dispute, and today villages like Arakül are near ghost towns amid the aftermath of one of several frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. The above photograph shows the ruined church at Arakel St. Mariam Astvatsatsin.

Local folklore holds that Arakül (or Arakel) was named after Thaddeus, patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church, stayed there while preaching to the Armenians. Thaddeus is also identified as Judas Thaddeus, and better known in the Roman Catholic Church as St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.

Related: Ghost Towns: 20 Haunting Abandoned Villages of the World

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Gate to Arakül: Near Ghost Village in Azerbaijan’s Khojavend District

The gate to Arakül (also known as Arakel) ghost town in Azerbaijan, which was occupied by the Armenian Army in 1993 during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.(Image: Unface-Photography Holger Diedrich. Arakül ghost town in Azerbaijan)

This haunting image featured on Wikimedia Commons (by Holger Diedrich) shows the neglected approach to a village that has is described as “almost abandoned”. The lonely gate itself, which is devoid of life and straddles an apparently deserted roadway, could be the stuff of a Hollywood back lot. But this is actually the entrance to Arakül, a near deserted settlement in the Khojavend District of Azerbaijan.

The district is also known as the Hadrut Region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognised state in the South Caucasus on the border of Europe and Asia. Arakül (also known as Arakel) was reportedly occupied by the Armenian Army in 1993, as the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh War neared its end game.

The ruined church at Arakel St. Mariam Astvatsatsin(Image: Unface-Photography Holger Diedrich)

Hundreds of thousands of civilians were displayed on both sides during the violent territorial dispute, and today villages like Arakül are near ghost towns amid the aftermath of one of several frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. The above photograph shows the ruined church at Arakel St. Mariam Astvatsatsin.

Local folklore holds that Arakül (or Arakel) was named after Thaddeus, patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church, stayed there while preaching to the Armenians. Thaddeus is also identified as Judas Thaddeus, and better known in the Roman Catholic Church as St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.

Related: Ghost Towns: 20 Haunting Abandoned Villages of the World

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Navagio: Abandoned MV Panagiotis on Shipwreck Beach

"Navagio" (Shipwreck) Beach is home to the wreck of MV Panagiotis(Image: Walkerssk. “Navagio” is home to the wreck of MV Panagiotis)

According to Adventurous Travels, this isolated cove boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Navagio, or Shipwreck Beach, is nestled in a remote location amid the sheer white cliffs of Zakynthos, in the Ionian Islands of Greece. And true to its name, Navagio is home to the twisted wreck of MV Panagiotis, a 1930s Scots-built coaster that was abandoned after running aground in 1980.

Abandoned MV Panagiotis in Navagio (Shipwreck) Bay(Image: Badgernet. Abandoned MV Panagiotis in Navagio (Shipwreck) Bay)

The only way to reach Shipwreck Beach is by boat (though there is a viewing platform on the clifftop above), which is all well and good. The water is a clear blue that matches the sky, and the white sand is wonderfully pristine. What could possibly spoil it, other than the hoards of tourists visiting the beach that took its name from the rusting remains that have laid there for almost 40 years.

(Image: KatarzynaTyl)

MV Panagoitis was launched in 1937 by Scott & Sons of Bowling, on the north bank of Scotland’s Firth of Clyde. Originally named MV Saint Bedan, the 157-ft-long coastal trading vessel weighed in at 452 gross register tons and was fitted with a fitted with a 500 bhp diesel engine manufactured by British Auxiliaries Ltd.

Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach on the Greek island of Zakynthos(Image: kristijan_meh)

The Panagiotis passed through several owners over the decades, and was ultimately registered at the Greek port of Piraeus. Her service life came to an end on October 1, 1980 when she ran aground on Zakynthos in a storm. Just how the ship ended up on what soon became known as Navagio Beach has until recently been a source of speculation.

(Image: Skyscraper. Map of Zakynthos showing the location of Navagio)

One version of events claims the Panagiotis ran aground while being chased by the Greek authorities, who suspected the ship of carrying a cargo of contraband cigarettes and alcohol. When MV Panagiotis struck the seabed, the smugglers were allegedly brought to justice, and the vessel was abandoned on ‘Shipwreck Beach’.

(Image: Steve N)

But this story was debunked last year by the Greek Reporter, which said that its former captain had explained what really happened amid news the historic landmark is set to undergo conservation work.

The website wrote: “Signage will be constructed to give greater insight into the history of the wreck that many mistakenly believe belonged to a ship smuggling contraband, cigarettes, wine, and women. Captain Charalambos Kompothekras-Kotsoris, however, recently came out with the real story of how his ship ran into disaster due to bad weather conditions and mechanical failure on October 2, 1980, while traveling from the isle of Kefalonia to Albania.”

(Image: nistorarmin)

The Panagiotis was initially seen as an environmental hazard before its locals noted its tourist appeal. Interestingly, Bowling Harbour in West Dunbartonshire, where the coaster originally called MV Saint Bedan was built, is itself now home to myriad abandoned vessels from decades past, beached and rotting away on the banks of the Clyde.

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