I find old, forgotten, abandoned places to be great sources of intrigue and inspiration. Yesterday was spent hiking through the Pine Barrens of New Jersey with my husband, exploring the solitude of the woods and the ruins of Brooksbrae Brick Factory. The factory was built over 100 years ago but never operated due to the owner’s untimely death, and the site it was built upon has now returned to forest on land that is now located within a state park. Abandoned railroad tracks ran parallel to the old factory site.
The site of the old Brooksbrae Brick Factory ruins reminded me a bit of a site near the house I grew up in where my brother and I used to play. A factory that had been built there in 1897 exploded and burned down the year before I was born, and the lot remained vacant throughout my childhood. My brother and I used to go there to pick giant cat tails to use as “jousting poles” while we pretended to be warring knights astride our bicycles.