One type of attraction we haven't covered much of on this site has been abandoned locations.
This is mostly by design as we are not comfortable recommending readers to trespass, break-in, or perform illegal activities in order to check a spot out. (Likewise, we do not do these ourselves either).
But at Yellow Dog Village in Worthington, PA (near Kittanning), with advanced permission and payment, you can visit an abandoned site that is quite the interesting spot to see!
The History of Yellow Dog Village
Yellow Dog Village has an interesting history.
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The area was settled in the late 1800s when iron and limestone was found in region. Workers would have to travel long distances to get to the limestone mines and pleaded with the owners to provide housing closer to the site. The mine owners built the town under the condition that the workers never unionize, which the workers agreed to (hence the name “yellow dog” named after this type of contract).
The village itself thrived for many decades, and it wasn't until recent years that the village fell into disrepair and outright abandon. This happened for a number of reasons including the closure of the mine, the wells becoming tainted, and the housing crisis in the early 2000's.
Today the village is almost completely abandoned and offers an interesting look back into a time that once was.
Abandoned Photography Opportunities
Today, Yellow Dog Village is home to several houses that are in various states of abandon and managed by a private owner- making them perfect for urban exploration photography.
I was able to visit this one as part of a photography workshop managed by our friends at UncoveringPA, and found it to be a very surreal experience.
What makes these houses quite interesting for this style photography, other than simply being abandoned, is that many were left as-is as the former owners left. Some houses are full of toys for children, another has a wedding album, others have complete furniture sets, and more!
Throw in the ravages of time, and you can get an appreciation for the power of nature over a long period of time, and truly wonder about what had to happen for these otherwise beautiful buildings to be abandoned.
Goals for the Future of Yellow Dog Village
The owner of Yellow Dog Village has high hopes for the future in order to restore these beautiful houses to their former glory and have a period village set in the early 1900s.
This will include restored houses for rent for off-the-grid weekends, historical re-enactments showcasing life during that era, and more. While early on in the process, visitors to the site will be contributing to this lofty goal.
In fact, when you explore the houses you truly get an appreciation for the workmanship as, despite their abandoned state, several of the dozen or so houses are still quite structurally sound. We'd definitely love to see this one achieve its goal to restore these houses to their former glory!
How to Visit Yellow Dog Village
Yellow Dog Village is a privately owned collection of houses that can be opened to members of the public with advanced registration and a nominal fee ($10 for a guided tour, $20/hr for photography, $50 for half day, and $80 for full day). These fees go to the maintenance of the property and to help rebuild the houses for more period-based experiences as noted above.
While this site is an interesting one to visit for those who are interested in regional history, abandoned photography, and the like, the site is also private property and is surrounded by electric fencing to prevent trespassing and further vandalism. As such, we should reiterate that all visitors must have advanced registration for this one!
Yellow Dog Village is located in Worthington, PA, about 45 minutes northeast of downtown Pittsburgh.
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