YOU'RE IN FOR A TREAT
In 1886, a small town forms around a cluster of zinc and silver mines, on the precipice of a cliff. By 1960 the town has become a lively place, with a railroad, theatre, hotels, a bakery, a post office, a hospital, a bowling alley and a close-knit community, all living in the small houses perched above the mines. In 1984 the town is evacuated due to toxic fumes leaching from the soils and pouring from the mines into the river far below.
There are so many remnants here, as if the townsfolk packed only their most precious belongings, leaving behind an assortment of unwanted and unlooked-for items; a set of clues for the pondering thoughts of historians and explorers.
A see-saw, a swing set.
We wade through waist-deep snow to reach the first house, hidden from the road by an aspen grove.
Graffiti on the clapboards : yOUr in foR A TReAt.
Under a layer of snow, like powdered sugar, Gilman looks sugary sweet. Cold rooms contain small tokens of the 60's and 70's - psychedelic printed paper lining the empty shelves, and art deco lampshades protecting broken filaments.
Candy coloured cottages.
The vibe is eery, and we are all on high-alert. We forcibly ignore each No Trespassing sign. We do not want to get caught. And yet, I think we would choose getting caught over a much worse fate... Our minds are preoccupied with visions of spectres, rising up from a grate or glimpsed through the window blinds. It is hard not to imagine such things here.
Icicles and shattered glass.