The Perryton House

I came upon this Texan house at the end of a long quirky adventure involving two other abandoned houses in Oklahoma and picking up along the way an amiable migrating homeless man from Florida.

Located in the Texan Panhandle, just a few miles North of Perryton. This house was a simple no thrills white Ranch style building with red trim around the windows and an oversize front porch that could make any Southern grandmother with a pitcher of sweet tea envious. The most impressive feature, for me, were these colossal trees firmly planted at each corner and creating a surreal mellow oasis in the barren panhandle. I stood beneath one of the tees and was in awe that they had grown rather straight and large in an area well known for its consistent strong winds. Most of the trees in this region tend to look like they could use a V8 juice, but not these Perryton trees!

I found the front door left ajar, almost like the house was patiently waiting for me, and displaying an amusing little sticker warning that I may be carried out if I break in…  HA!

Inside I found the air to be almost too musty and stale to breathe. None of the floor was visible beneath the piles of damp moldy ceiling panels and what looked like dirt, but could also have been decomposing building materials. Walking across this room was like walking on living sponge. Each step would slowly spring back up as I moved forward.

Seconds after entering the house I turned to my left and beheld what was the most perfect photo opportunity! An ugly faded floral reclining chair juxtaposed against a damage mural of a classic Western landscape. I was not expecting to find such a great image. Immediately I leaped over the filth and crouched low to get some decent shoots. The whole scene looked like it was frozen in time, as if the owner had meant to step out for just a moment with intentions of returning to her seat for an evening of jeopardy.

This was the first interior mural that I have come across in my decay adventure. Usually I find odd paint colors or peeling layers of outdated wallpaper patterns. I imagined that someone related to the previous occupants had painted this. It felt intimate.

From the living space I eagerly walked down the hallway, trying not to trip on the ceiling panels, to see what goodies might exist in the bedrooms. Sadly there wasn’t much of anything else to see and a few doors were jammed shut.

From the window of one room I noticed a police officer had pulled over and was outside looking at my car. For a brief moment I froze and could feel my heart thumping wildly against my chest in hopes of escaping out the back while leaving me behind to be carted off to the local jail.

At first I didn’t know what to do. I have been in and out of countless abandoned houses and NEVER once been caught by the authorities. I knew I couldn’t hide inside the house and quickly decided that the best action to take was to be proactive.

I walked outside and without hesitation I put my hand out to the Officer, introduce myself and gave him a quick explanation of what I was doing before he could even speak. I figured that if I was blatantly honest and showed all my cards he would see that I was not a threat or causing any harm.

To my relief the Officer turned out to be really cool and even seemed interested in my photo series. He didn’t seem to mind that I was there but did give me a warning to be careful because the locals are not the type that would react kindly to intruders.

I asked if he knew anything about the house or who owned it, but sadly he couldn’t recall a time when there were people living here. Apparently the place has been in poor condition for many years because the owners chose to let the place fall apart rather than sell or rent.

I did not stay to  much longer after the Officer drove off, but based on his account and a Ghost Buster sticker that I had found on a  back window I am estimating that the house was abandoned at least 20-25 years ago.

About 6 months after my photo adventure, I passed by and saw that the Perryton house had been completely demolished. Nothing is left except a few of the trees along the edge of the property. Seeing this empty space was unfortunate, I had hoped to return to retake a few photos.

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About palechickstudios

Artist, Blogger, Traveler, Tea enthusiast View all posts by palechickstudios

5 responses to “The Perryton House

  • The Urchins

    I love these old houses! I’m always curious about the lives that must have passed in these now eroded rooms… who must have sat in that chair? What stories could there be here? It’s a shame they tore it down – fortunately for you and your project, there’s plenty across America. And, what an interesting, series, btw! We think so much about the future, our innovations, etc… etc… that we never stop to look back at the buildings and the pieces of history deteriorating across the country. Glad I found you!

    – Margaret

  • palechickstudios

    I have the same curiosity, it is partially what started me on this series. There is definitely no end to American rural decay. it amazes me all the time that after visiting the same area for years, I can still find new abandoned buildings..

    Glad you like the series!

  • Mary Morrow

    One of my high school friends lived in this house, approx. 1974. I never paid much attention to the front porch but was always drawn more to the screened-in porch on the south end of the house. This was the door the famiy always used. I don’t remember the mural either. I know I was shocked the first time I drove by and the house was gone. Old houses do have a lot of history and it is always sad to see one torn down.

    Mary

    • palechickstudios

      Hello Mary!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences! Do you know when the family left the house and why?

      I too was shocked to see the place gone the last time I was in the area. It was a lovely house, shame that it fell apart.

      Amber

  • Susan

    Iol it is sad that this home was left to to deteriorate rather than repair, but that is what happens with homes such as this. The house had great bones at one time and would have continued to be a great home for those that had a desire to buy and repair it unfortunately the land and property belongs to a large family and this section of land on which it WAS on is part of an ESTATE therefore it could not be sold off to anyone (money, it is sad to have too much at times.) The Family chose to allow the house to deteriorate instead and than because of safety factors they had it torn down. I glad to know someone took pictures of it. I always though it was a beautiful home even in its state

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