Front Door: Keep Out

Weekly Photo Challenge: Door – “For this week’s challenge, publish a new post with a photo of a door (or multiple doors!). Consider how color affects the image, but also think about size, shape, texture, and details — how might these elements add up to tell a story?”


For our annual cabin getaway this summer we went to a quaint little rental on Shepherd Mountain, nestled between Ironton and Pilot Knob, in South Missouri. Part of the Arcadia Valley, and close to Fort Davidson and the fields of the Battle of Pilot Knob that eventually encompassed the perimeter of the entire state, it is a step back in time. Literally. There was no cell or internet service anywhere. I thought I would lose my mind, but instead, I found it. If you haven’t been forced to disconnect lately, I highly recommend it.

On our second day we went fishing in Shepherd Mountain Lake, simply called City Lake by the locals. Soon after we turned on Highway M / W. Russell St. / Lake Dr. we passed an abandoned building (being rehabbed) and I commented that it was exactly the kind of place I’d like to explore and photograph.

door 1

I couldn’t find a corner-stone through the overgrowth, or any information whatsoever about the origins and history of the building. I had to wait until we returned to the city and I could get to the internet.

door 2

Information is sparse, limited to message boards and paranormal websites, but I was able to confirm, through a friend who was born and raised in Ironton, MO, that it is the old St. Marys Hospital built in 1846. It remained operational until sometime in the 1990s and lay abandoned until it was purchased a few years ago. It is currently undergoing rehab and will be apartments when competed.

door 3

I heeded the warnings and did not venture inside, but I was able to get a photo of the main floor through the screened-in broken-glass window by the front door.

door 5

I walked around the building to take in its full affect and get a sense of its stature. Even cleaned up, there was an ominous feel about the place, like I was being watched as I wandered. I assumed it was the neighbors, offended or curious about the out-of-towner trespassing.

I peeked in one of the broken windows in the back and found a stash of old doors in what was the intake area for the ambulance entrance.

door 7

No one was working inside or out the day I was there, otherwise I might have asked to tour inside. I tried ringing the doorbell, but no one answered, alive or otherwise.

door 4

I was satisfied with the four dozen or so exterior shots I had, and I was getting curious about what other treasures may be found in the old town.

For more images, including interior shots, check out the post from Eye Spye: St. Mary’s of the Ozarks – Old Ironton Hospital.


*Featured Image and Post Images – Copyright Melanie (WritingInBoots)
**The ads (which may appear) below are not mine, but they keep this free for me. Do with them as you choose.

15 thoughts on “Front Door: Keep Out

    • It is quite scary looking, in the same gentle way an unfamiliar grandfather may look scary. It’s quite harmless, though its rumored inhabitants may not be. 😉


    • Thank you Van! I wish there was more history on it. The internet is full of this and that — like it was a convent, a boarding school, and a psychiatric facility — but none of that can be confirmed. I do know it was used as a Union hospital in the Civil War, but that’s the only tid-bit (other than was a hospital until the 90s) I could confirm.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Door : The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge - Sylvain LANDRY

  2. Pingback: Not a Single Sunset | This Is My Corn

    • Thanks!
      It was spooky. There is a lot of history in this building. I’m glad I found it during the day time. Had it been evening or night, I probably would have passed on the opportunity to take pictures.


There you have it. Your turn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s