Let’s say that some kind of long term SHTF happens, like what happened in 1348 with the Black Death. Large areas are depopulated, nobody is around to maintain roads, nobody is around to keep the trees cut back, or do maintenance on buildings. What can we expect? In an effort to what what will happen to our infrastructure, my wife went driving around to look at abandoned sawmills and abandoned sawmill towns.
A local sawmill burned down in 1925, was not rebuilt and the land was abandoned in the 1930s or 1940s. All that remains is a couple of walls, the foundations, and some motor mounts where the saw motors were bolted down. If it was not made of cement or steel, its long gone. But even then, the steel is starting to rust away. Nothing of wood is visible above the layers of leaves and pine straw.
While walking around the remains of the sawmill, I can not help but think about the people that worked there. Did they have the same worries that we do today, did they worry about paying the house note; did they worry about their kids, and what about the politics at the time.
In the 1920s, I can just imagine some of the discussions about the new income tax the government was putting into place.
I looked at was a community that was built around another sawmill. This second sawmill and its supporting community disappeared around the 1950s and 1960s. From what I was told, the last family moved out of the community in the mid-1960s. Today, nothing is left of the communities. Where people once lived their lives, raised their families, and went to school, nothing exist.
Unlike the sawmill that was made of steel and cement, these homes were made of wood. Being made of wood, they fell down faster then the concrete walls of the sawmill.
Its interesting that just 40 years after the last family left the community, nothing remains. Some of the houses may have been torn down, while other homes may have collapsed from neglect.