Horse trails, walking trails, abandoned photography, and more in Midwest US!

Massive Abandoned Train Station – Joplin Union Depot in Missouri

Abandoned train station – Joplin Union Depot in Missouri (back side). Available as a print.

Abandoned Train Station in Joplin Missouri:

This abandoned train station is on the National Register of Historic Places, but due to revitalization costs has fallen into major disrepair. The Joplin Union Depot was built in 1911, and in November 1969 the last train departed this facility. This structure has been abandoned and in a state of slow deterioration ever since. There have been numerous talks and attempts at restoration, but nothing has come to fruition as of the time of posting this. Here’s a great article on the station’s history, controversies, and attempts at restoration.

Above pics available as prints:
1st pic Joplin Union Depot 5  |  2nd pic Joplin Union Depot 6
Above pics available as prints:
1st pic Joplin Union Depot 4  |  2nd pic Joplin Union Depot 3

This abandoned train station is not open to the public – there are fences and the local police are active in the area; so please do not trespass on the property. That said, these pics were all taken through the chain link fence, so if you like seeing abandoned structures in person, you can get a decent view without trespassing. It’s located on Broadway (just east of First Street) and Main Street in Joplin, Missouri.

Above pic available as a print: Joplin Union Depot 2.

The abandoned Joplin Union Depot is the size of a city block, and there’s still a lot of interest in restoring this amazing space. The architecture of this station was well before it’s time, and the space seems perfect for a creative venue for art festivals, farmer’s markets, restaurants, and more. As of my last time of researching this building, it was in need of a new owner to (finally?) bring this fantastic abandoned train station back into use!
Above pics available as a print: Joplin Union Depot 7
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If you visit this abandoned train station, remember the most important rule of abandoned photography and sight seeing – take only pictures, leave only foot prints.

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Abandoned Warehouses – Howsmon, Christman Building’s North Annex in Joplin MO

Abandoned Warehouses: Christman North Annex

Built around 1903, the Howsmon building at 506 South Virgina Avenue was part of the Virginia Street annex, or north annex, to the now beautifully renovated Christman building on 5th and Main in Joplin, MO.  Both the Christman building and the north annex were added to the National Register of Historic Places back in 2006, four years before the north annex would be vacated.

The now abandoned warehouses of the north annex faced Virginia Avenue just off 5th Street, and served for many years as the warehouse for the expansive Christman Department Store.

In 1954, the Kansas City-based company Macy’s bought the company, and the Christman’s managed the store and maintained ownership of the building until 1976, when Macy’s closed the store.  It reopened as the Christman Department Store for four more years before closing for good in 1980. 

Howsmon’s Office Supply moved into the Christman building (501-505 South Main) and the north annex (506 and 508 South Virginia Avenue) shortly after.  The Howsmon’s owned 16 of the 20 properties in this area of downtown Joplin, but in 2010 that came to a sudden end when they merged with Scott Rice company.  They had sold the Christman building back in 2006, and planned to sell their 6 remaining properties to Scott Rise company, but the north annex somehow fell through the cracks.  It sat for almost another decade, deteriorating as each year went by, until 2018 when the roof of 506 South Virginia Avenue collapsed.

Here’s drone footage of the collapsed roof of the Abandoned Warehouses at 506 (footage by Payton Lane):

Attempts to Save These Abandoned Warehouses

Over the years, the city tried to get the owners to make repairs to the abandoned warehouses.  According to this Joplin Globe article,

City staff cited the building owner in 2013 and sought repairs for water damage and leaking roofs and broken windows. But no work was done.

In December 2014, the issue was taken to the city's Building Board of Appeals. Howsmon told the board at the time that the family had been trying to sell the property for 20 years and did not have the money to make any repairs. City staff took proposals to the council in 2016 to try to stabilize the buildings then, but the council would not approve the expenditure.

After the 2018 roof collapse, proposals were asked for by the city, and two companies provided a plan: one for total tear down of both 506 and 508, and the other to try and rehabilitate one building (508), with hopes of saving 506 as well.  The rehab plan won, and the Neal Group started plans to renovate.  However, by August of 2018 it became clear 506 wasn’t salvageable, and the city approved their proposal to demolish 506 South Virginia Avenue.

Before work could begin, a lawsuit was filed by an adjoining property owner claiming damage to, and subsequent inability to rent out, lofts connected to the abandoned warehouses.  The suit was filed by the company Urban Dwellers who claimed that property belonging to Main Street Lofts at 501 Main Street (the Christman building, which the Howsmon’s had sold back in 2006) was sustaining water damage due to structural failures of the north annex.  The suit made demands that BOTH 506 and 508 be demolished.

According to Case.net the suit was dismissed without prejudice on June 11, 2019.  Both 506 and 508 sold for $74,000, presumably to Neal Group pursuant to their original proposal and agreement.  As of 2021 both abandoned warehouses at 506 and 508 were still standing according to Google Street View:

By the time I found these abandoned warehouses near me and took these photographs on June 12, 2021, the Howsmon building at 506 South Virginia Avenue was gone, but 508 still stood.

More sources:

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The Walking Trails of Elephant Rocks State Park Missouri – One of the Most Popular Missouri Parks!

Hiking Trails and Scenic Views at Elephant Rocks State Park in Missouri:

I grew up close to Elephant Rocks State Park, so I’ve loved and enjoyed this place for years!  Located in Bellview Missouri, about 3-4 hours from Springfield, Elephant Rocks State Park (Google maps) is an old granite quarry with lakes, hiking and walking trails, and scenic views!  The walking trails are wheelchair accessible with a braille trail and is an easy hike, but you don’t have to stick to the paths – you’re free to roam the giant rock formations and do some rock climbing as well!

Walking Trails or Rock Climbing:  How About Both!

I always try to stick to the path for the first round each visit, but never make it – the rocks are just too enticing!  I’m sure I’m biased, but this is one the best Missouri parks.

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Below 1st pic: Ascending the main rock formation – a hint of things to come with this crevice. The further you go, the bigger and deeper these crevices get! Below 2nd pic: View from along the walking trail, looking onto some of the flatter sections of rock. Below 3rd pic: At the top, looking into one of the best areas of the park – huge formation split by winding foot trails and large formations to walk and jump across!

More Amazing Missouri Parks and Camping Near Elephant Rocks State Park:

There’s no camping at Elephant Rocks, but there is camping at Johnson’s Shut-ins, another amazing Missouri park that’s about 15-20 miles away from Elephant Rocks – and it also has a plethora of walking trails and beautiful, scenic views (including amazing rock formations you can swim around in the Black River).  If you’re looking for a fun weekend trip, this is definitely one that should be on your list!!

Below 1st pic: interesting rock formations abound at Elephant Rocks State Park!  Below 2nd pic: more of the same granite rock formation, just to the right of the previous pic.

The boulder on the left looks so small 3 pics up, but with this pic you get a hint of it’s sheer size!

Learn more about Elephant Rocks State Park on the Missouri Parks website

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Walking Trails: Lost Hill Park Trail in Springfield MO – Missouri Parks

Lat pic above: one of the beautiful water crossings that goes over the walking trail, but be careful as the paths can be under water and slick!

4705 N. Farm Rd 151, Springfield, MO 65803 (North on Grant past Ebenezer, MO)

Next to the trailhead for the Fulbright Spring Greenway trail, Lost Hill Park offers beautiful rock formations and small natural caves along the South Dry Sac River walking trails.  The biking / walking trails are very easy, mostly paved, and it’s not a long hike.  The trail ends at an old cemetery, and with the walk out and back totals less than 3 miles.

Abandoned Structures Along The Walking Trails of Lost Hill Park

For those that follow my blog, you know I love abandoned structures – so I had to include these pics!  While I love parks for their natural beauty, it’s always fun when they include a bit of history such as an old farm, house, or cemetery along the walking trails. This beautiful park includes all the above, along with small river caves and so much more:

About Fulbright Spring Greenway

Starting at Ritter Springs Park, this trail takes you east under Highway 13, past David C. Murray Trailhead and Lost Hill Park, and ends at Truman Elementary school.  This trail is currently just shy of 7 miles on it’s own, but can be increased by taking the different park trails along the route.

Forgotten: Abandoned Farmhouse in Rural Missouri

Abandoned farmhouse – forgotten with time

Abandoned farmhouses are easy to find in southwest Missouri, just take a drive through rural areas and you’re bound to see some! Traveling along old Route 66 and other areas close by can bring all kinds of photographic opportunities for abandoned enthusiasts.

This fantastic, abandoned farmhouse was found just north of the I-44 corridor, an area that’s rife with abandoned structures.

This old home sits on a large farm that’s still in use, north of Springfield MO. Though the owners kept a metal roof over the abandoned structure in an attempt to keep the destructive forces of water out, the foundation failed and the entire left side of the building has slowly sunk.  The once lovely older home now slowly waits for gravity to win in the end.

While I don’t give out addresses, old Route 66 and rural back roads are some of the best places for finding abandoned structures.

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Death of an Old Farmhouse – Abandoned Farmstead in Rural Missouri

Old farmhouses are easy to find in southwest Missouri, just take a drive through rural areas and you’re bound to see some! Traveling along old Route 66 and other areas close by can bring all kinds of photographic opportunities for abandoned enthusiasts.

This fantastic, old farmhouse was found just north of the I-44 corridor, an area that’s rife with abandoned structures.

Death of an Old Farmhouse

Old farmhouse northeast of Springfield, MO.  While I don’t give out addresses, old Route 66 and rural back roads are some of the best places for finding abandoned structures.

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Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail Near Truman Lake Missouri – Breathtaking Hiking Trails in Warsaw

Overlooking Truman Lake from the Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail in Warsaw, Missouri

Truman Lake Missouri Hiking Trails and Abandoned Structures

There are a lot of hiking trails, marinas, bike trails, and more in this area of Benton County around Truman Lake in Warsaw Missouri. 

The Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail is for hiking only.  The trail goes through wooded terrain including evergreen forests, then out onto a trail along the bluffs.  The scenic views from this area of the trail are beautiful! 

The trails can get technical and were simple cleared paths and old gravel roads.  It’s a 2.3 mile loop so be prepared for a bit of a trek.  If you want to see the bluffs and structure with less of a walk, go left at the beginning of the trail.  We went right and it was fun to finish the hike with these things closer to the end.

Since I also love abandoned structures this little gem was a great find along the trail:

Parks Around Truman Lake: Abandoned Homestead Along the Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail in Warsaw Missouri

This little homestead wasn’t far from the lake, and whoever had the experience of staying here must have loved it.

We finished this moderately challenging trail in a little over an hour, but we stopped to enjoy the bluffs and the abandoned homestead, so it would likely take less than an hour if you were there for the hiking only.

We went on a day that was dry and the footing was really good, but mud could be an issue in wetter seasons.

Parking was fairly easy but the lot is parking for a marina, so on busy marina days that could change.  The trail wasn’t busy at all and doesn’t seem to see a lot of foot traffic.

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DIRECTIONS:

(Warsaw Missouri): “Take the West Dam Access Road to Shawnee Bend Park. At the top of the boat ramp parking lot is the Shawnee Bend Trail head. Enter around the yellow gate.” – http://www.warsawchamberofcommerce.com/biking—lake-life.html

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