The silence is deafening. But as you stand between the lifeless machines and listen carefully, voices begin to transcend the passage of time. At first one voice and then another. More join the crowd and the chatter is of hardship and gossip. Imagination begins to breathe life into the machines and they slowly come alive, their pulsing heartbeat intensifying in tempo, pushing the voices into the background. Barely decipherable they persist in their story, a story in which the last chapter is still unwritten, but soon may be. They want to give their own ending, an ending that would leave something behind to remember them by. Something elaborate and dignified would be nice, but most of all the voices want to stay together, they do no want to be broken up and sent to places far apart where they can no longer be heard. This was not just a place of work. It was a place where friendships and lifelong bonds were made, as strong as the silk they wove but just as delicate, prone to sudden and catastrophic failure.
The building that remains today may be nothing more than bricks and mortar, but its soul is the stories its occupants told through the artifacts they left behind. However, the wrecking ball is inching its way forward and unless it can be halted the last chapter of the story may soon be told.
The images that accompany this post follow on from those that I included in an earlier post, all of which are from the project that I am currently working on to document the Lonaconing Silk Mill. I am not quite sure where the project us going to take me, but my goal is to tell the stories that echo within the walls of this place.