el ganeden d'esmareldas

the garden of emeralds

Coudersport, Pennsylvania, US

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Coudersport was founded when the Ceres Land Company purchased the land in 1796 to create a new town and county. Its name comes from a man, John Coudere, who provided loans so that the company could purchase the land. However, the land wasn’t settled until 1813, when a family of seven built a cabin. Shortly after, a blacksmith, mill, prison, bar, store, and school were created. As more mills were built, people moved to the town looking for work. Soon enough, Presbyterian and Methodist churches were founded. One of the resident’s homes is notable for being a station of the Underground Railroad. In his house, he had a secret room to hide fugitive slaves and many of the people of the town helped to hide the slaves as well. The town grew quickly, gaining a hotel, tannery, courthouse, and boarding school among other things. It is also notable for being the residence and death place of Eliot Ness, an American agent who strongly enforced Prohibition. Coudersport reached its peak population in 1900, at about 3,200 residents, and lost many of its residents in the 50s. Today, Coudersport has a population of under 2,500 residents.

41 46’26″N, 78 01’07″W


Sparta, Georgia, US

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Sparta was established in 1795 and was a major producer in cotton. After a plantation owner in Sparta died, he left the estate to his daughter Amanda America Dickson, whose mother was a slave, and for a long time, she was believed to be the wealthiest Black woman in the US. Sparta lost most of its population in 1918 after World War I, when the market for cotton crashed. In 1921, Jean Toomer came to Sparta to work as a principal at a Black agriculture and industrial school, and later wrote about it in his first, and often considered most important, novel, Cane. Toomer would later go on to marry Dickson and become an important author and poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Today, there are about 1,500 residents in Sparta.

33°17′N 82°58′W

Hamlet, North Carolina, US

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Plants eat away at the foundations of an abandoned home (Carpenter Gothic)


An abandoned industrial building near Hamlet’s main street


Hollowed out stores in Hamlet’s main street


Storefronts (False Front) at Hamlet’s main street

Hamlet was founded in x when John Shortridge started a saw mill in the area. The name is said to be attributed to Shortridge naming it after the word used for a small, rural neighbourhood in England, ‘hamlet’. Hamlet soon got a railroad and railroad workers began to populate the town. Of Hamlet’s residents was John Coltrane, born there in the 20s. In 1991, a fire broke out at a chicken packaging plant, killing twenty-five people. Another famous resident of Hamlet is Ashton Locklear, part of the women’s gymnastic team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

34°53′17″N 79°42′22″W

Cartago, California

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Cartago is the Spanish name for Carthage, which it was once named, though Carthage is now the name of a nearby town. It was also once known as Daniersburg and Lakeville, and is often considered part of modern day Olancha, as is nearby Grant.

In 1863, a mill was constructed on what is today Olancha, when a man came in search of silver. In December 1863, Olancha had a sawmill and blacksmith, however, the mill was burned by the indigenous people already living there in 1867. When nearby Cerro Gordo began attracting travellers, Olancha became a stop to it. later, steamboats were made to cross the Owens Lake, and Olancha became a port along it, and Cartago was born as a port for the shipment of wood and ore as well. Olancha is most famous for being where Manson family members lived for a small period of time. Cartago is rarely referred to as a separate town and is almost always considered part of Olancha.


Olancha, 1940

36 19′15″N 118 01′35″W

Cochise, Arizona

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Cochise began in the 1880s as a stop for water and coal along the Southern Pacific Railroad. The Cochise Hotel (pictured) was then built in 1882 for people working the railroad. Today it is a registered historic landmark and was open and running recently until put up for sale. In 1899, ‘Big Nose Kate’, sidekick of gunfighter and gambler Doc Holliday lived here and worked the hotel. Cochise’s peak population was once 3000 due to mining in nearby areas. As of 2013, only about 50 people reside in Cochise.

32 06′49″N 109 55′18″W