el ganeden d'esmareldas

the garden of emeralds

Zaña, Chiclayo, Peru

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Before it was officially founded by Europeans, Zaña was inhabited by the indigenous Moche people. When it was colonized and established by Europeans on 29 November 1563, it was originally named Villa Santiago de Miraflores de Saña. 

In its early days, Zaña was a very busy city in Peru, filled with Spanish colonists as well as Indigenous and African slaves. There were also waves of Chinese and Japanese settlers who came looking for work in the sugar plantations. At its peak, Zaña had seven churches and was even considered as an option for the capital of Peru.

Zaña was an extremely important city in the early colonial Americas, and for this reason, it was also targeted by pirates and raids who would ransack the city of its riches. However, the true collapse of Zaña came when in the early 1720s, the Zaña River overflowed flooding the city of Zaña and causing the majority of the European colonists to flee the city, leaving behind their slaves.

Today, much of Zaña’s few inhabitants of descendants of the African and Indigenous slaves of early colonial Zaña. There remains the ruins of many churches and other buildings within the city, and Zaña, besides its small number of residents, is for the most part abandoned. It remains a major archeological site because of its importance in the early colonial Americas and because of its mix of American, European, African, and Asian cultures.


Norway, Kansas, US

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Not much is known about Norway. The name is believed to be derived due to the large early Norwegian population and it got a post office in 1870. Norway today has a population around 150 residents.

39 41’48” N, 97 46’30” 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

Futaba, Fukushima, Japan

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Abandoned shops (Kura) line the street, a crumbled home in the distance


Plants begin to grow through the cement, abandoned houses can be seen in the background


Plant like breaks through the cement even more noticeably here


A collapsed building opposite a home (?) that looks fine, excusing the plants growing through the front.

Though the land Futaba is on has a history relating to the Kofun period, with nearby burial mounds, it wasn’t truly named its own town until 1956. During the Boshin War (1868-1869) it was the site of the Battle of Iwaki. The name ‘Futaba’ was first the name of a district. In the district was a town named Shineha which would later be changed to be the town ‘Futaba’. Futaba relied on agriculture as well as fishing and growing carnations for its economy. Futaba was deserted in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The town was evacuated and is now closed off, except a small portion. The population is at 0, and Futaba is uninhabitable.

37°26′57″N 141°00′45″E

Geronimo, Arizona

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The old grocery and auto shop of Geronimo appears to be of Pueblo Revival architecture.

Geronimo began as ‘Camp Thomas’ in 1876, and was used by the US calvary to ‘manage’ the Apache reservation. However, Camp Thomas moved further east and became the town of Fort Thomas and old Camp Thomas became Geronimo. Geronimo was named for the Chiricahua Apache chief, Goyaalé, or, Geronimo. it was a station on the Arizona-Eastern Railway and a post office was created in 1896. The building above was supposedly an old grocery and auto shop. It is a true ghost town today, with a population of 0.


33 04′36″N 110 01′59″W