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Thread: "Fixing" broken and anacrhonistic things at old sites

  1. #1
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    Default "Fixing" broken and anacrhonistic things at old sites

    I haven't encountered this with ghost towns just yet, but I noticed some well-intentioned people made modifications to castle ruins I visited in Japan.

    At Azuchi Castle ruins near Kyoto, I noticed that stone statues of Buddha (jizoh) were used as stepping stones in a long stone stairway when I first visited in 1993. When I went back a couple years later I noticed that someone had stood the statues up. From what I remember about Oda Nobunaga (the warlord who built the castle), he opposed the powerful Buddhist temples and allied himself with the Portuguese Jesuits. My impression when I visited the site was that Nobunaga showed his disdain for the Buddhist warrior monks by making jizoh into stepping stones.

    At another castle site I saw that a number of Buddhist statues had been erected in the last 40 years on a 500 year old castle site. I would have like to have removed them as it detracted from the ruins, but I figured it wasn't my place to make any changes there, either.

    Do you ever feel tempted to "change things back" to the way you figure they used to be?

  2. #2
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    Default Double posted trying to correct the spelling of "anachronistic"

    Sheesh, I tried to correct a typo and ended up double posting.

    Sorry.

  3. #3
    campp's Avatar
    campp is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    I'll bite.

    Basically I always take the "It ain't for me to judge" approach.

    Although I've been known to frown *seriously* upon ridiculous rock cairns set out marking sensitive places that probably should not be advertised to the masses.

  4. #4
    Darin's Avatar
    Darin is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Nope! Takes away from the authenticity to replace a nail or what not with a modern one. Leave it as is and enjoy it...broken or not.

  5. #5
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    A really good question.

    Do we attempt to prop up an old house, or cabin, or let it fall down? Do we patch a roof to keep the rain and snow at bay, or let it all disappear with only photos left to remember what was once there?

    I have seen some good "protection" of old sites that are not too obvious and keep the structure standing for a bit longer. They do not offend me at all, but I suppose the best example of this is Bodie.

  6. #6
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    Another question to ask when someone wants to "preserve" a town is, "What time period do you want to preserve it in?" Do we keep a town as it looked in 1960, 1930, 1890, or 1870?

  7. #7
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    My approach is "it depends." It depends on what it is and where it is that needs fixing.

    If it's a true ghost town, mining camp or historic site and structures are on the verge of collapse, there's nothing I can do to stop that.

    If it's a true ghost town, mining or historic site and there's one or two cabins that are kept as "adopt-a-cabins," and something needs fixing, I'll fix it if I can.

    If it's on the National Register of Historic Places, I leave it alone. Fixing something might be breaking a law (I don't know, I just have a feeling ...).

    An old timer once told me years ago, that he's observed that if something shows signs of neglect, people tend to disrespect it and vandalize it. If it shows signs of care, then people tend to respect it and protect it. I think he had a point.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

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