Tahawus, NY

Most People Have Forgotten About This Vacant Ghost Town in New York

Travel Maven

A village located in the town of Newcomb in the Adirondack region of New York, Tahawus was once home to two bustling mining operations before being abandoned. It is now one of the largest ghost towns in New York state.

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TahawusPenelope Brooks/Unsplash

History

The village of Tahawus was actually abandoned twice. Iron deposits were first found here in 1826. The iron was extracted with moderate success for thirty years until 1857 when impurities of titanium dioxide were found present in the iron. The Adirondack Iron Works was forced to closed. A local flood and a nationwide economic crisis were also factors in the closure of the Upper Works. Tahawus soon became known as an abandoned village as residents fled.

In 1940 a new mine opened, in the hopes of obtaining the titanium dioxide that had been partly responsible for the previous mine's failure. Located about a mile south of the original operation, this new facility was known as Lower Works. A new community moved in around 1943. A few years later, Tahawus had 84 buildings. About forty million tons of titanium were extracted at the National Lead Industries' mines before operations ceased in 1989.

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Historic MinesSarah Boyle/Unsplash

Tahawus Today

Visiting the village of Tahawus today is interesting, to say the least. There's currently only one way in and out of this village that you can access from Essex County Route 25.

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FurnanceAmy Lin/Unsplash

While many of the original facilities have been torn down, there are still many incredible sights to behold here. The McIntyre Blast Furnace stands roughly 50 feet tall. You can actually walk inside this furnace for a true one-of-a-kind look at history. Rumor has it that it would take an entire acre of trees to keep this powerhouse burning for a day.

One of the last remaining buildings from the town's original heyday in the 1800s still stands intact. Known as The MacNaughton Cottage, this house was built in 1834. Steeped in history, this is the site at which then-Vice President Theodore Roosevelt heard the news of President McKinley's assassination. Today the house remains boarded up.

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MacNaughton CottageSean Connors/Unsplash

The ghost town is mainly made up of abandoned buildings built in the 1940s. Many of the fireplaces and cellars still remain.

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Collapsed Home in TahawusStephanie Lewison/Unsplash

In 2003, Open Space Institute acquired the Tahawus Tract for $8.5 million dollars. Visitors can now find informational signs and railings set up around the blast furnace site and a hiking trail to help educate the residents of New York on this area and explain what has happened here.

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