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abandonedplaces

The Enchanted Forest

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Nov. 5th, 2018 | 11:43 pm
mood: nostalgicnostalgic
posted by: dark_fetus in abandonedplaces


In these woods lie the ruins of a kingdom long fallen. Dotted between the trees can be found battle-worn fragments of the domain which once claimed these lands. They stand sparsely in number and frail in form,  reduced to nothing more than gnarled echoes of what they once were. Time has laid upon these lands an unrelenting siege, and through it, a new kingdom has arisen. One of trees and briar. In a previous era, under a  much different reign, things were brighter here. There was a life well beyond that of the woodland animals which now roam these parts. A home to fables and legends, a kingdom built upon a bedrock of fantasy. It was called the Enchanted Forest.

Opened in 1955, this bygone theme-park once sought to offer a travel destination to families seeking something a bit more fanciful. Claiming a  tract of property in Ellicott City, Maryland, a vibrant castle arose surrounded by rides and attractions based upon nursery rhymes and fairy-tales, a dominion which eventually spread out over 50 acres. At the peak of its popularity, this province of whimsy saw some 300,000  visitors passing through the castle gates every summer.

We ourselves never knew this past existence, as our visit to these grounds took place long after the fall. For decades the property had sat without rule, save for that of nature. The few holdouts which remained had long lost their colors. Faded and peeling they stood less as relics and more as somber reminders of far better times than these. The canopy of the now-wild forest had grown to shadow much of the old park,  replacing the light with dappled darkness. A lagoon, once clear and flowing now sat motionless, covered in a thick layer of emerald algae.  The clamor of life has all but ceased in these woods, leaving in its stead a fierce nothingness that is both nowhere and all-surrounding.  Still, at the center of all this Cinderella's castle still stood.  Broken, distorted, and draped in ivy.

Though the forest may have won the day in Ellicott City, overrunning  what remained of the old park and returning it to the earth, it could  not claim victory over the spirit of the Enchanted Forest - Beginning in  2005 preservation efforts began on the besieged property, spearheaded  by the 'Enchanted Forest Preservation Society', who ventured in to save  and restore whatever they could reclaim from the devastated kingdom.  Today the Enchanted Forest lives on, standing in renewed magnificence off-site at 'Clark's Elioak Farm',  which is located close to where the original park once stood. Many of the rescued pieces have been fully restored, and are on display for a  new generation of families to enjoy. Whatever did remain on the original grounds were razed in 2015.






















The Enchanted Forest wan't an overtly huge place to explore, and though most of what was once there had long been removed, what remained was actually pretty interesting (especially the castle). If you want to see the entire set you can do so on our site HERE.

As always - Thanks to anyone who took th time to check out my post here, AND sticking around LJ with me.
~Rusty


If you want to see the entire set you can do so on our site HERE

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Comments {24}

Elenbarathi

(no subject)

from: elenbarathi
date: Nov. 6th, 2018 05:39 am (UTC)
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Well, how charming! Looks like it's still in fairly good shape, all things considered. Very nice set!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 02:51 am (UTC)
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Unfortunately things got way worse leading up to demolition. These photos were from 2010.

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Elenbarathi

(no subject)

from: elenbarathi
date: Nov. 9th, 2018 02:40 am (UTC)
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What a pity. Glad you got the chance to document it before it vanished forever.

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laraflame

(no subject)

from: laraflame
date: Nov. 6th, 2018 07:26 am (UTC)
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It must have been a lovely place. Still has some charm. I like the newspaper clippings, that old-fashioned writing style is so good to see. And your writing is beautful as always.

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The Captain Of My Ship, The Master Of My Soul

(no subject)

from: gonzo21
date: Nov. 6th, 2018 12:23 pm (UTC)
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Age and abandonment has helped the place really. It looks a lot better now than it did then.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 02:52 am (UTC)
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Thanks! We tried to really lean into the before-and-afters on this entry for the sake of nostalgia, which is really the lifeblood of a location like this.

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Winking Kodak Whore

(no subject)

from: laughingnahga
date: Nov. 6th, 2018 05:32 pm (UTC)
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Saccharin decay.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 02:54 am (UTC)
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Candied corrosion.

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adafrog

(no subject)

from: adafrog
date: Nov. 6th, 2018 11:56 pm (UTC)
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Reminds me of the Enchanted Forest we had in Oregon.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 02:59 am (UTC)
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Whimsical theme-parks became quite a fad after the success Disney Land had.

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adafrog

(no subject)

from: adafrog
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 03:17 am (UTC)
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Ah.

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Disgruntled_Girl: Harbinger of Chaos.

(no subject)

from: disgruntledgrrl
date: Nov. 7th, 2018 12:16 am (UTC)
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YAY A POST!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 02:57 am (UTC)
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\o/

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deepseasiren

(no subject)

from: deepseasiren
date: Nov. 7th, 2018 02:45 am (UTC)
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Oh my goodness this reminds me of Santa's Village in the Santa Cruz mountains of California!!!!!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 02:57 am (UTC)
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There seem to be a lot of places that were fairytale themed at one time. Most all are gone now though, which is pretty sad.

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deepseasiren

(no subject)

from: deepseasiren
date: Nov. 9th, 2018 01:55 am (UTC)
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We had another small theme park when I was a kid in my area in San Jose, California, called Frontier Village, and it was just like its name...it was a wild west themed kids park...really fun...horseback riding, western-themed rollercoaster, a main street like an old west town...'panning' for gold and goodies ( the gold being little toys and stuff). I was sad to see it go when I was 10.

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ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜʟᴇss

(no subject)

from: hauntingly
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 07:08 pm (UTC)
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the castle looks beautiful now with that age and greenery around it <3

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 8th, 2018 07:28 pm (UTC)
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Strange how some places seem more suited for abandonment than use. I agree that this is one such case.

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Michellellelle

(no subject)

from: windfaerie
date: Nov. 9th, 2018 03:14 am (UTC)
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I grew up going to this park! Sad to see that it's so decayed (more so now I'm sure). Just looking at that metal slide reminded me of many summer day leg scaldings hahaha.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 11th, 2018 01:12 am (UTC)
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Oh wow, seeing this must have proven a very weird mix of emotions. On the bright side - Much of the old park was saved, restored, and relocated.

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synnie

(no subject)

from: synnoveaevael
date: Nov. 9th, 2018 05:55 am (UTC)
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I'm in Ellicott City all the time, and I had no idea about this place. Crazy!!

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 11th, 2018 01:14 am (UTC)
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The king still stands to this day, welcoming people to a far less whimsical strip mall.

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Misha

(no subject)

from: spyinak
date: Nov. 11th, 2018 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Sorry to hear this is now gone. I loved seeing the before and after shots together. A well done photo story.

Thank you for sharing.

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Rusty Tagliareni

(no subject)

from: dark_fetus
date: Nov. 13th, 2018 02:02 am (UTC)
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Appreciate it, sorry if the story bummed you out though.

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