How many times, while driving down a highway, have you passed an abandoned building beside the road? Did you wonder why it was there or who built it or why it was no longer occupied? Did a fading sign painted on a building’s wall provided a hint to its former use? Maybe you drove through what appeared to be the remains of a former town and wondered who had lived there and why there were no signs of life. It is these reminders of the state’s history, its economic booms and busts, and the hopes and dreams of the people who settled this land, that I call Lost, Texas.
For the last eight years I’ve driven thousands of miles on rural Texas highways looking for examples of Lost, Texas. Most of the buildings pictured on this site still exist (as of this writing), but many are on the verge of collapse. Once part of a small community that grew and prospered, many buildings now stand alone in fields or alongside a lonely stretch of country road – tributes to the small towns across Texas that were so important the state’s development. It is my hope that the photographs will generate greater appreciation of our cultural and architectural heritage and encourage further preservation efforts around the state. Perhaps we can once again find much of what has been lost.
About Bronson Dorsey
I am a retired architect, a professional photographer, and a fifth generation Texan. When I was a child, we took family trips in a car over two-lane roads that passed through towns like Corsicana and Palestine as we headed toward the Piney Woods of East Texas. Each town was as different, in my eyes, as its evocative name. As we drove through those towns we were forced to slow down, allowing us to see the streetscape at near-walking pace—something that I wouldn’t recognize as important until adulthood. Sometimes we would stop at a café for lunch or at a gas station to fill up. Each stop brought us into contact with the locals. Those interactions created for me an indelible sense of place in the state I called home. I hope that these photographs will evoke similar memories for my readers.
All of the buildings showcased here were photographed by me and are protected by United States and International copyright. If you wish to purchase an image, you may contact me by filling out the “Contact” form.