If this post doesn’t make you cry I’m not doing my job
Yellow Dog Village is an odd name for a town, but it is sort of an odd town. In the early 20th century when miners and mine owners battled each other over wages and working conditions, this town was a place of harmony between workers and management.
Yellow Dog Village came into being because of an agreement between the owners of a limestone mine in western Pennsylvania and its employees. The company agreed to build a town for its workers if the workers agreed not to unionize. This is known as a “Yellow Dog” contract, hence the name of the town. In addition to just building the town, the company went farther by increasing salaries and providing living standards that allowed their workers to live a pretty good life by mining standards.
This relationship worked well until the mine ran out of limestone and closed. The town remained and while some families stayed, the population of Yellow Dog Village dwindled until the final blow happened. Plumbing and sewage problems along with the housing market collapse in 2008 forced the remaining residents to abandon these now worthless homes and leave behind many of their possessions.
These possessions remain in many of the homes telling a sad tale of economically dispossessed families. Although there are worse situations in the world, the abandoned houses of Yellow Dog Village and their contents tell a story of modern day economic refugees.
What attracted my attentions immediately was the remnants of the children. Scattered toys, children’s clothes and their personalized bedrooms are the saddest remains of the families who made a life here.
The simple early 20th century architecture of Yellow Dog Village is common all over this part of Pennsylvania. Driving through small towns in the area, I saw the identical houses, except that these homes are abandoned, neglected and vandalized.