Cecil County, MD
Truth be told, Alvin and I had no idea what this place was. We didn’t even mean to find it. We were looking for an abandoned school, but curiosity consumed us as we drove past these mysterious structures; we had to stop. ———————————————————
Sagging floor boards creak cries for help that will not be answered. Houses fester, decaying islands of isolation in what was once a vibrant archipelago of life. Most of the structures were too battered to enter, marked with signs that read “Caution: Lead Hazard” and “Danger: Asbestos Cancer and Lung Disease Hazard.” Former homes were few and far between, so we continued to walk down the abandoned arteries that once pumped blood through this corpse of a town. They had to lead to somewhere. Right?
As silence permeated through the air, as we stalked down the abandoned highway. We had no idea if we were to be the prey or predator; either way we remained in high alert. This was an apocalyptic wasteland, a free for all in which there are no rules.
We saw something, first on the map, then in the woods. Perhaps this was the Tome Boy’s School? Not exactly, the building looked like a school, but etched across the walls were battle plans and combat protocol. The occasional 5.56X45mm bullet casing littered the dusty floor “What was the place?” was the question that dominated my thoughts. ———————————————————
Two days later we would learn. Amber, the sister of our Couchsurfing host, had been to the Tome Boy’s School and told us that we were actually just down the street from it and that the entire property was once part of the campus which consisted of over 500 buildings. Upon its opening in the late 1800s the Tome Boy’s School was one of the most highly regarded primary education facilities in the country. It, however, was forced to close in 1941 after going through financial hardship caused by the Great Depression. Since then ownership has transferred from the Navy, as a Naval Academy Prep School, to the Susquehanna Job Corps Center as a vocational school. Now the 200 acre campus stands in abandonment.