Three Kentucky men are preserving the state’s past through photography.
They’re bringing history to life in a new book called “Abandoned Kentucky,” using cameras and drones to capture abandoned properties across the Commonwealth.
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The book combines words and images to tell the story of long-forgotten locations like the former Merchant’s Ice and Cold Storage Tower in Smoketown.
Award-winning photographers and historians Sherman Cahal, Michael Maes, and Adam Paris traveled thousands of miles across the state to photograph a variety of vacant properties including homes, schools, and cemeteries.
They said the goal of documenting them is to show readers there is more to these sites than what meets the eye.
“We hope that people at least take away from the book that there is beauty in decay, and that there is more behind these walls than what people might envision,” said Cahal, who lives outside of Ashland.
Maes is from Louisville, and believes people are genuinely curious about the mystery behind abandoned properties.
“People try to put those pieces together to tell the story, and if you can do that with your photographs I think a lot of people will respond to that,” he said.
According to the photographers, each page of the book is designed to preserve the memory of a different historical site in case it is torn down in the future.
“What you see today, might not be here tomorrow,” Cahal said.
That is why they believe documenting Kentucky’s history is so important.
“I hope the book gives people an interest and inspiration to just remember the history of where we live,” said Paris, who lives in Owensboro.
All three photographers encourage people who read the book to venture out and find the beauty in the abandoned.
Abandoned Kentucky is available at local bookstores across the state, and is sold online by Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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