The Calm After The Storm
(image via: In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful)
Heather Johnson calls her blog In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful, and in this abandoned Lake Charles, Louisiana pawnshop she’s discovered some frighteningly beautiful content. We can “thank” 2005’s Hurricane Katrina for turning vast expanses of Louisiana’s Gulf coast into urban exploration fodder on a par with Detroit and Pripyat.
Located about 6 km (almost 4 miles) northwest of the Motobu Peninsula in Okinawa, Japan, the island of Iejima was invaded by the U.S. Army’s 77th Infantry Division in April of 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa. During the course of the fierce fighting, legendary photojournalist and war correspondent Ernie Pyle lost his life to a sniper’s bullet.
(image via: Kenneth Spink, Picasa)
Among Iejima’s few structural war relics is the former Municipal Pawnshop in the town of Ie. Built in 1929 from local stone and reinforced concrete, the pawnshop was managed by the town as a pseudo-bank serving local farmers affected by the era’s crushing loan interest rates. During the battle for Iejima, the pawnshop was used as a pillbox by defending Japanese troops and suffered significant damage. Unrestored in the manner of the Hiroshima Atomic Dome, the pawnshop today serves as a reminder of the harrowing last days of World War II. Props to Kenneth Spink for the gritty photo above.
Poor In Richmond
(images via: Fading Ad Blog, Frank H. Jump)
From the faded status of this Richmond, Virginia pawn shop sign and the ancient look of the brick building whose wall it’s printed on, this un-named pawnbroker’s shop may have first opened during the Reconstruction… maybe earlier. Note the iconic “three balls” motif that traditionally symbolized pawn shops from time immemorial and credit Frank H. Jump for the stark and somewhat sad images above.