Simply Known As “Woods”

I typically like to provide a bit of history about an exploration site, however, sadly I couldn’t find a lot of information about this particular site.  But what I do know is that, the original church, Visitation Catholic was built in 1925 and operated until the parish was dissolved in 1989.  It is unclear how long the church sat vacant, before it was purchased and reopened as Woods Cathedral Church of God in Christ.  Woods closed its doors in 2005 and the church has been quietly decaying ever since.


In May 2012, much to the surprise of urban explorers who frequently visit the church, two Los Angeles based artists had spent several hours and/or days assembling a sizable artistic installation on the sanctuary floor with furniture and other miscellaneous items that had been left behind (including desks, sofas, chairs, televisions, tables, pianos and pews).  As of April 2014, the installation remains pretty much undisturbed.

Jesuit School

Got up super early on a much deserved day off, to go explore with the hubby and a friend.  We bundled up and headed out into the 36 degree winter weather for our morning explore of an abandoned school.

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The decaying campus in the hills were once home to a sawmill, several elegant estates, busy Jesuit college and a small Christian school.  The property used to bustle with activity. It was originally a sawmill site that fueled the growth of the nearby towns, now submerged by a reservoir. In the late 1800s, a wealthy miner built a 15-room house and developed orchards and a commercial trout farm there. It expanded still further when purchased by the son of another wealthy miner.

Since its abandonment more than three decades ago, the site has been reclaimed by nature. Termites and rodents have moved into rooms that once held students. Ivy climbs its crumbling brick walls. A once-elegant fountain is now a planter box filled with foliage. The wind whispers through broken windows of the former library.

The majority of the buildings that we explored today were built between 1940-1950 and completely deserted in the 1970’s.