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An abandoned property is shown near Carthage in this undated photograph. (Photo courtesy of Abby Bischoff)

‘Abandoned’ Facebook page of SD photos goes viral

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‘Abandoned’ Facebook page of SD photos goes viral
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Abby Bischoff didn’t expect her photos to be so well liked.

“I’m not the first person to take a picture of old houses, and I’m probably not the best, but there’s just something about it,” she said. “It’s just been unreal. I had no idea that it would reach that level.”

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On Oct. 7, the Sioux Falls photographer started a Facebook page simply titled “Abandoned.” It included photos of abandoned farmsteads, mostly in the southeastern South Dakota area. Bischoff said she waited about a week before making it public. Within a week it took off, and as of Wednesday night, it had amassed more than 25,500 “likes” and received hundreds of comments on individual photos.

“You hear the term ‘viral,’ and you think you understand it, but I had no idea,” Bischoff said. “The day it went from 3,000 to 10,000 was the day I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. This is crazy. This is actually crazy.’ ”

Bischoff started taking pictures of abandoned farmsteads a couple of years ago as a hobby. On her many trips from Sioux Falls to see family in Huron, she frequently stops to take new pictures of abandoned farmsteads, including several in The Daily Republic’s print circulation area.

Between working a full-time day job and trying to grow her photography business, Bischoff said she tries to respond to the many messages she’s been getting and hopes to set up an online print ordering site. Eventually, she hopes to do something more in-depth.

“The history of the homes is really intriguing to me,” she said. “I’m confident there are enough connections out there to tell the story.”

Why it was such a hit, she’s not sure. Curiosity, she thinks, as well as a bit of nostalgia for an ever-widening gap between urban people and the once-common rural America connection.

“We live in a super connected but at the same time totally disconnected society,” she said. “I think that tangible connection to a time that’s fading really quickly is powerful.”

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