odd assortment of pre-suburban Westchester relics have recently come to my
attention. Despite massive waves of housing construction beginning in the 1950s
and still continuing to the present day, these ruins are still hanging on despite the high value of the land
around them. One such ruin is a mink farm in East Irvington. East Irvington lies
behind the riverfront estates of Irvington and Tarrytown. It was once known as
Dublin, for the Irish workers who maintained the nearby estates.
The estate days dwindled around World War II, and within twenty years, apartment
buildings and houses were constructed in large numbers to support the booming
population, many of whom worked at newly constructed corporate campuses
Still, pockets of rural life remained untouched, including this mink farm. Although the farm no longer operates, fortunately so, vestiges of it abound. Hundreds of small wire-mesh cages, tangled in brambles, remain in their rows. A small concrete bunker-like structure is the most substantial ruin, while a wooden shed has collapsed around a large metal tank. A large rock outcrop overlooks the newer houses below, where there once was a solitary farmhouse.
Mink farming, sadly, is still popular elsewhere. The conditions these animals are raised in are terrible. Like chickens that spend their entire lives in cages so we can have eggs, these creatures never got to roam the woodlands that surrounded their cages. The cages show there is barely enough room for an animal to lay down straight, let alone, get up, move around, or turn around. Many parts of the world have banned fur farming, but the United States is still one of the world's leading producers of mink fur.
Many thanks to Steve Colucci for showing me this site, which I'm sure I've walked past before and never realized its existence.
Processing shed? Side view.
Processing shed? Rear view.
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