Abandoned farms in Brighton

Abandoned farms in Brighton

Photos: January 17th – January 24th, 2017

In keeping with our abandoned farms series, today we look at the ruined farmhouses adjacent to Buckland Town Park on the old Gonsenhauser property.

The farms  — one still having a partial sign indicating its last inhabitants, the Groos family — cast a stark contrast to the rest of manicured Brighton.  Eerily set on Westfall Road, they might be the last abandoned structures in Brighton.  The ruins include two silos, two abandoned homes, and other dilapidated buildings and sheds.

max g

This photo appeared in The Times Union in 1967 under the headline “600 Acres Up for Sale.” The article stated that “Brighton cattle baron Max Gonsenhauser, who owns the largest single block of property in Brighton, today declared he was ‘cutting down’ on his cattle business and indicated 600 acres of property is for sale. Gonsenhauser, who began farming in Brighton on borrowed money and on a rented farm after fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938, sold 228 of his finest milk cows from a Victor farm in 1964 after he suffered a heart attack.” from Historic Brighton News

And, yes, they are haunted.



diatanceGroos letters

in the mist


mist far





silop 2
tree snow

red in snow



UPDATE: On May 17th, 2020, I revisited this spooky specter of Brighton.

At first, all seemed placid.


Still placid as I approached the rear of the old barn.

We think of Brighton as a leafy town, peopled with conventional citizens typical of the 2020s, i.e. holding unimaginative conceptions of the supernatural. But I learned Brighton is also home to a clan or tribe who live on different metaphysical planes.

Our fellow citizens also enjoy a nearby cabin.

The reading material of our otherworldly neighbors confirmed my expectations.  Our spectral superiors see us as mindless, one-dimensional thinkers


Abandoned Farm: A Gallery of Photographs by George Payne

Do the troubled spirits of John and Irene walk the Brickyard Trail? Probably not. At the Brighton Library, Matt Bashore unveils the twists and turns of the crime and punishment

Visiting a Talker haunt: the Brickyard Trail with Leslie Frances and Audrey

Exotic animals once lived next to the Highland Crossing Trail

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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