Lost Macon County

722 West Wood, Decatur

ichabod baldwin house

The Wiswell - Bachrach Home


Old Bachrach Home, 722 West Wood Street, Had Been Wrecked Inside and Out By Vandals and Thieves

The finest specimen of ruination and vandalism ever seen in Decatur in a neighborhood where residence property as rule is maintained in presentable condition is the dwelling 722 West Wood street.

Minus door and windows, porch floor and steps leading to porches falling in decay, it is small wonder that school children gaze in terror at the great staring dark spaces shout "ghost!" to frighten small companions and then go lickety-split to get out of the neighborhood, a block away breathlessly asking as they pause, "Did you see that thing at the upstairs window?"

There is not a small _ in the territory south and west of the old house that does not know that it is a ghost house.


True it is that so called ghostly noises sometimes are heard within the house. Visit the place, make an inspection of the old house and you may hear the noises. Noises created by your own weight as you wander from one vacant room to another, perhaps occasionally stumbling over the unnoticed loose board, a piece of broken pipe or unattached fixture from another portion of the house. Large rooms, high ceilings what reverberations follow the falling _ so small a bit as a _ and these sounds heard by passing children are charged to ghosts and the race for life begins.


There are not half dozen unbroken panes of glass in all the windows. They are not to be seen at a glance. They are found and counted only after a search. Outer doors are missing or hanging partly unhinged, so that the elements have free sweep of the interior and what havoc thus has been wrought.

For many months such conditions have offered for its destruction. Hard wood floors water soaked have become warped and disconnected so that tours of inspection necessitate a certain degree of care to avoid falls.


But the truth is that nothing of value that was detachable remains. All pipe connections installed by plumbers have been torn loose from their fastenings and carried away. At best the thieves realized a bit of junk. The value of property destroyed was many times greater than the pittance which certainly involved toilsome effort to acquire.

For the bit of bad pipe to be had from the bath tub, the tub was overturned and dragged from its moorings, washbowls were torn from the wall and broken into small pieces. Radiators have been overturned and stripped of everything that had a suggestion of the color of brass. Except that it may be value as kindling nothing remains that might have been carried away.


All rooms are littered with bits of broken glass, that is easy to understand, the small boy supplied with a good sling shot or a pocket filled with rocks simply could not resist the delight of the crash which told his aim had been true. All he got out of his contribution to the ruin was noise, but he expected nothing more than that and was satisfied if he escaped detection.

A dozen or more years ago, the house was a dwelling place of the family of the late Henry Bachrach. Long since the property passed from that family.

Before utter ruination of the house began, real estate speculators had come to recognize it as mere trading property. Its size and the neighborhood for a time gave it a false value in trading, but at last it came to be a liability instead of an asset for the individual in whom the _ was vested.

PHOTO (which is impossible to make out): Caption:

These pictures are of the "ghost house," the old Bachrach home at 722 West Wood street which, standing empty for several months has been dismantled and wrecked by vandals who have stolen everything they could sell.

The interior since all doors and windows have been destroyed is at the mercy of the elements and the prey of vandals who have looted the place of everything that would yield a few dimes when sold as junk.

Decatur Herald, 15 May 1927


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