It ain't pretty being easy... (soopageek) wrote,
It ain't pretty being easy...

Chester Hide & Skin: Part IV (Final)

Part I - The Exterior
Part II - Building 1
Part III - Building 2
Part IV - Building 3

ll that was left was for me to explore was Building 3, the largest of the group. I had been given a solemn warning about vampires, but I wasn't deterred in the slightest. It was rather cold and the snow was deep, so I wasn't in the mood for searching around outdoors too much, so when I saw the door on the platform, I figured a way to scramble up there and found that the lock had been broken-off and discarded a long time ago.

Just inside the doorway was a small foyer with a couple of barrels...

...and friendly reminder...

...and a doorway leading to the rest of the building.

The doorway led me to what was once the main butchering room. In the following picture, the alcove to the left leads back to the doorway of the foyer I had just entered. The contraption sitting on the right and disappearing into the wall corresponds to the chute outside beside the doorway, as seen in the first photograph above. Judging from the rest of this room which we shall see momentarily, and the nature of this contraption, with its high chute to the left, I would guess this was the end of the butchering line. The carcass was probably dropped into the high chute which slid down on to the level area for the final butchering, then discarded through the wall. As you can see, there's yet another fire extinguisher.

Looking toward the rear, and the rest of the room, it looks like this.

There were a few things that had been left behind, mostly old hoses and pieces of equipment.

Remember the flannel shirt hanging on the wall in Building 2? Hanging on the wall here were some old rubber cover-alls the employees must've worn to keep the blood and water off of them.

Probably the most interesting and certainly the most creepy thing in here was a collection of stainless steel meat hooks suspended from the ceiling.

Overhead, throughout the room was an extensive rail system for moving carcasses.

The above photo is actually where the rail begins, coming through a doorway inside a small holding pen near the suspended meat hooks. You can see the doorway at the rear of the pen and the rail coming out of it then diagonally up the far wall.

Most likely, there is where the animal was killed, as the doorway also leads to the livestock pens which we'll see momentarily. Looking through the doorway, you can see the machinery which powered the rail system

Entering the machinery room, I found another doorway which led to the livestock pens.

The pens had concrete floors and a variety of barriers separating them, from concrete blocks walls, to wood and metal gating.

Inside some of the pens were water and feed troughs.

Near the rear of the pen area was a small hallway containing a scale similar to the one seen in Building 1.

On the floor beside it were some old cards and a box of copper snout rings. Hog farmers use snout rings to keep the pigs from rooting underneath the fence and freeing themselves. The rings are clamped onto the upper portion of the snout, making it painful for a hog to root, effectively squashing their desire to do so. I guess the slaughterhouse kept some on-hand in case any hogs were brought in that hadn't been rung.

On the other side of the small hallway was the other portion of the scale with gates at either end to keep the animal on the platform while they were weighed

I made my way back to the slaughtering room. The sun was setting now. The vampires would be waking any minute.

At the rear of the slaughtering room was the entrance to the temperature controlled portions of the facility; the refrigerated and frozen meat lockers.

They were huge with more of the rail system over head. In the dark, with my pitiful flashlight they seemed endless until the flash on my camera would light it up for a split second

There were rooms within rooms within rooms. Some of the older areas were in really poor condition....

....while other areas looked like you could just flip a switch and be running a meat locker in a matter of minutes.

A few of the rooms had been used for storage and had collected junk and trash.

There was an old water heater, an upright refrigerator, even an old couch.

Mostly there was refuse from the facility itself: old stickers....

...old labels...

...and old packing boxes.

A small, yellow hallway branched off from the meat locker at one point, lined with various artifacts as well.

It led ultimately to what corresponded to the dock area seen from the exterior.

I worked my way back out of the maze of meat lockers to the butchering room. There was only one more area left of the building to explore: the small front-office area of the property. It consisted of a small corridor with a door leading to the outside at one end....

...and a set of double doors which led to the butchering room at the other.

A short hallway, with an inexplicable roll of toilet paper on the wall, led to an office.

Inside it was painted two tones of blue. There was some shelving... well as some office furniture in the form of a couch, a desk, and some filing cabinets.

A small small bathroom with a shower stall was connected to the office as well.

Which concludes my not-to-little tour of Chester Hide and Skin. I took 226 photos of the plant that evening, which all reside in an album in my photo gallery, if you're interested in seeing the entire set. Hope you've enjoyed this as much as I did tromping around in there.

Tags: photo, travel

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