Abandoned Islands And the Stories Behind Them (75 Pics)

Hashima Island, Japan
The island was inhabited from 1887 to 1974. It was made into a small little city to accommodate the workers and their families. The main purpose for the island was a large coal mining operation.

Prior to WWII, many of the workers were Korean laborers. After the war, corporations took over the island. At one point in 1959, over 5200 people lived on this small island, making it one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Families did not live well, as normal accommodations were hard to maintain, and items became more expensive as they were shipped in. Once a family moved to the island, they rarely left unless moving off it as the companies shifted personal, making for a mundane lifestyle.

Petroleum eventually replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, making this mining facility obsolete. It was finally shut down and evacuated in 1974. This is the same island used in the James Bond film Skyfall in 2012.
Poveglia, Italy
First mentioned in scripts in the 400s, this tiny island town has been around at least 1600 years. In 1379, Venice, facing an attack from the Genoan fleet, forced the population to relocate. For nearly the next 300 years, the island wasn't fully inhabited. Finally, in 1645, Venice had defenses built to protect the lagoon, and the island saw residents with soldiers and their families.

In 1776, the island became a check point for all goods and people coming to and going from Venice by ship by their public health office. During this time it had major engineering projects, cutting the island into 3 islands, as well as works projects for crops.

In the 1790s, the islands were converted into a hospital for the ill, as plague was found on some checked in ships. Napoleon Bonaparte himself set up a permanent hospital here, destroying some of the older buildings including the church, converting the bell tower into a lighthouse, and building new facilities in 1805. The hospital was shut down in 1814 around when Bonaparte first lost power.

In 1922, the island was converted into a full time asylum for the mentally ill. It would remain so until 1968. Shortly afterwards, after a failed agricultural project, the island was completely abandoned. When the Italian government finally started to get the islands back under control some 20 years later, they did excavation work and found the islands had numerous plague pits filled with bodies of those who died here. It is estimated some 100,000 people died here over the centuries from disease in the hospitals. With all the patients during its height, it is also estimated up to 2000 people were living here at some time or another.

In 2014, the Italian government, which still owns the islands, auctioned them off for a 99 year lease looking for revenue for the unused islands. They even put together some projects to maintain the stability of the buildings and protect the area from looters and vandals, whom had already damaged and vandalized many of the structures.

Despite a qualified bid, the lease did not meet the Italian governments terms, which was to have the buyer build a luxury hotel and resort. As of now, the Italian government still wishes to lease the state owned islands and build revenue, but have no immediate plans for the area. Another auction is expected to again generate interest, but until then, the islands are just tourist attractions. Many stories exist about how the islands are haunted due to how many died here, adding to its intrigue.
Fort Jefferson, Florida Keys, US
Built in 1826 to protect Florida and the Caribbean from pirates, it is actually unfinished. It was the 3rd largest fort (not base but an actual fortified walled fort) ever built in the US.

It was conceived around 5 years after the US bought Florida from Spain. It has over 16 million bricks. Despite its design to fend off pirates, it never saw any use in that regard, as by the time it was running, pirates had all but been eliminated in the Caribbean.

During the Civil War, it remained in Union hands and even became a prison for a time. Up to 1500 people lived her, with half and half being convicts and soldiers by the end of the war. After the war, 4 of the Lincoln Assassination conspirators were sent here for a time.

It remained in military use until 1888, and soon after was abandoned. It is the largest brick masonry structure in the Americas. It was turned into a National Monument in 1935 and officially a National Park in 1992. A popular tourist destination, you can camp here and check out the entire fort.
Goli Otok, Croatia.
Originally this island was used to house Russian soldiers captured in WWI. Eventually, it evolved into a full prison in 1949. Terrible hard labor was here until it would be shut down in 1989.

Originally an anti-communist prison, mainly holding political prisoners before expanding into a maximum security facility for the former Yugoslavia sometime in the late 1950s.

The prisoners would be used for forced labor on the island, often with no regard for safety, the weather, or their health. Guards beat inmates regular, and rarely intervened if an inmate attacked another, even if they killed each other.

Eventually, Yugoslavia made better relations with the USSR, and the prison converted into just a regular prison, and hard forced labor and incidents were reduced in the 1970s.

Eventually it wasn't worth its upkeep on the island, having out of date facilities and in need of an overhaul. It was decided in 1989 to close the prison and abandon the island. The facilities haven't been touched since outside of curious tourists and weather damage.
Fort Carroll, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, US
A coastal fort designed to protect Baltimore by none other than Robert E. Lee prior to the Civil War. Lee in fact designed a number of forts all across the country. It had a lighthouse and many batteries, but never saw any action.

It was reoccupied for the Spanish-American War in 1898 despite all the batteries being obsolete. Thus they rebuilt them, and yet again, never were used at the fort.

New batteries were ready and installed in the fort around 1900. During WWI, they were removed. Again, the fort was useless in its location at this point.

It became fully abandoned in 1921. In WWII, they used it for target practice for a bit, causing minimal damage. In May 1958, Baltimore attorney Benjamin Eisenberg purchased the island for $10,000, intending to put a casino there, but development plans never materialized. Today it is fully abandoned, and the home of some animals and curious travellers, though technically it if off limits.
Abandoned Islands And the Stories Behind Them (75 Pics) Abandoned Islands And the Stories Behind Them (75 Pics) Reviewed by Your Destination on January 24, 2018 Rating: 5

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