While browsing for interesting stops on a recent trip to North Carolina, I saw this Atlas Obscura article on the abandoned Henry River Mill Village, and I immediately made it a priority!
The company town was built around a mill in the early 1900s, and looks to have been abandoned not long after the mill closed in the 1960s. There are 20 remaining structures in various states of decay– a playground for connoisseurs of abandoned buildings. But the reason why so many people flock to the site probably has more to do with its more recent history as a filming location for District 12 in The Hunger Games.
Recognize this row of houses from the Hunger Games? It appears that repairs were made to some homes for the film, most noticeably to the back porches, some of which are far sturdier than they ought to be (or simply not collapsed like all the others).
The old company store served as Peeta Mellark’s family bakery:
Even if you’re not into The Hunger Games, it’s a pretty cool place to visit!
I loved this house, as it was so much more colorful inside than the others!
Many of the houses have rotting floorboards, and I’m certain that you’re not supposed to enter any of them. (seriously, please be careful if you visit!) I might have disregarded that rule to take more photos of this particular home. However, it’s not difficult to lean in and snap photos, as the glass is completely broken out of many of the windows.
Houses on the opposite side of the road. What’s not immediately obvious from the photos is just how close they are to the road. The village is only a couple minutes drive from the highway, and there’s no way you can miss it.
If you prefer a guided tour, there’s a local company that works with the owner to offer Hunger Games themed tours that give you a little more access and let you dress up and act out some of your favorite scenes!
On their website and elsewhere I’ve seen statements that the village is closed to the public, which doesn’t seem to be true at this time. When we showed up on a Sunday afternoon, the sheriff was sitting in the parking lot near the company store. He was very nice, and said we were welcome to explore, just to stay away from the mill down by the river as it’s dangerous. We had the place to ourselves for about 15 minutes, when several other groups showed up to poke around and take photos.
There’s no street address for the village, but getting there is easy, as your Google Maps app won’t have any problem finding the location if you just put in “Henry River Mill Village.”