BEG: Old Orono Factory Building
~Basement and Lower Levels~
We know of three ways into the basement and lower levels of this building. One is from the outside of the building, entering through the door on the loading dock. The other two are on the inside of the building. One is a wide set of wooden stairs in the front room of the building, and the other is a downward sloping side branch off from a hallway in one corner of the large third room from the back of the building. We know there are at least two other ways in, but the ones mentioned above are the easiest. The other ways into the basement are down through a trapdoor that we have only seen the bottom of (the top side is likely covered with a thick layer of scumm on the floor of one of the main rooms); and the other way down is by crawling down through an elevator shaft. Of all the ways down to the basement, we would most recomend entering through the loading dock entrance or through the ramped hallway. The Old wooden stairs in the front room are very rotten and unsafe.
Photo from the bottom of the wide stairs that lead down into the basement.
The rooms of the basement follow the same rough outline as the rooms above, with major walls being in the same places and a few small siderooms off from some of the rooms. What follows is a copy of Wally's account of his first venture into the basement of this building, as it was posted on a UE discussion board, with links to pictures added in afterwards. Here it is (first couple paragraph describe a bit more about the surrounding area outside of the building)...
"I finaly made it back up there a couple nights ago. I found out we were going to a place up that way to do some drinking for a friend's birthday so I asked them to stop by my house so I could pick up my boots and grab my headlamp, gloves, and digital camera. They didn't want to go cause I guess drinking is more important to them than crawling into places, so I told them I'd be back in an hour or two. It was dark out by then and it was only about a 20 minute walk through the area just outside downtown orono, then across the railroad bridge, and along a footpath.
The footpath was interesting. I had only been there once before, and that was before there were leaves on the trees. Now this place was overgrown with underbrush and other greenery I fealt like I was going through the jungle. The roaring of the rapids in the river right next to me added to the atmosphere. I fealt kind of like I was Indiana Jones in the begining of his first movie when they were going through the jungle. But I didn't run into any natives or monolith heads with bats flying out of them, and I didn't have a mule or a coniving sidekick.. but the path did drop off the side of a collapsed part of the river bank, and there was a huge cement embankment right next to me, and I sort of remembered these things from when I was there before. So I shined my light up over the embankment could sort of see the dark outline of the back of the building through the trees. I climbed up over the embankment and could then makeout the door sized opening that I would enter through. It took a couple minutes to clambor through the underbrush but I was soon to the steel lader that went up to the door, and I was wearing an onion on my belt cause it was the fashion at the time. I climbed up the ladder and went inside.
Inside was much as it was before and I continued on through a couple rooms, quickly searching the corners and along the walls for sleeping people or anything that would seem out of place. I didn't see anything. The front of the building where the rotton stairs to the basement are are in the front of the building which has some unboarded windows and houses nearby so I headed down a hallway to where I thought there was another way into the basement. down a couple downward sloping hallways and I was in the basement. The floor was wet but not flooded like it had been before.
This part was a fairly large room with many square pillars to support the cement floor above. A couple doorways led into the front room of the basement level where the rotton stairs were. Not much interesting in there. also in the room with the pilars was a firehose in it's holder on the wall, and an elevator shaft with the elevator down to the floor I was on. There was a certificate of elevator opperation in a case on the wall, dated 1990. I'm not sure how the elevator went up and down cause there were ventilation things going through it to the fron room of the basement. also in the pillar room were a pair of some kind of turbine like things which reached from floor to ceiling, with a metal ladder leading up to a metal trapdoor between them. there was also a double sized doorway going to areas further back under the building."
Photo of the room with many square pillars, as it looks from the door wally entered through.
Photo of the fire hose.
Photo looking into one of the front rooms, just past the elevator shaft. Not really all that interesting of a picture.
"then next room back was quite large. The first half was about eight feet higher than the later half, with a downward sloping ramp in the middle going down to the floor level of the second part of the room. off to the side of the higher part were several small rooms. one looked like the boiler room and was filled lots of red pipes. another was filled with torn open sacks of moldering wool. another had a couple fifty gallon barrels of large spools of thread. there were also the usual piles of stuff like old lightbulbs and metal gears and stuff. the lower half of this room did not have much except for many large archways and another double sized doorway topped by a deep arch."
Photo from near the entrance of the third room. Looking from the upper part of the room, down the ramp to the lower part of the room.
Photo from the edge of the raised area that makes up the "upper half" of the room, looking down into the "lower half" with it's many deep arched supports. One of the pictures from the detail of the main floor has a picture looking through a hole into the area to the left and slightly behind the place where this photo was taken.
Photo of the boiler room sort of place with the red pipes.
Photo of a barrel of large spools of thread.
Photo of the arched doorway looking into the back rooms.
"From here back, I do not remember much of exactly how the floorplans were layed out. There were four holding tanks of some sort spread out to the corners of two rooms. one had a wooden stairway going to the top of it, but it fealt too spongy to get to the top of. at least one tank had a couple small holes knocked in the side of it but it did not look like there was much in there. The basement got more and more wet, dirty, and crumbling as it went further back towards the river and lower into the ground. There were a couple of seemingly pointless hallways, some of them with multiple horizontal wooden beams supporting them against a main wall. Lots of piles of brick and rubble back in this area, holes in the walls, dirt and slime all over, but the strangest thing was little swatches of cloth hanging on pipes and ladders. If this place was infested with rats, this is the area that I'd most have expected to find them. I did not find any, but I'm sure I heard some squeeking and scurrying around."
Photo of part of the holding tank with the stairs to the top of it.
Photo of one of the ladders with strange scraps of cloth hanging from it.
Photo taken in the very back part of the building. the colored thing hanging from the pipe is more of the the cloth that was hanging around.
"I found another hallway leading off from one of these lower back rooms and it lead up a short ramp to another very large room. I was on a platform in one corner of the room, which had piles of wooden pallets stacked about, but was mostly empty. there was light leaking in through part of a nearby wall and I recognized it as an opening on a loading dock I had looked into the first time i found the building but did not go in. there was also a bat flying doing laps around the room but I couldn't get a picture of it. I guess I went back through part of the basement to get a few more pictures of stuff cause I remember wandering around and heard something move upstairs. it could have been a person or animal, or more of the roof collapsing, but I decided to leave cause it seemed I had seen just about everything I was dressed to see. I was dressed more for going out drinking, not crawling through greasy holes, so I decided to leave via the basement loading dock I had found a few minutes earlier and not encounter whatever I had heard in the building above.
the trip back was fairly easy and I was soon back drinking with my friends. always seems strange to be sitting in class or going out to eat someplace, thinking that less than an hour ago I was crawling through the deep damp stanky bowels of civilization.
there are a couple things I'd like to go back and check out. some parts of the basement floor had been torn up or collapsed, revealing small tunnels. most of that area had been filled in with rubble and something that looked like either some kind of fiber insulation (like that pink or yellow fiberglass insulation) or woolen stuff dragged down from some other part of the building. a few times when I stepped the basement floor sounded hollow."
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