Sometimes you find the most unexpected things in a random vacant mill. This Toy Loft was once a booming factory, store and park. Built into an old mill, the premise was pretty eerie, even in its heyday. The abandoned Toy Loft can be found at 42 Maple Street, in the borough of Danielson, the town of Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut.
Tenants of the former P & A (Powdrell & Alexander) mill complex at 23-42 Maple Street were prevented from running their stores after the town declared the structure a threat to public safety. Fire and building inspectors cited mill owner Jack Dusseault for several fire and safety violations.
Four of the seven businesses forced to move out of the unsafe mill complex. The shuttered businesses were Ironworks Gym, Zone Laser Tag Family Fun Center, The Academy of the Knightly Arts and Jani-Tech offices and Delta Rubber offices. Two businesses owned by Dusseault, The Toy Loft and Danielson Aviation, were also closed to foot traffic. Affected business owners were offered relocation options: reasonable expense payment for moving property while searching for a new location.
This abandoned place is creepy enough and the photographs of the toy store are haunting. The Toy Loft has been abandoned since 2007 with merchandise left untouched in the old storefront. From Maple Street you can see where it says “Toy Loft“ in pink letters, outside of the entrance door. It’s both unsettling and amazing. It’s as if people were shopping one day, then suddenly everyone had to evacuate… and no one ever set foot again. Some of the merchandise appear at least 50 years old. And yet now, many years later, this place looks like the setting for a horror TV show.
It was the ultimate playhouse in its day. Former Hobbies and Toys shop had arcade games, a laser tag arena, a sword-fighting school, miniature Tiki gold course, an Iron Works gym and a Wiffle ball court. It’s all there – cracked doll heads, broken doll arms, and soiled teddy bears. Once this store sold the stuff of children’s dreams, but now it lies abandoned and full of dust; more likely to inspire nightmares. It doesn’t take long for nature to overtake structures that have been left exposed to the elements.
Remnants of a wiffle ball court, sword fighting school, laser tag arena and miniature golf course now sit in ruin. The former manager or owner of the arcade area no longer holds the lease to the property, traces of his existence are still present in the form of threatening notes stuck across arcade machines, which he wrote to ward off vandals. He would leave notes threatening the kids who were breaking his arcade machines that they would have to pay for damages if he caught them.
Since it issued the closure order, the town was initially responsible for funding the relocation process, though liens have been placed on Dusseault’s property because he is ultimately responsible for paying the town back.
All photos: Jonathan Haeber tunnelbug