Jason Boulanger Photography

Orange County Wedding Photographer

Mare Island – Vallejo, California

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Present-day Mare Island is the result of about 140 years of rich military and industrial heritage, combined with about 20 years of decay. The island was purchased by the government in the early 1850’s and remained an active naval base until 1993. Things haven’t been completely silent since then – there are still a handful of businesses and factories, a golf course, a small residential neighborhood, and even a medical school currently in use, but most of the industrial buildings have been left unattended. It really is an odd mix of decay and beauty – about 100 feet from the second dilapidated loading dock pictured below is Saint Peter’s Chapel, which features Tiffany stained glass windows worth upwards of 10 million dollars.

I’m hoping to be able to get inside some of these buildings. There’s a historical society on the island, and I intend to contact them the next time I visit. While a little under-the-radar urban exploring would be a ton of fun, I’m a bit put off by the constant police and security patrols, not to mention the abundance of “questionable” activity on parts of the island. In the meantime, here are a handful of photos from several recent trips. They were shot on several different cameras (Fuji GA645, Mamiya RZ-67, Kodak Retina IIc, Olympus 35 RC) on several different film stocks (Fuji Pro 400h, Fuji Velvia 50, Ilford XP2 Super, Ilford HP5+, Kodak T-Max 100), and most of the scans were done by Pro Photo Connection in Irvine, CA.


Written by Jason Boulanger

March 2, 2013 at 4:07 am

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