Forgotten Southeast > About > Forgotten Southeast Team
The Forgotten Southeast Team
Jon Stone is the founder of Forgotten Southeast, launching the site in August of 2012. While growing up, he was always fascinated in places that were left behind and the stories that they told. Perhaps, the most interesting place to him still to this day is the Ukrainian city Pripyat. The city was hastily left abandoned after one of the nearby Chernobyl reactors melted down and exploded, causing the residents to suffer from nuclear fallout.
When Jon learned of the town of Picher, OK, his passion for researching and documenting abandoned places began. His love for storms followed him to Picher. The town, already labeled as one of the most hazardous sites in the United States, was devastated by an EF-4 tornado in the spring of 2008. He visited the town and found a community full of schools, churches, houses, and businesses that were all but abandoned. Most of the locations still contained the personal belongings of the former residents. Saddened by the fact that most of the town's people had to move from their homes, and that the EPA would soon demolish the city, he was led to begin the documentation of Picher and other abandoned places before they permanently vanish.
Since then, over the years he has compiled hundreds of pages of research and historical documents along with thousands of pictures. For the last few years, he attended a university in the south. This is what led him to start the Forgotten Southeast. His goal is to document historical, yet abandoned locations in the southeast and eventually across the United States and internationally. He realizes these places have a history and once meant something to the people who were affiliated with them. Abandoned buildings are a way of seeing into what the past was like and how things once were. He believes that if the buildings themselves cannot be saved, then at least their memories can.
In addition to photography and visiting these forgotten places, Jon's hobbies also include storm chasing, model rocketry and football. Between these hobbies, he travels around to all parts of the United States every year. He is currently a degree student at The University of Oklahoma, majoring in Aerospace Engineering and Meteorology.