When the question “What are the oldest places in Second Life?” was first raised at SLUniverse, the one of the first responses came from Chip Midnight, about his builds in Freelon. I happen to live a mere half-sim away, so I went to have a look and snap some photos… thus, this project was born.
Above, two views of Chip’s place on the western shore of Freelon: the main store for “Chip Midnight’s Fine Fashions”, and his adjacent residence, all of which date circa October 2003. Directly behind (east) of there are the other two oldest sites in the region:
Thunder Electric (which is also the name of its creator and owner), and the Freelon Volcano.
Thunder’s build covers various dates from May 2003 through the following summer — I suspect that it may have been a frequent victim of either, or both, of two phenomona Teeny Leviathan described in that SLU thread:
Back before the land tier and prim limit systems were implemented, prims cost $L10 each. Any time a prim was rezzed, you “paid” for it. Conversely, when you took it back into inventory or deleted it, you earned $L10. It was also possible to delete full perm items and claim their prim value (possibly a permissions bug). During the first year of SL, some older builds, such as the mansion and the old Varney Boardwalk were being picked apart for quick Lindens.
We also had prim decay during beta. If objects were rezzed on unclaimed land and abandoned, they would slowly disappear over time, one prim at a time. This feature was far from foolproof. The Jessie Wall, Governors Mansion, Varney Boardwalk, Old West Build (Oak Grove) and the Shangri-La build were all victims of prim decay at one time. These were all builds on claimed land. LL wisely killed prim decay soon after SL went live.
Hidden beneath the lava of the Freelon Volcano, which has been bubbling since November 2003, is this dragon’s lair; all of it by Drathor Kothari, owner of the parcel.
In the overview at top, just left of center is a Hellenistic-style temple complex; it, plus the land and builds behind it to the east, are collectively called “Amazon Nations”. Most of what’s there was built during the fall of 2004; you can find photos — including a place to buy Daleks! — in the Freelon section of my online album “SL History, Part I : The First 20 Sims“.