The top of Dock 4 was too dangerous to explore, but this panorama gives you an idea of the view (and how rotten the wood was).
Looking across the catwalk behind the ore chutes, when they were up, and at the top of the ore chutes during loading.
The texture of the cracking poured concrete ore pocket is somewhere between stone and driftwood.
A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.
Looking toward Duluth from the top of a Dock 1 light tower. NP Dock 1 is on the left… an earlier competitor to Allouez. The stars reflect on Lake Superior.
I wonder how sheltered workers on this mid-level catwalk that follows the ore chutes is in storms. Note the chunks of concrete stuck in the catwalk grates–the pockets (right) are falling apart.
Water turned the taconite powder into a rusty, slippery paste… everywhere the water pooled up, doubling the beauty from certain special angles.
As wind and currents moved the ice around between the ore docks, the sounds of crunching echoed through the otherwise quiet bar.
The ice around the dock, compressed by the waves, was less clear than the open ice.
Exploring Dock 4 was a very different experience, since it was almost all metal.
Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.
This building stood on stilts until it was demolished. The top floor handled radio traffic to boats and trains. The bottom floor had locker rooms, records, and a lunchroom.
This was taken before the top of the docks really started to rot-out; now this stretch past the crane is distinctly unsafe to cross. Still, you can’t beat the view of Dock #2 winding into the distance, where the approach is chopped-off before the yard used to extend.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
The turned rail was to prevent runaway cars from going over the end of the dock and into the lake.
The conveyor belt prevented cranes from accessing the left side of the dock, so cranes were mounted to the gantry crane to maintain the ore chutes on the side.
Shadows of the timberwork and cribbing are cast across cracked lake ice. My footprints follow cat tracks.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
Snow flies across the frame as the sunken cribbing freezes bellow the concrete.
A long exposure in the crane cab at sunset throws a bit of color into the bleak yellow glows between the windows and car shaker.
The approach to Dock 4 is long demolished, so it is only accessible when the lake freezes.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
We people are so small.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
When the lake levels were especially low, the pilings of Dock 3 that are usually underwater were clearly visible between Dock 2 and Dock 4.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
A big door into the fire pump room.
The top of the docks are so rotten in places that you can see the lake through the boards. In the foreground you can see the controls for the chutes, which work on a clutch.
From bottom to top: The demolished Dock 3, the abandoned Dock 4, and the active BNSF Taconite Dock.
Graffiti by a crew member of the Algolake.
Circa-1960s graffiti. Someone got their ass kicked.
On top of the light hoop, 160-feet up, a ship comes into port, ready to load-up. If you look really close, you can see my shadow cast on the dock below, courtesy of the full moon.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
Below Dock 2 is a set of fire pumps.
Wind took the spring melt on the trees growing in taconite pellets and made it airborne. Loading chutes in the background.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
Taken from the arm of the pocket loader–note the tree growing out of the conveyor belt. Often where you see old piles of taconite, trees are springing up. The byproducts of the pelletization process break down and make a really fertile mix, especially with all the iron content!
Camera: Voigtlander Bessa Film: Acros 100
Where the approach meets the dock.
The conveyor between the shore and Dock 2. Note the gap in the aerial walkway that used to connect Dock 4 to the rest of the complex.
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.