In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.
The city has taken steps to prevent the curious and the desperate from going into the elevators, including piling rocks against the doors and windows.
Outbuildings near the perimeter fence. Beyond is all ranch land.
Don’t know what’s heavier… the bricks or shadows.
ADM overshadows the Meal Elevator. The cleared area behind is now home to Surley Brewery.
Looking toward the power station at the edge of the explosives plant.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
Looking through the hole where a glass pane once was at the Columbus Mine ruins, just south of Animas Forks. It was quiet when I took the picture, but for the gurgle of the nearby Animas River.
Little has changed inside the mill, but since it was built in 1916, many tanks and ancillary buildings have popped up around it.
If there was a problem with the conveyor belt, the grain would go out these chutes.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
Shells of mixing buildings.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
Looking out of the boarded windows in the Great Western Sugar office.
The last of four radar domes on the base.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
Circa-1960s graffiti. Someone got their ass kicked.
The oldest part of this mill had a wooden roof that rotted away long ago. Slowly, rust is dulling the edge on every cog left behind.
Looking through skylights of the payroll office toward the Cheratte No.1’s tower. This is where workers would wait in line to receive pay, surrounded by the mine workings.
A typical shower in the old section of the hospital. It looks a little horrifying in the harsh light of a camera flash on the thousands of little white tiles. One soap holder hadn’t been stolen yet.
One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
This elevator came crashing down, perhaps from the topmost floor. I wonder what it sounded like.
Below the historic National Guard Armory.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
An orphan culvert and camper, both tossed aside where nobody that will see will care.
Steel mine hoists, near the place they worked, wait for scrap prices to justify their final removal from Osceola, Michigan.
Inside this small iron clad mine is a couch and some clothes. It seems that for a short while, someone was living inside of it…
A street side exposure of the original 1914 section of the orphanage. Turned into black and white to deemphasize all the graffiti across the front steps.
From inside a painting shed, where heatlamps and a vented roof made sure that the Caddy looked like it was worth the price tag.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
A closeup of the now-scrapped steel chute.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
The rumors were true. Success is sweet.
Aluminum spools replaced their wooden counterparts, later in the factory’s history.
In the nitrating house.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
A typical Chateau wall. Kodak Tri-X 400 in Leica M7.
Chester Creek takes many such sliding dives where it empties into Lake Superior.
On the ground floor of the main factory there seems to be only one chair left.
Taken from under the headframe.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.
The Tilston School,built in the late 1960s. In front of it is a memorial and model to the first schoolhouse. This building, however, has been turned into a kind of town dump. The classrooms are filled with mattresses and discarded tires and trash.
Bits and things in a pile in the corner of the smelter, the unsold chunks of industrial history that didn’t sell at an on-site auction before my visit.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
In the brewhouse between the preheating tank and kettle room. The spiral staircase goes into a kettle annex where a few smaller stainless steel kettles hide. If you looked right from this frame you would see the bottom of one of the kettles like the bottom of a steel mixing bowl.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
The end of the heating line allowed glass to cool slowly, and thus be stronger.
Just a couple guys enjoying an industrial ruin.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
The shed in the front was full of worker supplies–namely goggles and heavy leather gloves. Molten copper isn’t a friendly thing to handle.
Construction in 2014 reveals a lost stone sign.
Taken from the most forward part of the windlass room to show how the front of the ship opens up from the front wedge. Note the giant anchor chains and foam strapped to the frontmost beam.
When the ship loaders were added, a doorway was cut through the metal silo to make a room for the grain handling equipment. Note the dust sensor in the corner of the torch-cut archway.
Zachary Taylor’s very own Scottish castle, spring-side in the Kentucky backcountry. Boarded and waiting, but in surprisingly good condition, considering the decades. I especially love the tower on the right side of the frame.
Ringling’s church was built in 1914 and sits on a hill over the town.
The top floor of the condemned Russell Miller mill “B”, which would have housed sets of powerful electric motors to power the plant’s dust collectors and grain purifiers.
Considering the side of Boiler #3’s firebox, where it meets the boiler (between the cylinders). The top piece is where the exhaust is sucked into the chimney, one chimney for each pair of boilers.
The overgrown offices serve no one at this former Federal Elevator in Snowflake, MB.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
Even in monochrome, you can probably tell what colors were over Hastings that evening: Red, White, and Blue.
Old conveyor belts are draped over the sides of the ore chutes to cut down on the noise and wear of the dumping trains.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
Officers got houses and the honor of living near other officers. They call it Officer’s Row.
A storm passes over BOMARC’s center row of launch buildings. You can clearly see the tracks on which the roof would retract for launch.
A small upper level was accessible via ladder through the hole in this ceiling. Ben for scale.
King Elevator sits in the corner of a more recently-defunct lumber mill: Great Western Timber. Perhaps in the future I will write the history of it. Arista 100 in 120.
Between the room with mold sand and the space where the car’s metal bits would be put together, a pillar is marked as structurally vital.
This is a room where the actual explosive elements were mixed. In the event of an accident, this glass wall would give way before the concrete and thus direct the flames and shockwave away from the rest of the building. In other words, the glass is not just to get a lot of wonderful natural light into the building.
Only two machines sit on the rails in the roundhouse, both oil cars. It’s not clear whether there’s anything inside either, but they have to have been placed here before 1970, when the turntable outside these numbered doors was removed.
Some local kids were having a fire extinguisher fight when I walked into the lab one day.
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
The end of Dock 5 is warped and bent from a rail accident that left some ore cars swinging like a stringy wrecking ball into the end of the superstructure and accompanying stair. The stairs are still navigable, but it wasn’t recommended by the CN workers that were with me.
Because Oshkosh is close to Green Bay, the Packers are very popular there. Everywhere in the plant there were traces of ‘Cheese Head’ culture.
The third floor corridor is not so welcoming, as it requires visitors to walk along the support breams without the luxury of a floor. I didn’t mind, but I can’t see the family with young children that was also exploring Noisy doing the same.
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
Local kids probably call this the ‘Shootin’ Shack’, judging by its war wounds.
Frankie on the White Pine Mine vehicle access shaft. The mine was traditional inside… all room-and-pillar.
A 5-minute exposure of the tunnel and stars, and even some of Duluth’s city lights bouncing off the clouds. A single off-camera flash in the tunnel gives the effect of an oncoming train.
This corner of the building was the coal room, used to feed the two big boilers inside. The steam equipment has been replaced with electric, so this section may not have changed much in the past decades.
Most of the gauges on the control panels were broken.
A truck loading dock for raw materials. Looking at the concrete, you can sort of tell where the rails used to run.
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
Kat’s pretty cool.
…when injection molding was the new thing that everyone was experimenting with.
Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
Near Howardsville, Colorado, the Animas River gets quite wide. This is near the Little Nation Mill, which is worth a stop if you’re traveling north from SIlverton. It’s also near the former Gold King Mine, which “blew” in 2015 and flooded the Animas River with toxic mine water.
One boat comes into port while three wait. The birds, fat from spilled grain, circle overhead. Arista 100.
Where workers’ pay would be doled out and collected.
A vent sitting at the base of one of the crumbling smokestacks.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
The pipes above sprayed water onto the hot coke.
I wonder if these windows were bricked after the 1950 explosion with the hopes that, if another silos blew, the people in this office would be better protected.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
Taken from atop a grain train at the end of Cargill B-2, looking toward Lake Superior “I”, now part of the sample complex. This area used to have another slip, but Cargill filled it on when it built the elevator on the right.
The basement of the asylum was a strange place. Take, this fireplace, for instance, in an otherwise barren room. Random cinderblock (left) has created a little room behind the fireplace. To round out the strangeness, a toilet was plumbed into the middle of the space. Note the stone foundations.
These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.
Note the large belt pulley in the center of the frame. Follow the axel it’s on and you’ll see several belts still attached to the drive, which was originally steam-driven.
A massive water tower easily tucks into the shadow of Blast Furnace #6.
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
Chester Creek Infall, near Duluth’s old Armory. The creek will not emerge again until it is near the Lakewalk.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Either the company was pulling parts from this evaporator to use as parts for other plants, or the last thing the workers did was to get this machine ready for the next campaign. Either way, plans changed.
Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
One thing that struck me as a midwesterner in the South was the vines. They seem to be able to completely cover a building when left alone for a few decades.
The belts on these mills have long ben missing.
This section of the production floor was constantly dripping. Someone had laid down giant plastic sheeting to attempt to protect the lower floors, but it hasn’t worked.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
The boilers are gone, but round brick portals remain where they used to meet the walls of the boiler room. Behind it appears to be the coal bunker itself.
Fake Fact: The term ‘stovetop hat’ was coined by Island Station’s architect while trying to explain why he wanted to put the steel chimney on the station. ‘Live Here’ was part of the advertising when the building was host to artist lofts. They weren’t kidding.
She’s a charmer.
Fall in line, act skinny, watch out for low hanging pipes. Don’t ask me where in the maze this was… 90% of the plant looked like this; vast rooms and catwalks with crisscrossing pipes and valves.
That floor isn’t dirt–it’s old rotting grain that’s formed into a sort of moldy mud.
Two of the remaining four towers in the projects. Throughout our time there we saw and heard squatters inside and chose not to go in. What do you call a smart choice made in the midst of a dumb choice? There should be a word for that.
In the bottom of a creek, an antique children’s wheelchair is buried in grass, where someone threw it. Wooden leg braces suggest this dates to the 1950s.
Identical warehouses seem a little newer than the rest of the plant. I suspect these were added in the mid-1950s for the Korean War, during which about 200 buildings were added to the complex.
Cracked gauges have a certain quality that hearkens to movies, I think. One can imagine the gauges going off the scales before dramatically cracking, throwing glass right at the camera. This damage, however, is unfortunate vandalism.
The roof of the King Elevator had two small vents and a terrific view of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Arista 100 in 120.
A corner of the addition is lined with glass cabinets, formerly filled with beds.
This view of BCT shows the portico where the main entrance is at the base of the office tower, and the clock.
David Aho, the owner of Mitchell Engine House, poses beside the boiler.
Thick glass windows allow workers to check the beet juice levels in this steel tank. You can tell by the reinforcement that it had a lot of liquid and had to hold against immense pressure. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7.
Ringling, MT is spread thin across the grassy land.
A bird near the old schoolyard.
This floor of the workhouse had corkscrew conveyors–big augers–in the floor to move material around. Most of the walls that were metal were missing, leaving the concrete structure and open doors.
Park Insurance Agency is no longer in business, nor would you be able to dial that phone number.
For reasons unknown, this building’s concrete was designed a little thinly. It reminds me of a Chicago, IL building constructed during WWI when concrete and steel were strictly rationed and many buildings went up with insufficient superstructures. I do not have a build date for this one yet.
Rivets are sexy, and this old machine has more than a fair share.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
An old fashioned lift.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
The machine shop today.
Looking out of the wavy stock shop.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
There’s no way an explorer, much less a choir, could stand here now. Since this picture was taken the roof has collapsed onto the loft.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
The steel awning and its elegant staircase are one of my favorite features near the old carpentry shop. The gymnasium-theater is in the background.
The main buildings were mostly interconnected and in good condition. The dry air helps to preserve the wooden structures.
Looking across at the Cargill elevator.
The middle missile launcher, as seen from the roof of its neighbor.
I wonder if these handcarts will become decoration for the hotel being building next to the silos.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
Standing where the Standard Oil’s boiler used to sit; the coal room is on the right, and would have been filled from trackside.
The newer tunnels were fitted with these fluorescent lights, although some skylights (block glass embedded in skywalks) let in some natural light during the day.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
One of the only extant assembly line tracks in the body painting department. No photographer leaves Fisher 21 without capturing some version of this spot; hope you like mine.
Windows provided the 250-some workers with fresh air and light, and helped to keep flour dust from building up in the air, helping to prevent explosions. Today, machines control air flow better without windows, so they were bricked.
The cupola–the space above the silos–is surprisingly original. The building was too unstable for anyone to scrap it out. Seriously, the floor is a deathtrap.
This is one of the modern nurse’s stations where the last inpatients lived in the mid-2000s. The windows are thick shatterproof plastic. I am unsure why the suspended ceiling is missing.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
The piano must have been a nice distraction; there is very little to do in Roberts.
Someone had helped themselves to one of the safety posters before my visit.
There are a few campers parked in the abandoned buildings around the NAD. I am guessing that they were once a more secure place to store such things OR they have always been wide open, and this was a quick and free way to dump unwanted toys.
A steel powder keg serves as a door prop on the static-proof wood core floor. Note the ‘XXX’ marking to the left of the double door.
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
A Kiva is an underground, or partly underground, chamber for ceremonies.
Part of the grain dust venting system, dislodged from its place above the dumping hatches under the grain cribs.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
Chutes connect the bottoms of the silos to a conveyor belt.
A view of the government presses, with pages of law across the floor covered in footprints.
The former BESCO building in the last light of day.
A heavy steel rail door to help funnel explosions upward, rather than outward.
The turned rail was to prevent runaway cars from going over the end of the dock and into the lake.
Looking from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
An arrangement of brick graffiti on the old boiler house building near the railroad tracks.
A ruined platform on the railyard platform side of the warehouse.
ADM-Delmar #1- Maintainance Department. The stainless steel bits are part of the grain dryer added in the 1940s. The workhouse itself (the larger tower) was a dedicated Cleaning House, meaning that grain passed through both these buildings to be rid of dust, dirt and extra moisture before storage. In the foreground is the old ADM locker room and pipe department.
Scanned after being recovered from the bottom of an old wooden box for a few years. Circa 2005.
From the street, it’s clear that almost every window and door had boards over it, but not every building had a roof. Silly priorities.
Checking out the neighbors. Shot on a the legendary Pentax 67.
The building behind Daisy was demolished, leaving these tanks and a pointless conveyorway. Now it’s bricked (see over door near right corner of mill) and the tanks are exposed to the elements. There are a few holes in the area that have a healthy drop, so you should avoid the area.
Wind-battered catwalk lights between the shaft house and headframe/rockhouse building.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
Point me to the blast furnace.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
The Western Elevator’s old moniker looks over Fort William (the neighborhood). Snow falls over Mount McKay in the background. This elevator is still active… the only active elevator in Fort William proper.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
A jankey ladder leads to a platform over a wooden tank. Here’s hoping my usage contributes to jankey being accepted into the dictionary! Thanks, lexicographers.
When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.
This building looked like some sort of office.
Instructional film strips on the floor of a second floor closer.