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.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
Construction in 2014 reveals a lost stone sign.
The main buildings were mostly interconnected and in good condition. The dry air helps to preserve the wooden structures.
The turned rail was to prevent runaway cars from going over the end of the dock and into the lake.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
Looking out of the demolished skyway. Note the big hole in the floor. The lens is too wide to keep my foot out of it… I’m hanging in the superstructure that I climbed to make this photo.
What I make out to be the dining room or great hall of the castle, as seen through of the side rooms, which appeared to be a very ruined library. Teenager graffiti looks cooler in French.
A side view of the oven pusher from the ground. The tallest coal bunker looks tiny in the distance, though on the scale of the factory it’s practically on top of me as I’m taking the picture.
The steam-powered hoist that pulled ore and dropped men from the mine. Note the hydraulic-operated brake on top with its massive brake pad. Now scrapped.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
A Kiva is an underground, or partly underground, chamber for ceremonies.
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.
A high-voltage tunnel sheathed in concrete dips below ground near a shell packing building that now stores fireworks.
Near the base of the mesa is a modern house, which seems to be a ranch of some sort. What a fantastic spot to live, but for the fact every rainstorm floods the arryos, muddy ditches at the bottom of gullies, making it impossible to travel.
What you see is not a crack in the floor, but a long vine extending ten feet onto the shop floor, as if reaching in to escape the wind and rain.
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
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.
A photo from the early 2000s before the conveyors were scrapped.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
David Aho, the owner of Mitchell Engine House, poses beside the boiler.
I wish I had the equipment then that I have now… I look back at these 10-year-old pictures and can’t ignore all the grain.
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.
Ringling’s church was built in 1914 and sits on a hill over the town.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
A me-sized hole in the half-demolished skyway looks about a story down to the ground. Step lightly. Arista 100.
I like to think of this as a giant straw, through which the factory is slowly draining the earth, leaving nothing but reinforced concrete below…
All that’s left of the lost annex near Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 and #5. Arista 100.
If there was a problem with the conveyor belt, the grain would go out these chutes.
An old fashioned lift.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
A closeup of the now-scrapped steel chute.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
Vines are finding their way into the roundhouse.
This elevator came crashing down, perhaps from the topmost floor. I wonder what it sounded like.
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.
This is the former air compressor house–one of them, at least–which turned steam power into air power to drive machinery across the production line.
Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
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…
Before it was demolished, there was one good staircase the led to the middle of the dock. Trees grew from it.
The roof has been replaced since this was taken. Hopefully, that will stem the water damage.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
Robotic pincers to move molten rods of glass between machines.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.
A side view showing the extreme structural damage to what I believe is the Masonic Cottage. I honestly cannot unravel how some of this was done, unless the local armory is missing a 4″ canon and some cartridge shot.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.
On the top floor of the former casket building is the finishing line for the coating section; on this section the final spray of plastic would hit the wood before a small furnace would seal the plastic permanently to the surface, making it more resilient, I assume.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.”
― Emily Dickinson
The skyway in the bottom of the picture is now gone.
A custom ladder to cross conveyor belts on the work floor.
Looking at the rear of the mill, through dead vines and barbed wire.
Most of the gauges on the control panels were broken.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
Standing where the Standard Oil’s boiler used to sit; the coal room is on the right, and would have been filled from trackside.
Even in monochrome, you can probably tell what colors were over Hastings that evening: Red, White, and Blue.
The superstructure for the sea-leg skyways serves no purpose now… the offices are bricked up, too. Why?
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
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.
This peak is a little over 7,000 feet high and is a popular hiking spot. As a bulky Minnesotan who is better built for an arctic expedition, I stuck to the mesa.
The metallic arms of the missile erector, which would stand rockets over the blast pit in the launch position. Medium Format film–cheap but excellent Fomapan 100 in a Pentax 67.
The most derelict of the old bonded warehouses. Note the barrel elevator on the side of it!
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
In the nitrating house.
Frankie on the White Pine Mine vehicle access shaft. The mine was traditional inside… all room-and-pillar.
Between the ice chute and the back of the north section of the cellars, a little pillar shows where a room used to be. The ceiling’s disintegration has since filled the space, which seems to be the last point of expansion in the cave–this was last carved in the mid-1840s.
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.
Workers would undoubtedly prefer to use the belt manlift on the right.
This is a great example of a combination rock house; the silos below used to fill trains with ore dropped from mine cars pulled to the top of the structure.
Taken from under the headframe.
Pozo Mine, the most menacing mine building I’ve ever seen. Black and white film, shot with the Fuji GX680, a beast of a camera.
Without their walls these Solvent Recovery Line buildings look like blast walls. Their concrete inner structures were part of the design so if there was an explosion inside it would ‘blow out’ with a puff instead of a bang. Now most of these are demolished or overgrown.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
Redlining is the practice of shutting certain races out of neighborhoods, and it is still a big problem today. Such behaviors were a big factor in creating the need for these projects.
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 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.
Aluminum spools replaced their wooden counterparts, later in the factory’s history.
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.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
A hydraulic ‘bridge’ couple lower onto the tracks to bring mine cars into the shaft house, presumably for repair. I haven’t found this system anywhere else, but it makes a lot of sense.
A bird near the old schoolyard.
It is unclear whether this area was for coal dumping or ore dumping, though the huge dents in the steel plating suggests the latter.
The incinerator’s hardened steel door… useless, but still sexy in a heavy-industrial kind of way.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
My first picture at Nopeming, sometime around 2004. The same year that the county stopped mowing the lawn.
The pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
The snowflake (?) patterns were hand-laid throughout the hospital. It is possible some or all of these tiles were laid by patients, as it is on record that they were used for simple tasks in the name of occupational therapy.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
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 concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
The old crane swung on windier days over the Worthington Steam Pump. This is probably last used to disassemble the antique generators, which are all now gone.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
Rows of offices under the power plant, which was in the middle of being demolished during my adventure. Despite the snow, this was meant as an interior.
2005. This is very likely the oldest image I have on the website; I took this in the early 2000s with my first camera when I was new to the hobby. I still like it quite a lot.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
After demolition in the mid 2000s, this interior door became exterior. I remember walking through the car shed as a teenager. It was a shortcut, if I didn’t get caught.
So much relies on one thing stacked on top of another thing.
When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.
The steam plant could be vertically traversed with this one-man belt driven elevator.
Watching the comings and goings of doctors, nurses and new patients was a mainstay of asylum routine; one can find it easy to imagine pale faces pressed against the block glass windows, staring out at the world moving past them.
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
A corner of the addition is lined with glass cabinets, formerly filled with beds.
The playground used to be near the school which is now in ruins.
Looking up from the industrial courtyard.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
I’ve been in a lot of different mines. Some on tours, some not. If you pass through Howardsville, Colorado without going on the Old Hundred Mine Tour, you’re missing out. This is what Santiago Tunnel looked like in the 1940s when it was near the end of its life.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
At the end of a conveyor belt and poised over a loading station, it’s easy to image the tinny sound of chicken feed sliding across the metal. Like sand on the old-fashioned stainless steel playground slides.
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.
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.
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.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
Unintentional art comes in the form of a beet juice slurry baffle.
Beautiful belt wheels above the grain cribs. Getting to the spot where this was taken is now impossible, and I don’t know whether these remain or not anymore.
The roof of the King Elevator had two small vents and a terrific view of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Arista 100 in 120.
Trees between duplexes overshadow the buildings they were planted to shield; revenge for the boards on the windows.
A teeter totter sits in front of the Memorial Building.
A machine to cast copper billets.
Local kids probably call this the ‘Shootin’ Shack’, judging by its war wounds.
The top floor of the Meal Storage Elevator.
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.
One of the few doors.
The small door leads to the offices, the large door leads to the shop. My back at this time is to the corrugated steel wall. At the time I wondered why there was just one steel wall, not knowing that 40 years before there was another spot for an engine here. This section of the roundhouse has become a sort of town dump–car seats, cans of paint and tires are piled into its corners.
Circa-1960s graffiti. Someone got their ass kicked.
Shadows of the rusty trestle and cold control towers on the Barker. Workers are preparing to swing over the sides of the boat to help secure her to the Minnesota Power dock.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
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.
Looking to the chapel addition from the Chateau.
Trees by the beautiful Nurse’s Cottage above and behind the Kirkbride. One side looks out over farmland while the other faces the back of the hospital grounds. As of 2014, the city is allowing artists to rent spaces inside.
One boat comes into port while three wait. The birds, fat from spilled grain, circle overhead. Arista 100.
Steel mine hoists, near the place they worked, wait for scrap prices to justify their final removal from Osceola, Michigan.
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.
One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.
A brewmaster’s desk leans beside a long-disused stainless steel kettle. The staircase above goes to another level of kettles, which are visibly older.
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
Looking through the washer that is the first stop for the dredgings.
An elevator is reflected in the flooded footprint of Spencer & Kellogg. These trains are in storage for the winter.
The piano must have been a nice distraction; there is very little to do in Roberts.
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.
From inside a painting shed, where heatlamps and a vented roof made sure that the Caddy looked like it was worth the price tag.
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.
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.
The former BESCO building in the last light of day.
The BOMARC launch buildings are spaced on a large concrete pad that looks like a parking lot. Out of view are underground pipes for fueling and cooling the rocket motors.
The Blacksmith Shop (right) was connected to the Bunk House (left) via this narrow walkway. This is likely due to the fire risk in each building. The left building had a cooking stove and furnace for heat and the right building had a small industrial furnace to repair mining equipment. A little walkway would mean that a fire on one side would be easier to fight from the other.
A classroom, perhaps from the days when the city owned the building.
Camera: Voigtlander Bessa
Film: Acros 100
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.
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.
Part of the plant has been reused as a scrap metal yard.
We people are so small.
Between two brick buildings is a metal one with many windows set into it. Having been in many mills of similar design, I conjecture that this was the milling building, where machines ground the corn before it was boiled.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
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.
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.
A scrapped steam turbine, perhaps. In the background you can see a gutted casing for another turbine.
Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.
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.
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.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
A fireproof room in the basement, perhaps for ammunition storage at one time.
Like many mill-style buildings of the time, the Twohy’s loading doors (in this case, the delivery wagon doors) opened to an elevator shaft. This design cut down on loading time, as long as the elevator was operational. Of course, if it was otherwise occupied, there could be no traffic through the exterior doors!
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.
Archeologists believe the great house on the mesa was rebuilt shortly before it was abandoned in the 13th Century AD. Tri-X 400 Film, haphazardly self developed.
Looking out of the wavy stock shop.
Rivets are sexy, and this old machine has more than a fair share.
The roof could be vented when locomotives were running inside.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
A typical Chateau wall. Kodak Tri-X 400 in Leica M7.
One of my favorite photos of the ADM-Delmar #1 skyway, when it stood. Taken at sunset, with the reflection of the overcast sky in the remaining windows.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
Indianapolis’ beautiful downtown is in the distance, past the gas storage tank.
Kat’s pretty cool.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
A look straight down into the chutes were taconite pellets would dump into the dock hoppers. Rebar was a safety measure to keep workers from being buried alive, were they to slip into the holes.