Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
A misnomer that stuck.
Looking at the rear of the mill, through dead vines and barbed wire.
Looking out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
Camera: Pentax 67.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
The skyway in the bottom of the picture is now gone.
The front door to the auditorium.
…a little close for comfort.
The front of the school overlooks the town of Birtle, Manitoba. It replaced a circa-1894 building which was a little farther down the hill.
Looking through the an access panel at the hoist room for Shaft No. 3. The cable had long ago been scrapped, along with the motors to drive the pulleys. I still admire the workmanship on the spool’s arching metal shell.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Taken from under the headframe.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
This is how the warehouse looks today.
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.
The historical entrance.
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
This was one of two skyways that went between production line offices. It’s easy to tell because it’s not reinforced for machinery to travel through it. I also like that it’s a double-decker, so to speak.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
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.
The pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.
Barrels were prepared across the street, then moved across the road with a special conveyor, seen crashed here. This is down the road from Old Taylor, and was probably a part of the Old Crow operation.
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.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
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.
Tow Away Zone, I’m sure.
A broken window looking through the First Aid Room and into the Control Room in charge of directing grain into ships. You can see one of the large conveyors on the right, clad in green. Chutes and staircases intertwine seemingly randomly through the big empty spaces.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
In the barracks.
One of the walls of the train shed was growing, thanks to a little bit of sunlight and a constant trickle of rainwater over it. FP-100C.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.
The gear seems to have fallen the height of the power station and shattered. I wonder what it sounded like…
This room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
Milwaukee Road’s second substation at Loweth, as seen from the highway. Somewhat ironically, a new electrical substation is across the street from it today.In the background, you can make out a collapsing storage shed and some of the grades.
When I revisited the mine in 2013, the hoists were scrapped and sitting by the road.
The brick substation and the wooden storage shed are the last two structures from The Milwaukee Road’s operations at Loweth.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
Gary Methodist was a filmset for Transformers 3 in 2010.
Looking from the main shop into the boiler shop, one of three attached buildings that specialized in certain repairs. One thing that architectural photographers have to work with is an elongated “magic hour” with ideal shadowing and coloring–this photo is a result of that lighting.
Small stained panes and orange brick. I had no idea when I took this picture that the colored glass would turn the insides of the mill into a bright aquamarine. It was a beautiful intersection of nature and industry, in the most unintended way.
In this old repair shop, vines fall from the rotting roof to meet mossy concrete. Even though it had been dry for days, water dripped in from the roof to make permanent puddles between workstations. It was full of color and sound and industry and nature.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
The substation has definite structural issues. Pictured is the sidewalk that connected the plant to the company housing.
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
Little has changed inside the mill, but since it was built in 1916, many tanks and ancillary buildings have popped up around it.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
The Clipper was one of the most popular Packards, but its production was cut short by WWII. Had they produced the car instead of Rolls Royce plane engines I imagine there would might be driving a Packard today, rather than a Ford.
There isn’t an unbroken window in the entire historic complex as of 2013.
Looking at the headframe for Shaft 3 from the tower for Shaft 1. Below is the roof of the Dry House. It was hard to remind myself that these building have been abandoned longer than I’ve been alive.
Where workers would sign documents and collect their pay.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
So much relies on one thing stacked on top of another thing.
The lower floors of King Elevator are scrapped and ruined. Nearly everything that is not concrete has been destroyed. Some time ago it seems that someone built a tarp-roof hovel inside of the ground floor.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
Looking out toward Redore from the second floor of the workshop. This is why I love living in Minnesota.
Sadly, this picture is dated from the fact there’s a single piece of glass unbroken. Since this was taken, the entrance to the church has been vandalized even more.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
The whole smelter ran on gravity… elevating the various raw materials and working with them until at the bottom of the furnace, copper poured out.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
The roof of the elevator was partly lit naturally with six big skylights. The less electricity pumped into a grain elevator, the less chance of a grain dust explosion.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
Between the repair shops and the stock department is this odd little structure. No, the walls are not level–it’s not your eyes. The shops slope left, the structure slopes right.
While it looks like ground level, everything here is one story above the actual earth.