The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
This electric Wellman crane was added to extract coal from ships for the power plant that Erie built beside their dock. Now, with the advent of self-unloading boats, it’s been replaced by a funnel and conveyor belt.
Looking from the brewhouse at the death of its sister building, across Minnehaha.
These concrete blocks were formed to be solid mounts for machinery. All the metal was scrapped in the late 1990s, leaving these modern ruins. Seagulls love them.
Looking at the Broadway from across Broadway, a beautiful Buffalo day. Note the glazed terra cotta facade–and the signs of fire damage from the first floor.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
Sunrise over Mill Hell, and all of Kurth’s various skyways. The elevators in the foreground date to the mid-1920s, Electric Steel is behind and is a little earlier than that.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
A tram that once linked the Sunnyside Mine to the mill in Eureka has been reduced to a single cable. Nearby, an open adit drips water into a tributary of the Animas River.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
From Main Street, looking straight up at the A Mill, only the silence makes one think that nobody’s still inside, grinding grain into Pillsbury’s Best.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
The ghost town of Lauder, Manitoba. It’s seen better days, but I bet the TV reception on the flatlands is great.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
A taste of Superior culture.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
This is what the mine shops look like from the road between Gaastra, MI and Rogers Location (formerly Bates, MI). The community was renamed for the mine, probably under the heavy influence of M.A. Hanna.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
Pillars among trees… those who inherit the earth will be so confused.
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.
A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.
National Mine and its rockhouse (?) as seen from Mammoth Hill. From this angle, I am fairly certain this was a crushing and sorting house. The bottom looks like it has two aerial tram doors as well.
A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
“Five Roses” was the brand of flour that Lake of the Woods marketed. Later, this became another Manitoba Pool elevator. Notice the “POO” up top? It’s missing the ‘L’…
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
Approaching the power station and its giant stack. The stack replaced four shorter stacks in the 1960s, helping with pollution in the downtown corridor.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.
A damaged roof channeled rain onto the adobe walls, cutting them in half. In the distance, a preserved house and the ruins of the Colmor School.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
Looking out from a hallway on the third floor where a ceiling and roof should be. I could not stand in the room, as the floor had collapsed into the basement, but I could put my camera out at arm’s length and fire a few pictures upward, which is how I came away with this image!
The bottom of the tailings boom is rotten. In days when the dredge, floated, gangways connected it to shore, it seemed. You can see the size of the pontoons under the boat here.
When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.
Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
It is unclear when the ‘Superior Warehouse Company’ sign was put up, but it was likely around 1916-1917, when maps indicate it served as a dry goods warehouse, operated by Twohy-Eimon Mercantile Company. The Sivertson sign was likely added in the mid-1980s. In this image I tried to preserve the colors the bricks turn at sunset.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
Wagons and horses were kept in the building on the left, separate from the rest of the complex in case of fire. In the distance is the boiler house, separate for the same reason.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
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).
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
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.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
The top three floors were removed from the top of the Temple Opera Block (right). If you have a sharp eye, you can see the outlines of some of the old floors on the shared wall of the Orpheum (left). For a time, the front of the building held a bus stop.
The lower door is where the rocket exhaust would flow into the blast pit during initial launch. The upper doors would vent the rocket so the erector and other equipment in the building would not be (as) damaged.
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
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.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
The valley is full of rocky peaks that stand out from the winding creeks, which only truly run after storms. It is a very beautiful place.
Demolition about 50% complete.
Before the clouds broke, I snapped this profile of the dumping control room and its spiral staircase. These are the colors that I dream in.
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
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.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
One of the last times I saw the skyway standing. ADM’s Meal Elevator is in the distance.
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
35mm Film, Expired. An abandoned swath of NAD is landlocked by soybean fields.
The school (hospital) campus was expansive.
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
The gold mine is now a gravel pit.
The flour mill (rear) and its elevators. The taller elevator was moved here in 1955, when the Harrisons bought it from Federal, who declared it surplus. The smaller elevator replaced an earlier smaller warehouse in 1926. Taken shortly after dawn. This one picture made the drive worth it, for me. Medium Format.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.
The modern shaft stands above the north side of Gilman.
Looking at Carrie from the place where the molten steel would be cast
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
The pitch of the roof is more typical for areas with lots of snow—not the border of Ohio and Kentucky. So, I assume this roofline accommodated some equipment inside for trains—note the tracks.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
On the National Mine property are two shafts, both serving the same workings. This one seems to have gotten some upgrades in the 1960s, judging from the condition of the metal.
Short-stack remains of mounts for rod and ball mills, if I was to bet. The concentrator separated junk rock (tails) from the copper and silver ore, to such a point it could be smelted.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
As the Barker steamed past the dock and island, the sunset casts the shadow of the Taconite Harbor receiving trestle on the boat. Through the fog, you can see some of the islands that were joined into a breakwater.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
Standing on a caustic tank with my head out a roof hatch, I look at the sign of the last brand to be produced here.
Don’t you love the shape of the house on the right?
Peering at Stelco’s abandoned steel rod rolling mill, not demolished. The rectangular on the right in between is the boiler house that heated Stelco.
Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
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.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
Soft rain on Vulcan’s ashy pyre… Both of these peaks are dead volcanos, too hard to be totally washed away by storms. As a result, they seem to rise dramatically from the flat valley.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
2013. As part of the Head House’s facelift, it’s gotten new windows. However, you can now still see where the conveyor-way connected this building with the elevators behind it in the upper right of the image.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
Taken at a junction in the tube world.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
Where equipment was scrapped.
During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
A row of security lights line the roof of the power station.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
Looking from abandoned to active. The end of Dock 6 often has a crane and some shacks on it, as the chutes aren’t used anymore. Instead, conveyors are installed on the land-side of the dock that fill docked vessels, making the end of the dock little more than a breakwater and a place to park repair and recovery equipment.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
Kate stands on top of the tailings pile that added some usable land to the side of the gulch. Somewhere nearby is the buried Santiago Tunnel.
The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.
A broken signal light that would indicate to incoming engineers and brakemen the status of the dock deck. The streetlight-style lighting is a retrofit; originally the top of the dock would be lit by strings of lights suspended by towers on each side of the deck… a poor system according to the workers at Allouez who had the same lights.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.
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.
The layout and design of the buildings reminded me strongly of a brewery or distillery. To the right you can see some of the retrofits by the first lumber company to buy the buildings, in the 1970s.
One night, I camped behind the sugar mill. You can tell be the clouds that a cold front was moving out—it was a hot day.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
After a short rainfall douses the mill in downtown Fergus Falls, the river next to the brick walls swells and the sounds of water overtakes the echos of the nearby bars. Reflections are on the foundation of the former distribution and rail building.
The building is winking.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
Not a wisp of smoke can be seen today.
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.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
A social club/restaurant that was likely the place to be late at night.
The porch of the Gustavson House with the southern San Juan range in the background. Bring your own rocking chair…
The top of the grain handler of Ogilvie’s. The flagpole serves as a lightning rod. In fact, I would not be surprised if that was its primary purpose.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve been getting reports that several Yellow Helicopters have been seen hovering above town. We are all aware of the Black Helicopters, which are World Government, and Blue Helicopters, which are Secret Police, and the Helicopters with Detailed Murals of Diving Birds of Prey, which are the helicopters that took all the children in Night Vale away a few months ago (we still don’t know what those helicopters are but they did bring all the children back unharmed, and much more well-behaved than before, so they are deemed just as safe as the other helicopters) but these new Yellow Helicopters, no one quite knows.” – Welcome to Night Vale, Ep. 32
If you look carefully along the side of the slip alongside this image of Cargill B-2, you will see the remains of the crane stops when this was a Hannah coal dock.
Looking down at the Port Arthur Ore Dock from Manitoba Pool Elevator #3. The conveyor belts are gone and King Elevator is in the far distance.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
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.
A quick vertical panorama taken on my back at the sweet spot of a great summer sunset. On the skylight is the torch-cut catwalk that used to link the outside of the smokestacks that vented the cupolas.
The Brown Hotel still stands, but has recently gone out of business again. One of the nice things about historic buildings in New Mexico, though, is things tend to stay around a lot longer than if they were subjected to lots of rain and snow. It will probably be reopened eventually.
Before Portland-Huron Cement’s Duluth Plant was (mostly) demolished and (partly) turned into a hotel, the top of its silos gave a cinematic view of elevator row.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
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.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
These houses were built for the use of the lighthouse keepers in 1913 (left) and 1916 (right). The second house was added when the entry added a fourth light and required a second rotation. Today, there are no unbroken windows in either building.
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
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.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
Different doors for different vehicles, I would guess. White Pine Mine used tire-based vehicles, rather than track-based, making it pretty different than other mines I’ve been to.
A look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
“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 copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.
When I first saw Ogilvie’s from the ground, I promised myself to look back when i found my way into this little pitched outcropping which seemed to have the best view of Thunder Bay I could imagine. It turns out, though, that there is no floor in that section; it is just extended machine access! Oh well. Mount McKay in the background in the last light.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
The hospital featured a farm that once helped to sustain it. This is one of the few remaining signs of those years, near the Nurse’s Cottage.
The Eureka Mill, historically known as Sunnyside Mill, is now the gateway to Animas Forks.
The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
The purpose of the concentrator was to separate the gold and silver-rich ore from the waste rock. You can tell from the design that the process relies heavily on gravity.
A nice view of the aurora borealis (“Northern Lights”) strong enough to outshine the industrial lighting at the power plant. The lights in the foreground direct ships discharging coal for the station.
“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
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.
San Luis may not be a ghost town, but it’s aspiring by all indications. Luckily, it’s close enough to Cuba, NM to hang onto life, unlike the other ghost towns down the road.