clouds

Broken Cross

On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.

Sunrise and the Wellman Crane

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 Now, with the advent of self-unloading boats, it’s been replaced by a funnel and conveyor belt.

Missile Way

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.

Bunker Row

There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.

Standing Strong

“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.

Driveway

This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.

Welcome to Atlas

A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.

Superior’s Sub-Suburban Sprawl

The same view in 2007.

Superior, WI, some have said, is a suburb of Duluth, MN. It’s more like a sub-suburb, I would argue. It’s the industrial district that is technically in another state, one that sells beer on Sundays. Perspective is looking out of the mostly-disassembled larger (newer) elevator.

Last Building

A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.

Flagpole

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.

Creature – Brahm

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.

Hike to Frontenac

The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!

ADM-Delmar #4- Top of the World

The spectacular, if precarious, view of downtown Minneapolis from the roof of ADM Annex 4. Note the great messages left by various graffiti artists who made it to the spot.

Tillston, MB- Five Roses Flour

“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’…

Facing Downtown (2013)

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.

Gangway I

A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.

Stelco Skies

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.

Corps Tug

A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.

Mushroom Pillar

When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.

Puffer by Bibio

The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.

Lauder, MB

The ghost town of Lauder, Manitoba. It’s seen better days, but I bet the TV reception on the flatlands is great.

Collapsing Poor Farm

A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.

Old Orphanage

It would be a shame if this building is not preserved. Word is (as of 2015) that construction may start on this section soon.

San Luis Home

A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.

Blacksmith Shop Walkway-(C)SUSBTREET.org

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.

Radome

During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.

ADM Labs- LIVE

Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.

Algosteel Crew

The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez

Elevators

Counter-weighted ore cars alternately filled and emptied to feed Furnace 7. Honestly, though, the corner-mounted cranes are sexier in my opinion. Note the trees growing from the stacks.

The Animas River, near Mayflower Mill

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.

Cutoff Ranch

An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.

Backdoor

Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.

Dented and Dilated – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Trees in the Stacks

Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.

Perch

Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.

Workhouse I

On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

First North and Banks

The Osborn Block (front) and the Twohy (rear) at sunset. In the distance, you can almost make out Globe Elevators. One of my favorite photos of 2013.

Barracks and Trees

One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.

Best Flour Panorama

The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.

Halfway Up the Mesa

The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.

Today’s Weather- Stormy

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.

Cargill in Spring (Film)

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.

Dock 5L

One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.

Alley Cloud

A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.

Moonrise

Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.

Abandoned Switch

A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.

The Worst Seat

Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.

Three Peaks

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.

Old Coke Power House

One of the older buildings on the site, this is an old power house that provided electricity to the plant. I spent some time walking around it and believe it was fired with coal gas but had a diesel backup installed later.

We Built This City on Flour

Looking out upon Mill City through the lens of FLOUR, highlighted in pink and low clouds. This sign has recently been converted into LED lighting.

Ghost Road I

Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be here.

Paint Shop

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.

Chicago Skyline

Looking at The Windy City from the top of the coal tower. The pond you see is the former ACME Coke coal yard.

Building 429

A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.

Singing Roundhouse

2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.

Rich Dirt

The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.

Water Towers

SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.

Missile Loading Door

This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.

Cables, Gangways, and Booms

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.

End of the Mill

Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.

Looking Out A Window at the Starch Works

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.

Cooperage

One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.

Tillston, MB- Pool Elevator

The offices for the Five Roses elevator have long been boarded. To the left you can see the Manitoba Pool Elevator slogan, “Service at Cost”, meaning they would not make profit off farmers and dues.

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Milling

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.

Rooftop Panorama

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.

Broken Dust Pipe

It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.

Building 402

Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.

Sequence

The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.

Biker

A taste of Superior culture.

Moonrise at Taconite Harbor

The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.

Perimeter Fence

The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.

Tailings Boom II

…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.

Film: Frontenac Feelings

Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100

White Pine Mine Ruin

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.

Haus, Anno 1815

This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.

Ghosts of Munro Mining Co

Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.

Dead-End Bridge

A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.

Patrolling

The St. Louis County Sheriff constantly patrols the property looking for trespassers.

Row

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.

Twenty-Five Million Minutes

Standing where the Final Assembly Building used to hum and staring across the former site of the Sheet Metal and Spring buildings. Today, of course, the Foundry is gone as well, so you’d be looking across Prairie Ave.

Launcher

The fiery side of a launch building, just is it began to rain.

Elevator Row

Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?

Ball Mill Mounts

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.

Cracked Glass Signal – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Drain Key

Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.

Santiago Tunnel Tailings

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.

Industry + Aurora

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.

Big Float

A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.

Packing House

The concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.

Pitfall

Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.

Fergus Falls State Hospital Roofline

Looking across the spired rooftop of the Kirkbride building. In the foreground is a fire chute that contains a metal spiral slide designed to evacuate patients in case of a fire. Note the ironwork on the chimney.

Two Economies

HDR matrix panorama. Looking from the grain elevators, now doomed, toward the city between the flour mill’s water tower and tile elevator’s neon sign, the old and new economies seem almost united. Yet the financial centers rise in reality to shadow the now-abandoned industry and manufacturing. The way of things, I’m told.

Glory Hole Mill Creek

A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.

Railroad Depot

A squat building with a rail scale. Taken between rain showers in late summer, when I seemed to be the only one at White Pine.

Bench Swing

This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.

Truck Scale

Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.

North Face

Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.

Supply House and Carpentry Shop

At first glance, I thought the center building was a hoist house because of the shape of the window. Now I think this was built as a warehouse and later used as a laboratory.

Set the Pie on the Sill

In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.

Everybody is a Star

The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.

Cabezon Peak from Guadalupe Mesa

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.

Kurth Malting- Mill City Fork

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.

Eureka Tram Cable-(C)SUSBTREET.org

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.

The Cold Front

Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.

Fire Brick Bucket

Near the old slag dump there are the remains of the pouring buckets that received the molten steel from the US Steel blast furnaces, filled to the brim with pig iron. They must be incredibly heavy!

Dock 4 Panorama

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).

Workshop

Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.

Brach’s Interior Corridor

Where the trees are sprouting–below the skyways and criss-crossing pipes–are two sets of railroad tracks that turned through this narrow alleyway through the middle of the production line to drop off raw materials and pick up finished product.

Van Dyke Cabs Only

Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.

Pillsbury A’s Stone Fascade

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.

Front Porch

A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.

Keeper’s Houses

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.

Hearn Stack

Approaching the power station and its giant stack. The stack replaced four shorter stacks in the 1960s, helping with pollution in the downtown corridor.

Longmont Sky

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.”
― Emily Dickinson

Tailings Boom I

Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.

Ogilvie’s Fez

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.

Sunset on Osborn

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.

Broadway On Broadway

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.

Silos Like a Sunset

“Against the blue sky, its rusting central silos look like rising smoke meeting the last minutes of a sunset. These give way to a corrugated night sky of blue gray, punched-through with staggered four-pane windows, all glassless.”

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Mill

The Harrison flour mill, completed in 1897 and expanded in 1901 and 1902. The tunnel that I am standing on probably transported grain from the elevator to the mill. Medium Format.

Two Rooflines

Looking out from what little remains of the second floor at the poor house, which was in terrible condition. No roof and no floors. Soon to be ruins.

Rogers Shops Panorama

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.

Double Con

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.

Tunnel Skylight in Sidewalk

Ava near the Memorial Building. The block glass embedded in the sidewalk here is actually a skylight for the tunnel below, which connects the Memorial Building to the steam and supply systems of the hospital.

Workhouse II

Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

Rundblick

A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!

Overgrown Pillars

One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.

Atlas Stared

“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.

Chopper Over Atlas

“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

Warehouse Foundations

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.

Down the Boom

Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.

Art Project

Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.

Interior Cloud

A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.

Kurth Malting- Sunrise’s Dusty Gaze

Sunrise in SEMI. The shadow of Kurth Malt is cast across ADM-Delmar #1. Clouds behind ADM-Delmar #4 light up. It’s cold and the air smells like train grease.

Two Scrubbers

The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.

Cheratte Obelysk

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.

Hexagon Building

This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.

Fire Damage at Castle Noisy

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!

MPE3- Port Arthur Ore 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.

Placer Pacer

The tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.

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