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.
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
It’s a small world… look at it.
35mm Film, Expired. An abandoned swath of NAD is landlocked by soybean fields.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
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.
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.
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 little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
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.
A cracked sign at dock-level, where loading boats would be tied below the taconite conveyors. All across the surface of the concrete dock were taconite pellets, like slippery little marbles. One wrong step could put a worker in the water, which is a bad, bad place to be.
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.
The porch of the Gustavson House with the southern San Juan range in the background. Bring your own rocking chair…
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.
“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’…
The Eureka Mill, historically known as Sunnyside Mill, is now the gateway to Animas Forks.
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.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
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.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
A taste of Superior culture.
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.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
The modern shaft stands above the north side of Gilman.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.
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 panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
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.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
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 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.
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.
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.
Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.
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.
Looking north from the east portal of the tunnel… a beautiful place. Wilderness. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
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.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
There is a flipped tram car about a third of the way down the cliff.
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.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Looking at Carrie from the place where the molten steel would be cast
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
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.
A look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
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.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
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.
On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
Looking at the huge and modern Cargill B2 from the circa-1919 Lake Superior “I”. This is a rather unique perspective of Enger Tower and Skyline.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
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 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.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
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.
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.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
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.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
From the bottom of the skyway I looked back, my eyes tracing the vines from the marsh up the smokestacks to the perfect Midwestern sky.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
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.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
“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
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
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.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
Because of the dangers of storing the materials to make explosives as well as the explosives themselves, there were earthen bunkers all across the plant like this.
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.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
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.
Just across the North Dakota border, a rusty Milwaukee Road boxcar sits where it was shoved off the mainline. The grain elevator in the background marks the tracks, which is still used by BNSF.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.
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 St. Louis County Sheriff constantly patrols the property looking for trespassers.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
Not a wisp of smoke can be seen today.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
Looking through the loading platform of Frontenac Mine toward Black Hawk. In 1900, you would see Druid Mine on the left and Aduddell on the right.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
A morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
The tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
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.
The sun sets in front of a huge concrete building—about four times the size of the power plant. Probably a corn storage bin from an ethanol operation that ran here in the 1980s.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
One of the last times I saw the skyway standing. ADM’s Meal Elevator is in the distance.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
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.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
On the left are rows of dayrooms; on the right is one of two long hallways which connect the two halves of the hospital. The large, center section of the hallway would fit chairs for patients to look out on the gardens. They called it a conservatory. This hallway would be as close as some patients would get to nature.
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.
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.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
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.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
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.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.
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 first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
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.
The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
A defunct UGG elevator in Killarney, not far from where the Harrisons (of Holmfield, MB and Harrison Milling) once operated a small elevator. Medium Format.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
No, it’s not your Mac’s desktop, it’s a beautiful Lake Superior night. Taken from near the former Pittsburgh and Reading Anthracite Plant. You can see the frame that used to hold the lifeboat that was auctioned in 2006 to the left of the Pilot House.
Colleen on the roof.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
The southernmost houses in Gilman are seen through the pines on the right, near the tram stop.
The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.
It would be a shame if this building is not preserved. Word is (as of 2015) that construction may start on this section soon.
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.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
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.
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 on a caustic tank with my head out a roof hatch, I look at the sign of the last brand to be produced here.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
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.
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.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
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.
“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.”
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.