On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.
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 Now, with the advent of self-unloading boats, it’s been replaced by a funnel and conveyor belt.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
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 fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
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 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.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
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.
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.
The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!
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.
“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’…
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.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
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.
A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
A morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
The ghost town of Lauder, Manitoba. It’s seen better days, but I bet the TV reception on the flatlands is great.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
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 typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
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 tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
The porch of the Gustavson House with the southern San Juan range in the background. Bring your own rocking chair…
During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
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.
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.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
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.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
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 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.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
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.
Don’t you love the shape of the house on the right?
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.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
Old boathouses near the dock.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.
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.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
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.
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.
Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be 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.
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 social club/restaurant that was likely the place to be late at night.
Looking at The Windy City from the top of the coal tower. The pond you see is the former ACME Coke coal yard.
A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
35mm Film, Expired. An abandoned swath of NAD is landlocked by soybean fields.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
This ruin was once the Toltec Mine, a producing gold and silver claim that operated into the 1940s.
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.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
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.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
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.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
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 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.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
A taste of Superior culture.
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 block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
There is a flipped tram car about a third of the way down the cliff.
The gold mine is now a gravel pit.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
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.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
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.
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
The St. Louis County Sheriff constantly patrols the property looking for trespassers.
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.
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.
The fiery side of a launch building, just is it began to rain.
The last of four radar domes on the base.
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
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.
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.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
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.
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.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
The concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
The modern shaft stands above the north side of Gilman.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
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.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
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.
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
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.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
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.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
Colleen on the roof.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
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 rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
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.
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.
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
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!
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
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).
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
Where equipment was scrapped.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
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 Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
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.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
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.
Approaching the power station and its giant stack. The stack replaced four shorter stacks in the 1960s, helping with pollution in the downtown corridor.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
“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
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
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.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
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.
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.
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 building is winking.
Demolition about 50% complete.
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 at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.
“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
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.
One of the last times I saw the skyway standing. ADM’s Meal Elevator is in the distance.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
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.
The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.
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.
This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.
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!
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 tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.