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Milwaukee Road Boxcar

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.

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.

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.

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.

End of the Mill

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

Slag Nuggets

Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.

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.

Quenching Tower

Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).

Backdoor

Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.

Kentucky Castle

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.

National Mineshaft

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dock Shack I

Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.

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.

Perimeter Fence

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

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.

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.

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.

Egomaniac – Brahm

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.

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.

Bayfront Fair

Summertime is when Duluth goes to the lakeside to listen to music, visit traveling fairs, and talk to neighbors about the smell of the lake. As seen from the castle walls.

Mushroom Pillar

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

Lauder, MB

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

Last Building

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

The Worst Seat

Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.

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.

Abandoned Switch

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

Control Room Window

Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.

Hike to Frontenac

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

Ship at Allouez I

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.

Barn

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.

Elevator Row

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

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.

Brown Hotel, Springer, NM

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.

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.

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.

Jalopy and Contrails

The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.

Biker

A taste of Superior culture.

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.

Gangway I

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

Algosteel Crew

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

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.

Building 429

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

Kate

Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.

Missile Loading Door

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

San Luis Church

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.

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.

Cooperage

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

Interior Cloud

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

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.

James R. Barker I

The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.

Treasure Mountain Concentrator

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.

North Face

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

Drain Key

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

Radome

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

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.

Killarney, MB

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.

Cutoff Ranch

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

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.

Rundblick

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

Original Glucose Line

A facade that tells the story of demolition and neglect. The sign on the garage door indicates that if one finds themselves there, that they enter the buildings at their own risk. If only property owners in the US took this philosophy!

New Mexico Ghost Town

The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.

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.

Wagon House & Steam Plant

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.

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.

Moonrise

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

Dock 2 at Sunset

Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.

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.

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.

Two Scrubbers

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

Haus, Anno 1815

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

Kate

Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.

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.

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.

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.

Battery Stack

The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.

Ghost Road I

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

Cargill and Enger Tower in Fall

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.

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

Overgrown Hallways

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.

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).

Front Porch

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

Atlas Ditch

The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.

Rich Dirt

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

Paint in the Water – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

War City Power

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.

Electric Steel- Workhouse

The rear of the complex shows the more than 100 year old workhouse–still working! I do not know if the tanks are original to the 1901 elevator, but I suspect so.

Gilman on the Cliff

The southernmost houses in Gilman are seen through the pines on the right, near the tram stop.

Barracks and Trees

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

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.

Overgrown Spires

The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.

Elevator Shaft

The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.

Pitfall

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

Vivacious Veteran

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.

Skyway

The exterior of the factory is unassuming

BCT from Amtrak I

The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cradle and Tree

Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.

The Freedom – Brahm

A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.

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.

Sequence

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

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!

Workshop

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

Collapsing Poor Farm

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

Trees in the Stacks

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

Tailings Boom I

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

Cargil B2 and Coal Dock Ruins

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.

Be C- Watch You- Step

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.

Perch

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

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.

Biking Past Bunkers

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.

Corps Tug

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

Patrolling

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

Blast Path

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.

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.

Silverton, Colorado

Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!

Shadows of Taconite Harbor on the James R. Barker

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.

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.

Alley Cloud

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

Rosemount Stonehenge

Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.

Building 402

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

Rain Over Cerro de Santa Clara

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.

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