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.
Wyoming has Montana’s ‘big sky’ reputation truly challenged.
A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
A morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
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.
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!
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
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.
Taken at a junction in the tube world.
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.
Identical warehouses seem a little newer than the rest of the plant. I suspect these were added in the mid-1950s for the Korean War, during which about 200 buildings were added to the complex.
The top of Dock 4 was too dangerous to explore, but this panorama gives you an idea of the view (and how rotten the wood was).
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
When I first saw Ogilvie’s from the ground, I promised myself to look back when i found my way into this little pitched outcropping which seemed to have the best view of Thunder Bay I could imagine. It turns out, though, that there is no floor in that section; it is just extended machine access! Oh well. Mount McKay in the background in the last light.
The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
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.
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.
The modern shaft stands above the north side of Gilman.
A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.
A storm passes over BOMARC’s center row of launch buildings. You can clearly see the tracks on which the roof would retract for launch.
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.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
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.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
Don’t you love the shape of the house on the right?
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.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
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.
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.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
Old boathouses near the dock.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
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 look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
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 back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
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.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
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.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
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.
Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
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.
Demolition about 50% complete.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
The top of the docks are so rotten in places that you can see the lake through the boards. In the foreground you can see the controls for the chutes, which work on a clutch.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
The last of four radar domes on the base.
The southernmost houses in Gilman are seen through the pines on the right, near the tram stop.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
This ruin was once the Toltec Mine, a producing gold and silver claim that operated into the 1940s.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
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.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
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.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
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.
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.
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
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.
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
Not a wisp of smoke can be seen today.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
There is a flipped tram car about a third of the way down the cliff.
Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
A social club/restaurant that was likely the place to be late at night.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
A row of security lights line the roof of the power station.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
Approaching the power station and its giant stack. The stack replaced four shorter stacks in the 1960s, helping with pollution in the downtown corridor.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.
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.
Where equipment was scrapped.
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.
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.
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.
The concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
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.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
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.
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 north from the east portal of the tunnel… a beautiful place. Wilderness. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
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.
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.
The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
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.
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.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
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.
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.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
35mm Film, Expired. An abandoned swath of NAD is landlocked by soybean fields.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
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.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
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.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
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.
Looking at The Windy City from the top of the coal tower. The pond you see is the former ACME Coke coal yard.
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
The St. Louis County Sheriff constantly patrols the property looking for trespassers.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
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.
A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
One night, I camped behind the sugar mill. You can tell be the clouds that a cold front was moving out—it was a hot day.
The school (hospital) campus was expansive.
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!
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.
Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be here.
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.
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
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 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.
“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 building is winking.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
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.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
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.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
Pillars among trees… those who inherit the earth will be so confused.
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.
On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
“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
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.
2013. As part of the Head House’s facelift, it’s gotten new windows. However, you can now still see where the conveyor-way connected this building with the elevators behind it in the upper right of the image.
The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).