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.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
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.
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.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
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.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
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.
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.
National Mine and its rockhouse (?) as seen from Mammoth Hill. From this angle, I am fairly certain this was a crushing and sorting house. The bottom looks like it has two aerial tram doors as well.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
Looking at The Windy City from the top of the coal tower. The pond you see is the former ACME Coke coal yard.
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 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.
The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.
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 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.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
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.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
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.
Where equipment was scrapped.
The last of four radar domes on the base.
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.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
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.
“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.
A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
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.
The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
The fiery side of a launch building, just is it began to rain.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
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.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
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.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
One of the last times I saw the skyway standing. ADM’s Meal Elevator is in the distance.
“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’…
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
A social club/restaurant that was likely the place to be late at night.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
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.
The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.
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 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.
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.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.
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.
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.
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 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.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
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.
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.
This ruin was once the Toltec Mine, a producing gold and silver claim that operated into the 1940s.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
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 full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
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.
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.
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.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
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.
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.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
Demolition about 50% complete.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
2005. This is very likely the oldest image I have on the website; I took this in the early 2000s with my first camera when I was new to the hobby. I still like it quite a lot.
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.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
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.
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
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 across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
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.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
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 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.
Taken at a junction in the tube world.
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.
“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
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
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 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.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
The southernmost houses in Gilman are seen through the pines on the right, near the tram stop.
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.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now 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.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
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 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 concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
The St. Louis County Sheriff constantly patrols the property looking for trespassers.
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!
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.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
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.
Don’t you love the shape of the house on the right?
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
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.
On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
It’s a small world… look at it.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
The modern shaft stands above the north side of Gilman.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.
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.
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
Wyoming has Montana’s ‘big sky’ reputation truly challenged.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
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.
“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
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.
It would be a shame if this building is not preserved. Word is (as of 2015) that construction may start on this section soon.
The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.
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 Eureka Mill, historically known as Sunnyside Mill, is now the gateway to Animas Forks.
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.
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
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.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
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!
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.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
Looking north from the east portal of the tunnel… a beautiful place. Wilderness. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.
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.
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.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
Colleen on the roof.
Pillars among trees… those who inherit the earth will be so confused.
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 great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.