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 Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.
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.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
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.
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
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 gold mine is now a gravel pit.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
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.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
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.
Demolition about 50% complete.
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.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
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.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
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.
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.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
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 topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
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.
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.
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.
Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.
On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
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.
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
Looking out from what little remains of the second floor at the poor house, which was in terrible condition. No roof and no floors. Soon to be ruins.
A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
A row of security lights line the roof of the power station.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
A side view of the oven pusher from the ground. The tallest coal bunker looks tiny in the distance, though on the scale of the factory it’s practically on top of me as I’m taking the picture.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
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 at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
Looking from the brewhouse at the death of its sister building, across Minnehaha.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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 hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!
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.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
Looking at Carrie from the place where the molten steel would be cast
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
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.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
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.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
The building is winking.
Colleen on the roof.
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.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
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.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
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.
Where equipment was scrapped.
Looking north from the east portal of the tunnel… a beautiful place. Wilderness. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
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.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
A damaged roof channeled rain onto the adobe walls, cutting them in half. In the distance, a preserved house and the ruins of the Colmor School.
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 long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
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.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
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.
This ruin was once the Toltec Mine, a producing gold and silver claim that operated into the 1940s.
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 southernmost houses in Gilman are seen through the pines on the right, near the tram stop.
The tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.
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.
“Against the blue sky, its rusting central silos look like rising smoke meeting the last minutes of a sunset. These give way to a corrugated night sky of blue gray, punched-through with staggered four-pane windows, all glassless.”
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
“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 shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
“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’…
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
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.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
The modern shaft stands above the north side of Gilman.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
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 roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
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.
The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
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.
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!
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 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.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
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.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
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 concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
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.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
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.
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 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.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.
Looking at the Broadway from across Broadway, a beautiful Buffalo day. Note the glazed terra cotta facade–and the signs of fire damage from the first floor.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
The 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.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
One of the last times I saw the skyway standing. ADM’s Meal Elevator is in the distance.
“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
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
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.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.
On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.
A taste of Superior culture.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve been getting reports that several Yellow Helicopters have been seen hovering above town. We are all aware of the Black Helicopters, which are World Government, and Blue Helicopters, which are Secret Police, and the Helicopters with Detailed Murals of Diving Birds of Prey, which are the helicopters that took all the children in Night Vale away a few months ago (we still don’t know what those helicopters are but they did bring all the children back unharmed, and much more well-behaved than before, so they are deemed just as safe as the other helicopters) but these new Yellow Helicopters, no one quite knows.” – Welcome to Night Vale, Ep. 32
The school (hospital) campus was expansive.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
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 across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
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.
The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.
The flour mill (rear) and its elevators. The taller elevator was moved here in 1955, when the Harrisons bought it from Federal, who declared it surplus. The smaller elevator replaced an earlier smaller warehouse in 1926. Taken shortly after dawn. This one picture made the drive worth it, for me. Medium Format.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
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.
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.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
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.
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.
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 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).
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
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.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.
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.
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.
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.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
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.
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.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
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.
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.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
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.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
A morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
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.
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.