One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
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.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
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.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
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.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
Near the base of the mesa is a modern house, which seems to be a ranch of some sort. What a fantastic spot to live, but for the fact every rainstorm floods the arryos, muddy ditches at the bottom of gullies, making it impossible to travel.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
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.
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.
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.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
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 wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
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!
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
A quick vertical panorama taken on my back at the sweet spot of a great summer sunset. On the skylight is the torch-cut catwalk that used to link the outside of the smokestacks that vented the cupolas.
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
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.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
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 parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
A row of security lights line the roof of the power station.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
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 storm passes over BOMARC’s center row of launch buildings. You can clearly see the tracks on which the roof would retract for launch.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
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.
The Eureka Mill, historically known as Sunnyside Mill, is now the gateway to Animas Forks.
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 rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
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 Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
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.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
It is unclear when the ‘Superior Warehouse Company’ sign was put up, but it was likely around 1916-1917, when maps indicate it served as a dry goods warehouse, operated by Twohy-Eimon Mercantile Company. The Sivertson sign was likely added in the mid-1980s. In this image I tried to preserve the colors the bricks turn at sunset.
Looking at the Broadway from across Broadway, a beautiful Buffalo day. Note the glazed terra cotta facade–and the signs of fire damage from the first floor.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.
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.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
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 up the tallest structure left at ACME.
The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
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.
The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
“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
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
Colleen on the roof.
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.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
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!
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
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.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
Old boathouses near the dock.
Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.
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.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
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.
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.
A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.
Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.
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.
Looking at Carrie from the place where the molten steel would be cast
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.
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.
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.
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.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
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.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
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.
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be here.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
35mm Film, Expired. An abandoned swath of NAD is landlocked by soybean fields.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
The fiery side of a launch building, just is it began to rain.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
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.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
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 versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.
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.
Looking north from the east portal of the tunnel… a beautiful place. Wilderness. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
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.
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.
Looking across the spired rooftop of the Kirkbride building. In the foreground is a fire chute that contains a metal spiral slide designed to evacuate patients in case of a fire. Note the ironwork on the chimney.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.
Pillars among trees… those who inherit the earth will be so confused.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
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.
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.
Where equipment was scrapped.
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.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.
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.
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.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
The school (hospital) campus was expansive.
A morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
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.
Approaching the power station and its giant stack. The stack replaced four shorter stacks in the 1960s, helping with pollution in the downtown corridor.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
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 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.
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.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
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.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!
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.
Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.
“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.”
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
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.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
“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
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
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.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
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.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
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.
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 divot to let more light and air into the building.
A taste of Superior culture.
Looking from the brewhouse at the death of its sister building, across Minnehaha.
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
Wyoming has Montana’s ‘big sky’ reputation truly challenged.
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.