On top of the light hoop, 160-feet up, a ship comes into port, ready to load-up. If you look really close, you can see my shadow cast on the dock below, courtesy of the full moon.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
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.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
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.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
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 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.
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!
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.
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
It’s a small world… look at it.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
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 rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
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.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
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.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
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.
Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
One of the last times I saw the skyway standing. ADM’s Meal Elevator is in the distance.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
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.
“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 last of four radar domes on the base.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
Approaching the power station and its giant stack. The stack replaced four shorter stacks in the 1960s, helping with pollution in the downtown corridor.
“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.”
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
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 morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
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.
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.
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 perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
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.
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.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
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.
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
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 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.
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 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.
Colleen on the roof.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
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.
Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.
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 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.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
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.
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!
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
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.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
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.
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.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
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.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
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 from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
“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
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
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.
A look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
Old boathouses near the dock.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
A taste of Superior culture.
“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 Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
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.
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 porch of the Gustavson House with the southern San Juan range in the background. Bring your own rocking chair…
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
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.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
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.
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.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
Looking from the brewhouse at the death of its sister building, across Minnehaha.
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.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
The school (hospital) campus was expansive.
Pillars among trees… those who inherit the earth will be so confused.
35mm Film, Expired. An abandoned swath of NAD is landlocked by soybean fields.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
Don’t you love the shape of the house on the right?
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.
A row of security lights line the roof of the power station.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
“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
Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be here.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
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.
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.
Looking at The Windy City from the top of the coal tower. The pond you see is the former ACME Coke coal yard.
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 first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
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.
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.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
Looking north from the east portal of the tunnel… a beautiful place. Wilderness. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
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.
Looking at Carrie from the place where the molten steel would be cast
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.
This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
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 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 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.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
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 tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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.
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.
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 tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
Not a wisp of smoke can be seen today.
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.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
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.
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 complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.