clouds

Ship at Allouez I

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.

Control Room Window

Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.

Two Economies

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.

Set the Pie on the Sill

In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.

Flagpole

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.

Armor Stacks

From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.

The Freedom – Brahm

A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.

Broadway On Broadway

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.

Blast Path

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.

Fire Damage at Castle Noisy

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!

Barn

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.

Algosteel Crew

The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez

The Cold Front

Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.

Nature Bouncing Back

No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.

Alley Cloud

A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.

Tailings Boom I

Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.

Dock 5L

One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.

Bench Swing

This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.

Santiago Tunnel Tailings

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.

Building 429

A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.

Broken Cross

On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.

Everybody is a Star

The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.

Glory Hole Mill Creek

A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.

Van Dyke Cabs Only

Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.

Pitfall

Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.

Haus, Anno 1815

This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.

Fergus Falls State Hospital Roofline

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.

Laundry

The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.

The Animas River, near Mayflower Mill

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.

Rundblick

A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!

ADM-Delmar #4- Top of the World

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.

The Worst Seat

Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.

Elevators

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.

Atlas Stared

“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.

Silverton, Colorado

Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!

Hearn Stack

Approaching the power station and its giant stack. The stack replaced four shorter stacks in the 1960s, helping with pollution in the downtown corridor.

Silos Like a Sunset

“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.”

Ratimis – Brahm

The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.

Water Towers

SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.

Treasure Mountain Concentrator

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.

Sunrise and the Wellman Crane

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.

Battery Run

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.

Bayard Sunrise

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.

Perimeter Fence

The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.

Paint in the Water – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Workshop

Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.

Overgrown Hallways

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.

Ball Mill Mounts

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.

Cradle and Tree

Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.

Looking Out A Window at the Starch Works

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.

Elevator Row

Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?

ADM Labs- LIVE

Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.

Killarney, MB

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.

Rotten Dock

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.

Gulchward

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.

Creature – Brahm

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.

End of the Mill

Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.

Front Porch

A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.

Cargill in Spring (Film)

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.

Rosemount Stonehenge

Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.

Today’s Weather- Stormy

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.

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Mill

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.

North Face

Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.

Last Building

A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.

Facing Downtown (2005)

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.

Fire Brick Bucket

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!

Skyway

The exterior of the factory is unassuming

Cheratte Obelysk

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.

Egomaniac – Brahm

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.

Backdoor

Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.

Corps Tug

A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.

Five Stacks

I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.

Mushroom Pillar

When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.

Bunker Row

There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.

Chopper Over Atlas

“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

Film: Frontenac Feelings

Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100

Dock 2 at Sunset

Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.

We Built This City on Flour

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.

Radome

During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.

San Luis Home

A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.

Building 402

Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.

Hike to Frontenac

The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!

Abandoned Switch

A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.

Battery Stack

The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.

Biker

A taste of Superior culture.

Tillston, MB- Five Roses Flour

“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’…

Cooperage

One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.

Cracked Glass Signal – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Milwaukee Road Boxcar

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.

Bldg 100

Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.

Overgrown Pillars

One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.

Driveway

This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.

Interior Cloud

A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.

Sunset on Osborn

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.

Supply House and Carpentry Shop

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.

Broken Dust Pipe

It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.

Missile Way

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.

Vivacious Veteran

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.

Introspection

A row of security lights line the roof of the power station.

Tailings Boom II

…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.

Longmont Sky

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.”
― Emily Dickinson

Ghost Road I

Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be here.

Singing Roundhouse

2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.

Gangway I

A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.

Truck Scale

Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.

School Ruins

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.

Stelco Skies

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.

Chicago Skyline

Looking at The Windy City from the top of the coal tower. The pond you see is the former ACME Coke coal yard.

First North and Banks

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.

BCT from Amtrak I

The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.

War City Power

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.

White Pine Mine Ruin

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.

Sequence

The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.

Cabezon Peak from Guadalupe Mesa

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.

Rain Over Cerro de Santa Clara

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.

Hexagon Building

This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.

South Bend Sunrise

I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.

National Mineshaft

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.

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Milling

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 Shortened Temple

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.

Cargill and Enger Tower in Fall

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 on Quartz Hill

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.

Ghosts of Munro Mining Co

Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.

Keeper’s Houses

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.

Thrall

A windmill marks one corner of GOW.

Atlas Ditch

The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.

Cables, Gangways, and Booms

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.

Placer Pacer

The tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.

Two Rooflines

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.

Three Peaks

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.

Elevator Shaft

The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.

Twenty-Five Million Minutes

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.

Old Sign

This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.

Be C- Watch You- Step

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.

Kurth Malting- Sunrise’s Dusty Gaze

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.

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