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.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
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.
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.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
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 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.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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.
Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be here.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
The tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.
The Eureka Mill, historically known as Sunnyside Mill, is now the gateway to Animas Forks.
The Blacksmith Shop (right) was connected to the Bunk House (left) via this narrow walkway. This is likely due to the fire risk in each building. The left building had a cooking stove and furnace for heat and the right building had a small industrial furnace to repair mining equipment. A little walkway would mean that a fire on one side would be easier to fight from the other.
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.
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.
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.
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
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.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
A facade that tells the story of demolition and neglect. The sign on the garage door indicates that if one finds themselves there, that they enter the buildings at their own risk. If only property owners in the US took this philosophy!
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
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.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
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.
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
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.
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Looking at The Windy City from the top of the coal tower. The pond you see is the former ACME Coke coal yard.
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.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
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.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
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.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
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.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
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.
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 roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
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.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
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.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
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.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
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.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
A taste of Superior culture.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.
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.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
35mm Film, Expired. An abandoned swath of NAD is landlocked by soybean fields.
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.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
“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.”
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
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.
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.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
The porch of the Gustavson House with the southern San Juan range in the background. Bring your own rocking chair…
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
The concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
Looking north from the east portal of the tunnel… a beautiful place. Wilderness. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
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.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
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.
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 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 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.
Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
The gold mine is now a gravel pit.
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.
It’s a small world… look at it.
“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 last of four radar domes on the base.
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.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
A look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
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.
Wyoming has Montana’s ‘big sky’ reputation truly challenged.
The building is winking.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
The lower door is where the rocket exhaust would flow into the blast pit during initial launch. The upper doors would vent the rocket so the erector and other equipment in the building would not be (as) damaged.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Looking from the brewhouse at the death of its sister building, across Minnehaha.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
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 screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
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.
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 side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
The fiery side of a launch building, just is it began to rain.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
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.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
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.
The school (hospital) campus was expansive.
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.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
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.
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
The Brown Hotel still stands, but has recently gone out of business again. One of the nice things about historic buildings in New Mexico, though, is things tend to stay around a lot longer than if they were subjected to lots of rain and snow. It will probably be reopened eventually.
Don’t you love the shape of the house on the right?
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
Taken at a junction in the tube world.
Approaching the power station and its giant stack. The stack replaced four shorter stacks in the 1960s, helping with pollution in the downtown corridor.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
Colleen on the roof.
Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.
The southernmost houses in Gilman are seen through the pines on the right, near the tram stop.
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 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 single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
Old boathouses near the dock.
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.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
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 Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
Zachary Taylor’s very own Scottish castle, spring-side in the Kentucky backcountry. Boarded and waiting, but in surprisingly good condition, considering the decades. I especially love the tower on the right side of the frame.
The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.
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.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
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.
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.
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.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.