Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.
A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
“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 perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
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 single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
Old boathouses near the dock.
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 side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.
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.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
A row of security lights line the roof of the power 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.
This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Not a wisp of smoke can be seen today.
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
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.
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.
“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
Taken at a junction in the tube world.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
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.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
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.
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.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
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.
Looking out from what little remains of the second floor at the poor house, which was in terrible condition. No roof and no floors. Soon to be ruins.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
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.
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.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
The Eureka Mill, historically known as Sunnyside Mill, is now the gateway to Animas Forks.
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 Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
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.
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.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
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.
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.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
This ruin was once the Toltec Mine, a producing gold and silver claim that operated into the 1940s.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
Looking down at the Port Arthur Ore Dock from Manitoba Pool Elevator #3. The conveyor belts are gone and King Elevator is in the far distance.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
It’s a small world… look at it.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
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 across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
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 modern shaft stands above the north side of Gilman.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
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.
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.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
Don’t you love the shape of the house on the right?
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
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.
The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!
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.
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.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
Summertime is when Duluth goes to the lakeside to listen to music, visit traveling fairs, and talk to neighbors about the smell of the lake. As seen from the castle walls.
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.
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
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 US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.
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.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
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!
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.
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.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
“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 moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
Looking at Carrie from the place where the molten steel would be cast
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.
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.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
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.
There is a flipped tram car about a third of the way down the cliff.
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 heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
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.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
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.
One of the last times I saw the skyway standing. ADM’s Meal Elevator is in the distance.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
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.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
Identical warehouses seem a little newer than the rest of the plant. I suspect these were added in the mid-1950s for the Korean War, during which about 200 buildings were added to the complex.
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.
After a short rainfall douses the mill in downtown Fergus Falls, the river next to the brick walls swells and the sounds of water overtakes the echos of the nearby bars. Reflections are on the foundation of the former distribution and rail building.
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.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
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.
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!
The ghost town of Lauder, Manitoba. It’s seen better days, but I bet the TV reception on the flatlands is great.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
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.
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
A morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
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 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 first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
A squat building with a rail scale. Taken between rain showers in late summer, when I seemed to be the only one at White Pine.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
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.
Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
“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
Wyoming has Montana’s ‘big sky’ reputation truly challenged.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
A broken signal light that would indicate to incoming engineers and brakemen the status of the dock deck. The streetlight-style lighting is a retrofit; originally the top of the dock would be lit by strings of lights suspended by towers on each side of the deck… a poor system according to the workers at Allouez who had the same lights.
The 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.
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
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.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
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.
The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
Colleen on the roof.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
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.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.
The St. Louis County Sheriff constantly patrols the property looking for trespassers.
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 building is winking.
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.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
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.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
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.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
The porch of the Gustavson House with the southern San Juan range in the background. Bring your own rocking chair…
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.
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
Looking from the brewhouse at the death of its sister building, across Minnehaha.
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.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
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.
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.
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.
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.