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.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
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.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
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.
Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
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.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
The gold mine is now a gravel pit.
A taste of Superior culture.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
The tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
A social club/restaurant that was likely the place to be late at night.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
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.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
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.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
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.
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.
The complex was so big that trains could make deliveries through the middle of it, passing below this striped skyway.
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 southernmost houses in Gilman are seen through the pines on the right, near the tram stop.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
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.
“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.”
A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
The concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.
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.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
“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 Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.
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.
There is a flipped tram car about a third of the way down the cliff.
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 elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
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.
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
Pillars among trees… those who inherit the earth will be so confused.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
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.
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.
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.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.
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.
When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
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.
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.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
Old boathouses near the dock.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
Not a wisp of smoke can be seen today.
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.
Where equipment was scrapped.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
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.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
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.
Looking at Carrie from the place where the molten steel would be cast
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
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 front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
The porch of the Gustavson House with the southern San Juan range in the background. Bring your own rocking chair…
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
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.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
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!
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.
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.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
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 new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
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.
A look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
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.
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.
Demolition about 50% complete.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
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 back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
It would be a shame if this building is not preserved. Word is (as of 2015) that construction may start on this section soon.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
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.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
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 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 nice view of the aurora borealis (“Northern Lights”) strong enough to outshine the industrial lighting at the power plant. The lights in the foreground direct ships discharging coal for the station.
The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
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.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
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 rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.
The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
Colleen on the roof.
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.
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.
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.
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 roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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.
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.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
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 tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
A side view of the oven pusher from the ground. The tallest coal bunker looks tiny in the distance, though on the scale of the factory it’s practically on top of me as I’m taking the picture.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
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 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.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
Looking at The Windy City from the top of the coal tower. The pond you see is the former ACME Coke coal yard.
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.
A quick vertical panorama taken on my back at the sweet spot of a great summer sunset. On the skylight is the torch-cut catwalk that used to link the outside of the smokestacks that vented the cupolas.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
Kate stands on top of the tailings pile that added some usable land to the side of the gulch. Somewhere nearby is the buried Santiago Tunnel.
During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
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.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
The school (hospital) campus was expansive.
As the Barker steamed past the dock and island, the sunset casts the shadow of the Taconite Harbor receiving trestle on the boat. Through the fog, you can see some of the islands that were joined into a breakwater.
The ghost town of Lauder, Manitoba. It’s seen better days, but I bet the TV reception on the flatlands is great.