The final ball mill in the Chain O’ Mines concentrator. Behind it was a bucket of steel balls.
When I revisited the mine in 2013, the hoists were scrapped and sitting by the road.
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.
The gear seems to have fallen the height of the power station and shattered. I wonder what it sounded like…
A massive steel sheer’s equally massive drive cog. Imagine the force.
When not running 24 hours a day during a campaign, the plant was being repaired. Every sugar mill has a large shop and parts room for those times.
In the back of the warehouse is the old incinerator, probably used to destroy kegs that could not be reused.
Exploring Dock 4 was a very different experience, since it was almost all metal.
The oldest part of this mill had a wooden roof that rotted away long ago. Slowly, rust is dulling the edge on every cog left behind.
This giant gear’s sole purpose was to turn the ship’s single rudder in all conditions.
A generator in the power room… steam powered.
The boiler room has four big boilers in it, which seems like overkill. No wonder this plant could supply power to the works and the town at full capacity!
Before the gold could be extracted, the rock was turned to powder. Depending on the size of the steel balls inside the mill, the rock would be reduced to a certain size. So, multiple mills were usually used in stages.
An automatically closing door, in case of fire or flood in the engine compartment.
Bits and things in a pile in the corner of the smelter, the unsold chunks of industrial history that didn’t sell at an on-site auction before my visit.
Steel mine hoists, near the place they worked, wait for scrap prices to justify their final removal from Osceola, Michigan.
This mean-looking thing had a purpose, probably, but that function has been lost to decades of expansion.
The giant cog is missing on this machine, which turned a sugar slurry intro crystals. Green-blue stained glass makes the rusty machine glow in aquamarine.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
A line of huge machines wait to be used as parts under a long-disused belt drive.
It was as noisy then as it is colorful now…