No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
Mitchell Avenue, the main drag of a ghost town. Traces of asphalt and curbs are barely visible through patches of grass. In the old plan of the town, Mitchell Hotel would be to my direct left in this scene, and about 10 houses would flank this street to the left and right.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
The remains of the site radar beside the command building.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
Between lines of Number Sixes right after sun rose behind them. This photo shows how extremely lush the grounds are that make getting around in some places impossible.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
Outbuildings for Tilston’s Five Roses elevator.
The wood block floor is beginning to sprout, but not much can live here.
The left building is active, the right building is not, though both were built as Wilson Bros buildings. The skyway was rough, inside and out, but I liked the small gate in the bottom of it–it reminded me of a castle. Skyways like these were a fireproofing measure.
The last of four radar domes on the base.
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
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.
A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
Model: Devan. Instagram: sextmachine
Carter Color used to occupy this block.
The lower portal of the Selby Tunnel, as it looks today. The area is a popular spot for homeless to camp–can you spot the tent?
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The depot at the head of town seems to be being disassembled. Behind it is a dead signal where the tracks used to be; they’ve been pulled.
Raab strolling where the coal and ore would be dumped by trains that traveled along the top of the concrete pilings.
Looking out of the elevators. Canada Malting, Vitera A and Vitera B in the background.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
In the bottom of a creek, an antique children’s wheelchair is buried in grass, where someone threw it. Wooden leg braces suggest this dates to the 1950s.
The portal facing Taconite Harbor (at a healthy distance) is mostly closed. Some kids put bullet holes in it. Shooting down a long tunnel is extremely dangerous, and you should not do it, obviously. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
Typical New Mexico ranch fencing. The power lines follow the rails between Springer and Wagon Mound.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
When the bank burned, it was demolished except for the vault, which sits behind the depot.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
Looking down Pommenicher Straße from Gaststätte Rosarius, the monstrous machine about to devour the town bites at the ground.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
A portrait of the second school of McConnell, built in 1937.
The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.
Castle, Montana is a ghost town. Almost no signs remain that it was a mining town.
An orphan culvert and camper, both tossed aside where nobody that will see will care.
Beside the half-demolished Thunder Bay Elevator shops and offices (brick building) are some rusting fishing boats. A little bit of SWP #7 is seen in the upper right.
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.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.
Looking across the mountain tramway from an abandoned house in Gilman.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
Kansas is known for tornados. Think ‘Wizard of Oz’. That, considered with the fact that the workers were surrounded by bombs and bomb making materials called for lots of earthen shelters, just in case.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
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.
The metallic arms of the missile erector, which would stand rockets over the blast pit in the launch position. Medium Format film–cheap but excellent Fomapan 100 in a Pentax 67.
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.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
I’m not sure, actually, whether this was an outhouse (right), but it seems likely. In any case, it was connected by a covered staircase to the Bunk House (left). The soil here was not all tailings, so there is a bit of thick grass–almost the only in sight!
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
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.
The ghost town of Lauder, Manitoba. It’s seen better days, but I bet the TV reception on the flatlands is great.
This was the exterior wall of the roundhouse; engines would have entered on the other side and machinery would line this side, hence the big windows for natural light.
Entrance to the plant. Hermes holds his iconic caduceus and a Model T. Demeter holds a tractor in a motif of wheat. A fantastic reimagining of the Greek, with an excerpt of the following quote by Sir Joshua Reynolds (18th century English painter): “Excellence is never granted to man but as the reward of labor. It argues no small strength of mind to persevere in habits of industry without the pleasure of perceiving those advances, which, like the hand of a clock, whilst they make hourly approaches to their point, yet proceed so slowly as to escape observation.”
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
A side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.
Dead cars were parked permanently near the model farm. Perhaps it had an automotive program. After all, before they were ‘Indian Residential Schools’ they were ‘Indian Industrial Schools’.
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
A set of air intakes and exhaust pipes over the buried communications and control equipment rooms.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
Between elevators, a single tree has taken root. I think it’s growing out of a rail grade, so the seed might have fallen off of a train.
Ammunition had to be tested on site before shipment. That was done here. These heavy concrete bunkers deflected rounds harmlessly into the earth.
The mine is sandwiched between village townhomes.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.
The side of Stelco and its scrubber-stacks. This is demolished now.
These were some of the most attractive shops of all the mines in the area. It’s no wonder Hanna Mining wanted to use them as their center of operations in the Iron River district.
An article from Minnpost describes this design as “marital”, and I could not agree more.
Wyoming has Montana’s ‘big sky’ reputation truly challenged.
A rail maintenance building. I liked the color of the tree against the peeling red paint.
Near the lower portal of the tunnel, a manhole cover seals the electrical connection for the streetcar line. Twin Cities Lines is the predecessor for Twin Cities Rapid Transit.
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.
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
The cemetery for the old asylum is, sadly, largely unmarked. Only in recent years has there been a real effort to locate and identify the remains there.
Shells of mixing buildings.
The power gauge showed… broken.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
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.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
A stencil instructs the first and third shifts to ask security for access. Security was out during all my visits, except one mishap where a strung-out local chased me with a truck. Having spent a decade exploring the U.P., I was not caught off guard.
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.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
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.
This building would store and maintain warheads. It was right next to the launch pad, but the two were separated by a high mound.
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!
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
Coming to an inspirational poster near you… what should it read? ADVENTURE AWAITS? Don’t hang posters. Go outside.
Workers’ lockers, strewn across Main Street, yet still out of the way.
At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The rails that used to go to the back of the complex are long gone, but the ties are still in the back of the parking lot.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
“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 main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.
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.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
The depot of Ringling is a very lonely looking building and there are many holes in its roof. There are no signs on it whatsoever.
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
1904 Sewer Lid in Central Hillside.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
A little sun and a little moisture sprouted this grass in the middle of the steel silos, in the midst of Minneapolis’ “graffiti graveyard”. Two images of time: nature growing through industry and rust dissolving old art in the elements.
I found a meth lab in this building once. (Yes, I called it in.)
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.
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.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
Cobble streets wrap around the inside of the fort.
This is a great example of a combination rock house; the silos below used to fill trains with ore dropped from mine cars pulled to the top of the structure.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
This is what I believe to be the Masonic Cottage, where infected Freemasons would be treated together and enjoy some simple luxuries because of their social connections. Freemasonry is still popular in North Dakota.
The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
Looking at ADM-1 from beside ADM-4, back when ADM-4 had a train shed and ADM-1 had a skyway. In the thick woods beneath the skyway was a long time homeless camp… most of its residents were very friendly.
The St. Louis County Sheriff constantly patrols the property looking for trespassers.
The two antennae are retracted–the position they would be in if the base was under attack.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
The powerplant was roughly in the middle of the rail works.
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
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.
East Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
This building had no identity issues. My chief regret was not spending more time documenting the ghost signs around the complex.
The substation has definite structural issues. Pictured is the sidewalk that connected the plant to the company housing.
Hiking into the ghost town with enough gear to live there for a few days, if we wanted.
If it wasn’t for the humming and crackling of the wires, I could believe I had arrived to a post apocalyptic landscape.