Mushroom pillars hold up the dreams of so many, the profits of so few.
Castle, Montana is a ghost town. Almost no signs remain that it was a mining town.
The green-tinted skylight makes this a bright green corridor, the lower of the two skyways connecting the two workhouses.
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
The top floor of the Chateau was the original surgical suite. Later, hydrotherapy took place here. When Nopeming was converted to a nursing home, it was a place where residents watched movies. Portra 400 on Voigtlander Bessa.
This crane could reach any part of the power station floor.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
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
The main shaft’s cable spooled with bird castings belies the fact that lives used to dangle from its steel-wound strength. Arrows on the circles would indicate the mine level the cars were currently at.
Taconite Harbor’s main road, now overgrown and leading to nothing. Just asphalt between caved-in curbs.
The only way to get to the second floor–since demolition crews punched-out the staircases and ladders leading upwards–was to climb this elevator shaft. In the lower-left corner is a blower for the foundry furnaces.
Much of the plant depended on steam, not only for heat but for mechanical power.
The large domed rooms were surreal.
The pigeons and raccoons have no use for these, so they will sit empty until snow or fire removes them by force.
A green chair in a green room.
Sawdust is the most classic of insulation materials.
The control room was used through the mid-1990s as the plant was used to stabilize the power grid.
This old ward, not a victim of remodeling, still has metal screens over the open windows of the doors. It should be obvious why glass were not used.
It’s unclear where this walkway once connected. Perhaps there used to be a building here that covered the entrance to the Santiago Tunnel…
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
On the boarded-up first floor of the house proper near the door to the chapel, the last pew sites next to a wet box of Bibles.
It’s a straight view from the projection booth to the stage, but hell of a walk. At a fast pace, I think it would take 10 minutes to walk from this spot to the chair. Behind the curtains is a big white screen, so the theatre could be used for either stagework or moving pictures. The two projectors are set up for 3D movies right now–hence the little switch below the window–a Polaroid 3D synchronizer. Cool, huh?
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
About a century later. A view of the main factory building, looking toward the two furnaces.
The offices, cleared out pending fire inspection. Now it’s full of stuff again.
I wonder how polluted that water is.
This is an elevator to move mine car loads of sand to the surface for cleaning and eventually glass production. Below is a flooded equipment vault. In front and behind is a loop through the larger tunnels in the mine. The horizontal braces supported electric cables for the mine carts.
Old hospital beds.
A typical narrow hallway at Birtle.
In the modern control room at the base of the white elevator tower are the electronics that ran the newer building, its rail components and boat-loading component. The superstructure permeates all spaces here, as can be seen with the crossing I-beams in the main office.
A circular common room in one of the original parts of the hospital. When the asylum was especially crowded, this would be filled with patient beds, too. It’s very strange that this floor was not tiled like the other common rooms. It makes me wonder if especially dangerous patients were kept in this ward; those who could not be trusted to not extract and sharpen the ceramic tiles. Portra 160.
The zebras had the right idea when they saw the pink beds–run.
They remodeled, apparently.
I wanted to see the third floor to get a better view, but the third floor had already been demolished. The old walls had cascaded down the staircases. This building is gone, now, as you can expect.
A typical room in Birtle.
An original, minimally remodeled bathroom above the cafeteria reminds us what the whole complex once looked like.
With the maintenance door open you can see the buckets on in the vertical conveyor.
A common room with a big bay window that overlooked the main entrance of the hospital.
The walls of a dormitory dissolve in the water flowing through the bad roof.
The surgical suite was flooding.
The building in the foreground–the old control booth–was arsoned in 2009.
The curtain closes officially when the walls crack under the weight of winter snow.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
The beautiful green ruination of the refrectory.
One of the many blast doors. Note the plunger to seal off the airflow in the event of an attack or accidental explosion.
Looking past the hoist room (left) toward Shaft No. 1, behind the concrete head frame built in the late 1940s. This shaft could haul equipment from ground level (below) to shop level, where the picture was taken.
The original color of the wall was probably green.
This used to be one of the office doors, but it’s been removed (apparently without malcontent) and placed in the shop area.
These racks lined many of the floors, although I couldn’t decipher their purpose. Tastes like duotone…
One of the walls of the train shed was growing, thanks to a little bit of sunlight and a constant trickle of rainwater over it. FP-100C.
On the left you can see one of the later air shafts for the mine below, which allowed for natural air exchange with the main production areas of the coal mine. That is to say, there were no fans blowing fresh air down below.
A crack in a window in a wall. What’s this doing here?
A 1960s style TV set in a sun room at the back of the poor house. The concrete room survived the roof collapse and was full of rotten children’s books and toys. Perhaps it was where donations were sorted, or perhaps it was a nursery/orphanage area.
The staircase going to the second floor balcony is gone, giving a clear view of the first floor porch.