holes-of-death

Rubber Lining Dock Pockets

Old conveyor belts are draped over the sides of the ore chutes to cut down on the noise and wear of the dumping trains.

Open Silos

Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.

Kabelkanal

Scrappers infamously gutted the factory, but this one green conduit going from the sintering floor all the way to ground level seems to have been spared.

Endock

The end of the dock, done quickly and cheaply with wood. The towers were for lights, so ships could be loaded at all hours.

Shaft No. 3 Hoist Shell

Looking through the an access panel at the hoist room for Shaft No. 3. The cable had long ago been scrapped, along with the motors to drive the pulleys. I still admire the workmanship on the spool’s arching metal shell.

Dress Forms

The women of the hospital made clothes for the other patients.

Superior Elevator- Step Lightly

The floor was a bit too thin for my taste at the top of Superior Elevator. The left hole looks outside; the right hole looks down half a story to the level below.

Demolished Skyway (Arista 35mm film)

Looking out of the demolished skyway. Note the big hole in the floor. The lens is too wide to keep my foot out of it… I’m hanging in the superstructure that I climbed to make this photo.

Crusher Floor

It seems logical that, at one time, a rock crusher was installed at the base of the mine rails shown here at the top of the Concentrator. Rocks small enough to fit between the rails would automatically bypass the crusher and continue to the work floor via the hopper below.

SWP4- Sealeg (Arista 100)

I had to climb into the roof of the half-demolished skyway to see through to the other side of the train shed. That’s my foot in the corner.

Blue Wall

After climbing the elevator shaft to the illusive second level, a new pallet of colors were revealed.

Frontenac Shaft

The shaft was capped by the state in 1990. Even though some shafts are capped, they are still very dangerous. The land around them tends to crater unexpectedly, sending explorers to the bottom under a pile of dirt. Stay away.

Spiral Staircase

This picture is perhaps the most appropriate in its visual depiction of how unstable the mill was. 1. Note the lack of stairs on the spiral staircase; they’re rusted and twisted apart, not simply cut off. 2. Notice the cracked concrete on the lower left corner; that was cracking as I was standing on it taking this photo, and don’t think there’s anything under that to begin to stop one’s fall. 3. You’re looking into an open elevator shaft; its safety cage is sliced away and wide open.

I-Beam Extending Into Basement

Holes were cut into the floor to extract equipment from the basements. it was interesting to see the I-beams extending through all the levels of Studebaker.

Elevator Shaft

Why the elevator cars were removed or who removed them is unclear to me, but I do hope they still exist somewhere outside of a Honda frame. Judging from the decorations heaped on the doors and their frames, the cars themselves must have been beautiful.

Mill Tram

One thing that made the Eagle Mine unique is the underground mill, left of this picture. As the rocks moved down the mill, they would be turned into finer and finer powder.

Unintended Footprint

When I wasn’t paying enough attention on the rotten balcony, I accidentally put my foot through a rotten floorboard. I snapped a picture to remember the moment.

Hollow Below

While it looks like ground level, everything here is one story above the actual earth.

Skyway

The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.

Dock 4 Panorama

The top of Dock 4 was too dangerous to explore, but this panorama gives you an idea of the view (and how rotten the wood was).

Manlift, Top Floor

A reminder to the manlift riders to get off the belt before they hit their heads on the ceiling. This is the top level of the headhouse, where dust collectors would extract most of the grain bits from the air to reduce risk of explosion.

Midock

The holes were for men to poke reluctant ore with long poles, with the hope that a lucky jab would let the load slide down into the boat below. Now they’re just traps.

Stock Office

Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.

Starch Line

On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.

Shutterchutes

At the end of a conveyor belt and poised over a loading station, it’s easy to image the tinny sound of chicken feed sliding across the metal. Like sand on the old-fashioned stainless steel playground slides.

Broken Cog

The gear seems to have fallen the height of the power station and shattered. I wonder what it sounded like…

Foundry Dripmarks

Looking at the casting floor from the roof. In the distance are the copulas where molten metal was poured.

Cooling Pool

A screen above the floor apparently shields workers from the disintegrating building.

Refrigeration Pump

These steam powered pumps were integral to the cooling of the meat packing plant next door.

Spilled Taconite

It was interesting that, even though storms had carried the wooden walkway that stretched under the dock, these piles of spilled taconite remain where they had dropped.

Annex Work Floor

The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.

SWP4- Hole (Arista 100)

A me-sized hole in the half-demolished skyway looks about a story down to the ground. Step lightly. Arista 100.

Politics of the Back Bowl

The hole in the floor, I like to joke, is a not-so-sneaky trap for the photographers creeping to get a close-up of the amazing peeling paint. I somehow escaped this snare, however, to warn the rest… perhaps you.

Rotten Dock

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.

Half Demolished Boilers

Easier-to-demolish parts of the power plant were torched apart. Catwalks to nowhere meant lots of dead ends.

Sonnenstrahlen

Sonnenstrahlen, “sunbeams”, come through the kicked-up coke dust covering everything below the sintering floor.

Kurth Malting- Cupola Arch

The sexiest feature of Kurth is this steel arch over the silos on its south side. The manholes in the floor open to the silos directly, and flimsy grates might catch a hurried worker. Grates were removable so that workers could descend into the concrete tubes, so a few are missing today.

Hoist House Crane Shaft

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.