lake-superior

Huron-Portland Cement, Duluth Plant

As photographed from a cement piling for Slip #3 poured in 1935, disconnected from land by erosion. How do I know the date? A pair of steamship engineers carved their initials and ranks into the wet cement!

MPE3- Port Arthur Ore Dock

Looking down at the Port Arthur Ore Dock from Manitoba Pool Elevator #3. The conveyor belts are gone and King Elevator is in the far distance.

Algosteel Crew

The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez

Ship at Allouez I

On top of the light hoop, 160-feet up, a ship comes into port, ready to load-up. If you look really close, you can see my shadow cast on the dock below, courtesy of the full moon.

Drain Key

Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.

Today’s Weather- Stormy

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.

Elevator Row

Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?

Overhang

This picture gives you the idea of how the boat-loading control rooms are set up; they lean over the dock and Lake Superior to be able to see down into the holds of the boats… important, considering how quickly it loaded the boats! An uneven load could put stress on the hull of a laker, increasing the risk it will break and sink.

View from the Light

Looking down the breakwater from the top of the lighthouse. In the haze, you can see the world’s largest iron ore docks in Allouez Bay.

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.

American Crane

A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.

Sunrise and the Wellman Crane

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 Now, with the advent of self-unloading boats, it’s been replaced by a funnel and conveyor belt.

Sun-Shined Ice

Science Alert. When the sun strikes an object, that object absorbs some of the infared light in the form of heat. The heat absorbed by the old Soo dock absorbed and radiated that energy to melt off the snow from the ice around it, making it very reflective.

Cracked Lake Superior

As wind and currents moved the ice around between the ore docks, the sounds of crunching echoed through the otherwise quiet bar.

Perch

Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.

Pilings of Dock 3

When the lake levels were especially low, the pilings of Dock 3 that are usually underwater were clearly visible between Dock 2 and Dock 4.

Big Float

A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.

Control Room Window

Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.

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.

James R. Barker I

The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.

Approach of Dock 6 – (C)SUBSTREET

If it weren’t for the fact there were trees growing from it, and that I cropped out the end of the rail approach, one might think this is still used occasionally.

Moonrise at Taconite Harbor

The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.

Dock Shack I

Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.

Shadow-Boxing in Ashland

The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.

Paint in the Water – (C)SUBSTREET

Looking from abandoned to active. The end of Dock 6 often has a crane and some shacks on it, as the chutes aren’t used anymore. Instead, conveyors are installed on the land-side of the dock that fill docked vessels, making the end of the dock little more than a breakwater and a place to park repair and recovery equipment.

Shadows of Taconite Harbor on the James R. Barker

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.

NP Freighthouse Pilings

The end of the peninsula where Consolidated D was built, aka General Mills A, used to hold a Northern Pacific freight depot. These are part of the ruins of it.

King- Rooftop (Arista 100)

The roof of the King Elevator had two small vents and a terrific view of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Arista 100 in 120.

Roof Hatch

We can lie like sinners
Breathe the air like children
And you could lead and I could follow
All those times are gone
“Duluth” by Trampled by Turtles

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.

Federal Yukon and Capitol

Standing on the ruins of the burned Northern Pacific RR Freight House. It’s the best place to watch ships move around the harbor. Some things haven’t changed…