A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.
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 Now, with the advent of self-unloading boats, it’s been replaced by a funnel and conveyor belt.
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.
The bridge here moved workers between the dock, the approach tracks, and refueling buildings.
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.
The end of the dock, done quickly and cheaply with wood. The towers were for lights, so ships could be loaded at all hours.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
A typical summer storm on Lake Superior.
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.
Demolition about 50% complete.
Looking toward the famous Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge from Lake Superior. Shot on a the legendary Pentax 67.
Portland Huron and downtown Duluth from the end of the Elevator A slip.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
A bright red light blinks on the end of the abandoned dock to ward off passing boats.
The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
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.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
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!
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
These corner pilings served as bumpers… a little assurance against wind, ice, and new captains.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
Looking through the trestle toward the ghost town.
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.
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.
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…
Superior Entry’s lights, backlit by the aurora borealis. In the distance, you can see the lights of Two Harbors.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
Just a couple guys enjoying an industrial ruin.
The ice around the dock, compressed by the waves, was less clear than the open ice.
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.
Can you hear the ship’s horn through this picture?
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.
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.
A morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
The approach to Dock 4 is long demolished, so it is only accessible when the lake freezes.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
As wind and currents moved the ice around between the ore docks, the sounds of crunching echoed through the otherwise quiet bar.
Peering out of the porthole of the light tower, I saw the shadow of the station on the lake.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
The Algosteel navigating Superior Entry.
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.
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
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
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.
Looking out of the top of the grain tower at Duluth.
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.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
A ship passes the abandoned dock on its way to Duluth. Taconite dust stains the sides of its hull red.
Taken before the Ford was towed to Duluth for scrapping.
The roof of the King Elevator had two small vents and a terrific view of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Arista 100 in 120.
Checking out the neighbors. Shot on a the legendary Pentax 67.
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.
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.