Cat paw prints on the control panels. Remember to lock-out-tag-out, Power Raccoons, and keep your own keys.
Asbestos-cord-wrapped glass tongs piled in a shed next to the pouring line.
Not necessarily a children’s room.
By the looks of the custom work bench, someone in upholstery got a little carried away!
A clicky-flippy clock is having some kind of malfunction.
Giant paint mixers.
One of the few artifacts left in the chapel section is this old floor buffing machine.
No wonder the factory shut down; everyone was scheduled to work 9 to 5 and the clock’s broken! (In all seriousness, this is/used to be a beautiful timepiece, especially for a utilitarian factory like this.
A typical room in Birtle.
Rubber dock boots still sits under the desk in the dock office, near keys to rusted locks and files of fired employees.
I assume this sign used to sit near the highway that snakes around the mine and town.
Asbestos rope isn’t something you can buy at Home Depot anymore, but it’s fire and heat resistant stuff; great for industrial work, like in a sugar mill.
A wooden mold sitting outside of the foundry.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
Workers’ lockers, strewn across Main Street, yet still out of the way.
Records of ore samples, mostly ruined by the water flowing into the space.
Patented in 1965 and produced by Specialized Mass Markets. User would insert token and use a rotary-phone-style dial to enter their token number. The machine would tally the numbers and indicate winners depending on the sum of said numbers. See USPTO US3455557.
Minecraft reference. This is the backroom of a company that made eyeglasses the old-fashioned way. In fact, some of the lens blanks were even left behind, under the piles of trash on the desks.
Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.
This is an example of the equipment that was originally manufactured at Barcol.
Looking down range. You can tell where most of the rounds hit by the dark marks in the wall.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
A strange arcade machine in the basement.
A patient room is more intact than others.
Jars like these were used to measure the volume of fluid pumped out of TB patients’ lungs.
When the factory’s production line was up for auction, many parts were removed, crated and labeled with big painted numbers to ease their removal by buyers. Not everything sold, however, so not one dark corner of the factory seems without a pile of dislocated industrial junk.
A green chair in a green room.
Lessons from the day.
1950s safety posters about static and proper footware hide in remote offices, where the curious haven’t stolen them… yet.
Part of a vintage neon sign. I hope it’s been preserved–it reminds me of the sign that hung over my grandfather’s tv sales and repair shop in small town Minnesota.
The workshop sat below the main working floor and had serious power going to it.
When I first visited the chapel, it had a projection TV, two organs, Bibles, and more. Now these are mostly ruined, except for the tapestries, which have somehow survived.
The women of the hospital made clothes for the other patients.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
Gloves hang in the basement of the former quality assurance labs.
Leather shoes in a supply closet. They seem to me men’s shoes.
Cobbled walkways followed the assembly lines.
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.
We mark our world in unexpected ways… this is how patient possessions would be stored during their stay in the old asylum wards. It’s about the size of a shoebox, and this particular drawer has a name where the others do not. Its place reminded me of the hospital cemetery where more than 3,000 are buried and less than 1% of whom are recorded by stone or plaque in their resting place.
This is the building with the water tower on top, full of Barcol stuff that did not sell at auction and not worth the trouble to scrap.
You can see why so few products had bright packaging. If the can here was brown, you’d never see it in a dark wood cabinet.
On my first self-guided tour, the calculator was caught my eye because it was one of the few things left behind in the laboratories that filled the second floor. On my next trip, it had been smashed to pieces.
One of the many small treasures hiding in the mill…
The zebras had the right idea when they saw the pink beds–run.
There big filters helped the mill sort through the flour, for additional milling, for example.
Twin tracks exit a concrete wall below St. Anthony (Cathedral) Hill.
Taken from the most forward part of the windlass room to show how the front of the ship opens up from the front wedge. Note the giant anchor chains and foam strapped to the frontmost beam.
A leftover swatch remembers the last fabric sewn here.
This seems to be the space where upholstery patterns would be drafted. On the table were half-finished notes on a new design.
The main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
2011. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
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!
This picture typifies the industrial ideal of the early 20th century. More metal than air. More efficiency than beauty. More profits than people.
I had to search the shelves a while to find this old logbook. The open page lists changes in stock numbers for Cutler Hammer Coils, and one row says that a new coil was installed on the black larry. The larry is the machine that loads coke ovens.
The floor IS the machine…
#67, one of the only lockers that is not crunched to the point it refuses to open. In the corner of the small office area.
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.
Did you leave in a hurry?
One of a few dozen steel bed frames left in the rubble of the collapsing building.
An example of a typical desk at Buckstaff… messy, but everything’s there. It probably looks much as it did in 2011 when the plant closed.
Artifacts from the days this was a furniture factory and warehouse.
More than half a century of plans rot in the shadows, seemingly useless.
The last trace of Mitchell, Minnesota is a pile of cans on the side of the main street, Mitchell Avenue. These will be recognizable for another century or so, for future history-minded explorers.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
Core samples archived under the laboratories.
Records of dead machines rot on the accounting office floor.
One thing I like about the oppressive globalist-wrought future is the idea of numerically subdividing spaces; my geek side sort of wants to live in a flat that can be sorted by as Dewey Decimal-like code.
In a protected wing of a launcher are these empty server racks where guidance and control computers were stored.
The control room was used through the mid-1990s as the plant was used to stabilize the power grid.
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
The remains of the surgical suite.
On the second floor of the former carpentry shop, originally the delivery wagon shed.
A squat in the basement of the Temple Opera Block. When the residents were evicted by Duluth Police in 2013, they said their favorite part of living there was that the steam pipes kept it warm all winter long for free.
Above the old machine shop is a packing building and a crate of cardboard label rolls.
One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.
Graffiti by performing artists that hit the stage in the 1990s. I’m no musician, but I do not think it is being played low enough.
Goals for 1980, still tacked onto the wall.
Behind the factory was an old truck, blocked in by overgrown trees on one side and the buildings on the other.
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
Looking to the chapel addition from the Chateau.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
The remains of the site radar beside the command building.
The women’s ward had a player piano in it, likely a donation.
The vibrant colors clashed with the silent hotel.
Workers in the basement tunnels had to communicate with the workhouse operators 100 feet above and vice versa. Alarms and bells were installed to signal trouble over the sound of the elevator machinery.
Don’t let Mitchell Engine House run out of steam…
The office for the Government (Dominion) Elevator had a nice hat collection left over.
Look both ways, people.
The shaft house, where hydraulic steel doors allowed or denied entry into the mine shaft. Overhead is a light and alarm. If it sounds, the mine is being evacuated, and you best not go in and best stay the hell out of the way. Locals dump tires here, now.
Shoes and booze, backstage.
I wish I knew what has become of this great one-of-a-kind sign that used to brag how many days the Clyde Iron factory has gone without a serious accident. Update: It’s hanging in one of the smaller venue spaces behind the bar.
A disconnected speaker at stage right. I liked the colors and the texture of the sound tiles.
Someone’s abandoned to-do list.
Made by the Mergenthalen Linotype Company of New York, this model series (300) was introduced in 1960 and boasted a 12-line-per-minute reproduction rate.
The machine stood the Atlas missile up vertically over the blast pit, launching position, once the roof opened.
Equipment that did not sell at auction.
Far above the areas that were heavily scrapped, I found some old bottles to collect samples of the sour mash whiskey as it made its was from the distillation room to barrel filling.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
Ready for some science? Strap-in and get your goggles.
Books in nooks and not getting a look… about the crook with hooks that cooks.
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
An 80s-era company crate, as found in a forgotten store room.
In one of the small offices there’s this machine that bills itself as “The Recorder.” I’m an old tech geek and I still don’t know what this really does.
A classic Eveready, borrowed from Herb’s office.
The mark of a long producing mine is these racks of thousands of core samples, stored next to the capped mine shaft.
A brewmaster’s desk leans beside a long-disused stainless steel kettle. The staircase above goes to another level of kettles, which are visibly older.
Instructional film strips on the floor of a second floor closer.
A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.
The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
A stack of flawed casting molds, in the ready position next to where the cupolas sat when the plant closed.
Outside the locker room without the sandwiches and beer… plenty of glass shards, though, if you feel like it.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
Imagine the voice of an entitled White suburban mother. She’s now talking about oral hygiene in the “urban” (Black) schools.
Those able to work would be compelled to help fix up the facility, grow, harvest, and prepare food for fellow ‘inmates’, or work on vocational skills.
Part of a series I am shooting of patriotic Americana left in abandoned factories.
On the desk of an optometrist’s office.
Mounted in an office.
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
Gaskets still organized on nails beside the power plant. This used to be a maintenance room, but since its roof and walls were torn down, it’s not any kind of room.
A heavy cloth separates the sanding station from other areas. This particular section seemed to specialize with chair seats, judging by the many unsanded blanks there.
A ‘Hot Metal Car’ that would transport molten steel across the ‘Hot Metal Bridge’ from the furnaces to the mills.
Work never done.
One of many photos pasted to the walls of the ADM-4 workhouse. This shows a minor derailment near Spencer Kellogg & Sons’ linseed oil factory.
Seven TV sets and not one shows my reflection. I’d also like to point out not two of these are the same.
A carefully kept journal of the ballast levels in the final years that the Ford sailed Lake Superior.
Park Insurance Agency is no longer in business, nor would you be able to dial that phone number.
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.
A coveted corner office, full of former thrift store wares.
In the mine offices, a training manual for miners sits open. Here’s how you signal to the surface if you are trapped after a disaster.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
When boiling beet juice accidentally spills from the gas-fired tanks two feet away, you better be wearing some of these, or bye-bye legs.
Portraits of great men.
Limits on personnel and explosives allowed in the building at the same time.
The factory’s first aid room and laboratory. Sure makes me wonder how safe the lab was!
The last of four radar domes on the base.
Can you imagine workers in a food plant smoking on the job today?
Clothing and a guest bed left behind.
Thousands of tags in a supply closet. Each has lots its meaning.
Inside the west portal is a big liquid propane hand warmer, for workers to take the cold off their gloves as they handled the switches and doors of Cramer Tunnel. Mamiya GA645 / Kodak Pro 400
A bank of vertical filing cabinets, probably dating to National Guard days.
Broken dishes and rotten burlap, mixed with the general trash left behind after the roof collapsed on the poor house.
We know what the ladies’ favorite treats were! Found holding parts on a repair cart.
In the office at the end of the dock are two brooms. One is from the last ore train. One is from the last boat.
One basement room has a pile of x-rays of miners, taken and stored by the company.