Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
Pillars painted red indicated firefighting supplies. Fire was a very common enemy of early rail facilities, and many roundhouses burned down because of a combination of dry wood, hot, fire-breathing machinery and countless oil-saturated surfaces.
The great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
In the mine offices, hooks and a board with numbers was the system to keep track of who was in the mine and who was safe.
This building looked like some sort of office.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.
Fantastic brick graffiti piece by a Duluthian in 1933! Is the stick drawing of a horse? Feel free to weigh in.
Carvings on the back of a barracks building.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
Typical bunk rooms in MS-20.
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.
Without proper pressure, the steering engine was ineffective.
The top floor of the Dominion Elevator. Acros 100 on 120.
Leather shoes in a supply closet. They seem to me men’s shoes.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
One of thousands in the complex. Part of a series of photographs where I capture the number “13” in industrial settings.
The control room for the whole of the plant. Sinterband here means one of the sintering lines. Temperatures, gasses, mixtures, speeds, and so on were centrally controlled here.
An engine on display outside the Montana Territorial Prison in Deer Lodge, MT. This was a typical electric locomotive used by The Milwaukee Road.
An original stencil-brushed sign.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
Atop Elevator ‘M’, formerly Cargill ‘O’.
In the nurses’ dormitories, beds, couches and chairs still sit. It’s unclear whether these are remnants of the homeless shelter in the 80s or the actual nurses.
Goals for 1980, still tacked onto the wall.
Vines are finding their way into the roundhouse.
A wimpy crane by most standards, only suitable for moving around parts of steam turbines.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
All of the fire alarms had been triggered.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
The top floor of the nitrating house was full of switches and breakers for the operation below, each bearing a label and number. Nowadays everything is printed, but when INAAP was built, all these signs were painted by hand.
Shelves in in the coloring department, where hundreds of different mixer lids are splashed with hardened glass dyes. Color thanks to a yellow-tinted skylight.
An old stoker in a power plant that was abandoned long before the mill next to it, by all indications. Sugar mills burned dry beet pulp pellets for fuel.
Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
Most of the gauges on the control panels were broken.
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
Park Insurance Agency is no longer in business, nor would you be able to dial that phone number.
The left wall is stacked high with wooden crates holding spools. Tags hang on machines describing the last batch of silk the mill ever produced.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
In the nitrating house.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
In the ward for the criminally insane, this door was the most-worn. Nail scratches mark the area around the peep hole, the wood is gouged everywhere from thrown chairs and hard kicks, and a ominous blood-colored stain is visible where it dripped in the second inset from the bottom. Aside from the damage, the coloring in this section was very vibrant, though it was probably little reprieve for those who had to work here.
The old crane swung on windier days over the Worthington Steam Pump. This is probably last used to disassemble the antique generators, which are all now gone.
In front of a rust-welded Illinois rotary stoker is where the boiler-men made their mark. The last year I can make out is 1985.
A sign of where man met machine.
“W.N 7-30-86”. Brick Graffiti Series.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
In the grungy control room, I found a little slice that was never graffitied.
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.
#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.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
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.
Work never done.
Watching the comings and goings of doctors, nurses and new patients was a mainstay of asylum routine; one can find it easy to imagine pale faces pressed against the block glass windows, staring out at the world moving past them.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
A closeup of a flour chute.
A broken-down wooden grain chute.
A clicky-flippy clock is having some kind of malfunction.
Looking down range. You can tell where most of the rounds hit by the dark marks in the wall.
Much of the milling equipment predated the mill itself, so I would not be surprised if this particular machine really dates to 1860.
Thousands of tags in a supply closet. Each has lots its meaning.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
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.
Gary Methodist was a filmset for Transformers 3 in 2010.
Looking into the Argo Tunnel at its Idaho Springs portal. I was hoping to see tracks and a steel door, but found a busy crew of environmental workers installing a pipe between the bulkhead and new water plant.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
A detailed look at the side of one of the thousands of transformer boxes in the war city.
The individual ovens are skinny to allow even and fast heating of the whole interior. Numbers are cut into signs because no paint could withstand the heat or corrosive emissions from the coking process.
The Dock 5 sign at track level. Probably as an aid to sailors reboarding their vessels.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
Local kids probably call this the ‘Shootin’ Shack’, judging by its war wounds.
Because there’s no Port-a-John underground.
Some of the internal staircases were fitted with cages that wound round down the stairs to deter suicidal patients from taking a dive.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
Before developers saw to cut and cut the flour mills inside Pillsbury, they stood at the ready beside various purposeful chutes the traversed the floors of between sorters. These machines were belt-driven by the power of Pillsbury’s Mississippi headraces and turbines, the force of which notoriously shook the building’s foundations themselves. The wheels would change the grade of the flour, or the size of the dust produced from crushing the kernels.
The roof of the elevator was partly lit naturally with six big skylights. The less electricity pumped into a grain elevator, the less chance of a grain dust explosion.
Part of the 1917 mill that had a little bit of roof left over it–most of this building was open to the sky. The birds loved it, but everything metal was quickly becoming too unstable to walk on.
Peeling paint reveals the room numbers of the past.
These machines had embossed metal numbers marking their ends.
An insurance office.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
Don Crist ’83. Brick Graffiti Series.
On first impression it might look like a funky mailbox, but trust me on this one; it’s a flour bolter chute. In flour milling, “bolting” means sifting the flour through successively smaller screens.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
Different doors for different vehicles, I would guess. White Pine Mine used tire-based vehicles, rather than track-based, making it pretty different than other mines I’ve been to.
After crushing, these machines would float lighter material to the surface of the water, where it would be skimmed and discarded. Gold and silver laden stone would sink to the bottom, where it was collected for the next stage of processing. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Thick glass windows allow workers to check the beet juice levels in this steel tank. You can tell by the reinforcement that it had a lot of liquid and had to hold against immense pressure. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7.
A primitive intercom system connected the various wards to their respective nurse’s stations. They looked hand-made and likely originated, in part, in the FFSH carpentry shop. They were often placed high, like this one, to be out of patient reach.
A handmade sign tracks the progress through the current beet campaign. For this factory, it was about 30 years ago. Perhaps the idea was to pit shifts against each other.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
One of the many small treasures hiding in the mill…
Miscellaneous math and strange instructions remain all across the shipment section walls. Sadly, this section likely fell into disrepair before the others.
The ’59’ is just a reference to that work station. Unfortunately the scrappers beat me to this machine–there was not much left besides the 2-ton shell and this control panel.
Sugar mills have endless numbers of pipes, washers, seals, and flanges to connect all of the equipment. This is where the spare parts were all stored by size and rating.
Scrawls on the side of the beams of the ‘Pipe Shop;.
Standing between pockets 1 and 2. You brought hearing protection, right?
Hard to find your seat when it doesn’t know its own name.
Presumably, in a nuclear blast the antenna would be blown flat and pop back up, allowing communication even after a near-direct hit.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
With the maintenance door open you can see the buckets on in the vertical conveyor.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
Where workers’ pay would be doled out and collected.
Detail view of one of the fermenting tanks, still set-up for the distillery tours that no doubt took place when there last were such things. Nevertheless, the capacity of this tank multiplied across these all over the distillery floor really shows the power this company once had.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
A whiteboard in the quiet turbine room lays it all out… you should sell.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
A closeup of the now-scrapped steel chute.
The Engine House’s boiler, which would have been fired all day all day, virtually from the day the shop opened until the day it closed.
Peeling paint reveals the room numbers of the past. Kodak Trix-400 on Canon T40.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
These long curved corridors connected the wards. Locked doors on both of their ends were a security and comfort feature. Sounds and people would be sealed in their respective wards, as the hallways would act like beautiful airlocks; they were so long that it was unlikely that doors would be open on both sides at the same time. Portra 160.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
Unit 4’s lower levels.
The texture of the cracking poured concrete ore pocket is somewhere between stone and driftwood.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
The corners of these buildings are inscribed by a century of bored rail workers and delivery drivers. Pictured is the southeast corner of the Twohy, which is typical of mercantiles.
Looking across the catwalk behind the ore chutes, when they were up, and at the top of the ore chutes during loading.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
If you know what BTI stands for, please leave a comment.
Many of the higher floors were more or less demolished–usually more. These would have been condos had ‘The Arcade’ project come to fruition. Now there are simply wide open floors punctuated only by pillars and meaningless hallways.
This miner locker room has probably never been so clean.
These copulas made the iron for casting.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
Compressors and turbines over the Eagle River.
The curving corridors flanking the Administration Tower are especially ornate, though the prison-like door betrays the real purpose of the building.
A shipment board for customers that may or may not exist anymore. Let’s assume any of the products made here are probably on backorder.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
A bank of vertical filing cabinets, probably dating to National Guard days.
Jars like these were used to measure the volume of fluid pumped out of TB patients’ lungs.