Looking across a skyway at the dust-collecting funnels, one of the few pieces of equipment that haven’t been completely decimated by time and the elements.
The east side of the boiler shop sported a platform with a control booth and heavy machine mounts. Note the door that replaces the lower section of stairs for explorers.
The side of King that faces the lake is stained yellow-green.
Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
The gauges on left of frame are the steam pressure indicators for the various steam-powered components around the ship, like the steering engine and windlass motors. Below the gauges are a case of tiny wooden parts drawers… note the ancient oiling can on the locker near the upper-right corner of the frame.
On the middle level of the Poacher House. For a detailed view of the chart see ‘See Reverse’.
Rows of offices under the power plant, which was in the middle of being demolished during my adventure. Despite the snow, this was meant as an interior.
If there were no other options, operators could climb this ladder from the Communications Room to the surface, after opening two heavy steel hatches, of course.
Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.
The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.
The entry point for the painting shed on the top floor. Cars would have a few feet in between them before they entered. Separate sheds would prime and add color.
Cauterized wounds on the factory floor, where the middle of the newer mill opens up to allow massive equipment. Now the pipes are cut and the equipment is gone.
Part of the system below Dock 2.
The boiler doors are beautiful, and feature the name of the smelter and mine company. If you like these, check my article on the Mitchell Yards of Hibbing, MN.
This picture shows the challenges of moving around underground in the base.
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.
One of a few dozen steel bed frames left in the rubble of the collapsing building.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
In the upper left of the image you can see where the gas tanks used to be, along with the concentration equipment. Along the bottom you can also see some of the many railroad tracks coming and going from the plant–the ones visible here were incoming tracks that carried in hard coal from the eastern US.
Chester Creek’s lower sections change, demarking decades of change for Superior Street.
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!
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
Next to the generator room is the pump room, which moved steam around the complex.
One of the only remaining pieces of equipment in the distilling room is this green control panel on a bridge suspended in the middle of it all.
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.
These machines circulated water through the powder from the ball mills. Gold and silver is heavier than gravel, so it sinks while the junk rock floats.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
A side view of the floatation level. I found it interesting that there were little ladders and staircases in the mill to help workers get around–this place was not as shoddy as other mills I’ve seen.
This is an elevator to move mine car loads of sand to the surface for cleaning and eventually glass production. Below is a flooded equipment vault. In front and behind is a loop through the larger tunnels in the mine. The horizontal braces supported electric cables for the mine carts.
The bottom of the grain drier inside ADM-Delmar #1.
Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7
Because painted signs would not hold up in this spot–in between four ovens that were literally hot enough to melt steel inside. Solution: Cut the pipe labels into the sheet metal. Seems to have worked.
Workers would undoubtedly prefer to use the belt manlift on the right.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
Heavy steel doors to isolate the underground magnetic separation mill from Eagle Mine’s main tunnel.
Past the underground repair shop is this cliffside adit.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
After climbing the elevator shaft to the illusive second level, a new pallet of colors were revealed.
The factory was utterly vertical.
A porcelain basin in the locker room is detached, but shows excellent patina. I hope when the machine shop is repurposed that this can be saved.
And I forget just why I taste / Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile / I found it hard, it’s hard to find / Oh well, whatever, never mind (Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”)
The shed in the front was full of worker supplies–namely goggles and heavy leather gloves. Molten copper isn’t a friendly thing to handle.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
Because of the dangers of storing the materials to make explosives as well as the explosives themselves, there were earthen bunkers all across the plant like this.
A lime auger and massive feet of the lime hopper.
The power plant of the Old Crow distillery was mostly original. I didn’t have a tripod, so I had to balance my camera on the equipment there.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
Either the company was pulling parts from this evaporator to use as parts for other plants, or the last thing the workers did was to get this machine ready for the next campaign. Either way, plans changed.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
What are we to do in an emergency?
One of the early automated painting booths in the paint plant line.
Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.
A natural stone floor in Brewery Creek’s upper path has been worn smooth.
In the nitrating house.
These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
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 end of the heating line allowed glass to cool slowly, and thus be stronger.
Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.
Some small candles light one of the few surviving tunnels that once linked buildings on the campus with the steam plant. In winter, it was common for patients to be transported through these to avoid the cold, and during the Cold War these served as nuclear fallout shelters.
A huge steam pipe snakes between catwalks, through the floors, and toward the condensers, so the water could be recovered and reused.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
Fall in line, act skinny, watch out for low hanging pipes. Don’t ask me where in the maze this was… 90% of the plant looked like this; vast rooms and catwalks with crisscrossing pipes and valves.
To run new gutters through the building, some of the plaster walls of the Chateau had to be smashed through.
These copulas made the iron for casting.
Some warnings on the older battery which was visibly older than its eastern counterpart. This set of batteries had no railing between the side of the ovens and a long drop onto railroad tracks… I like this picture because it shows the effects of the heat and corrosive gasses on the area around the ovens.
Sunset through a stained window in the headhouse made the floor feel like a heavy industrial Disney movie.
A tunnel that brought heat from the power plant to the Hart House. Since that building was demolished, this only served as a fallout shelter. To my knowledge, this was never used to move bodies to the incinerator. That was probably done with a vehicle and the lower entrance to the power station, which did dispose of TB victims for some time.
A facade that tells the story of demolition and neglect. The sign on the garage door indicates that if one finds themselves there, that they enter the buildings at their own risk. If only property owners in the US took this philosophy!
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
This is the crane that would be used to lower extra-heavy bits of copper ore into the fire of the furnace.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Blue plastic siding filters the summer sun, giving the otherwise reddish-brown interior a splash of color.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
The giant radiators in this casting shop look like a flag to me.
These steam powered pumps were integral to the cooling of the meat packing plant next door.
Steam pipes squirm around the stacks.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
While walking out I snapped this last shot of the sunset drenching the castle-top watertower (staying with the theme), right before the sun dipped below the hill across the stream from which the whiskey was distilled.
Fermenters and mixing tanks fill this brewing room. The lighting is all natural, and is partially owed to a crumbling wall letting the sunset blast the interior in almost perfect profile.
Although the caves deviated little in their year-round temperature, it was common to use blocks of ice to cool beer immediately before shipment. This is the ruins of the ice chute.
The wrought iron staircase for what was the Consumer’s Brewery Brew House, as indicated by very fine cast landings with the company logo. The staircase is in bad condition; someone had run a forklift or something similar into the bottom in addition to copious vandalism and water damage. Holes in the floor, like in the upper-right corner indicate where stainless steel kettles used to be before they were scrapped.
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.
This picture is lit by a direct lightning strike of the building. It’s impossible to describe the feeling of being in this giant open building the moment it channeled an electric explosion into the earth.
The newer tunnels were fitted with these fluorescent lights, although some skylights (block glass embedded in skywalks) let in some natural light during the day.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
A century-old ghost sign for Royal House Flour was preserved after a building is built above and through it! Looking from the north annex elevator toward the headhouse.
The bottom of the stairs leading from the work floor to the cafeteria.
A typical large mine tunnel. You can just make out the narrow gauge rail.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
In this photo you see three lives of Lyric: 1.) The Art Deco murals showing the Vaudeville background; 2.) The suspended ceiling put in when the building was converted for film; 3.) The explorers, photographers and others who worked in and on the building before its final demolition.
This is a typical view of the factory; most of it was long hallways flanked by piles of equipment and access points to maintain them.
The powerhouse was notably older than the rest of the complex. I’m still not sure if it was build just for the cooperage, or whether it preceded it.
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.
Depending on the position of the valve, flour could be routed from the filtering process back into a mill.
These stairs connected some small main-level offices with one of the main sewing rooms above. Because the roof on this building was strong, it was pretty well preserved–look at those colors. Through the open fire door on the left, though, you can see that the roof has given out.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
The generator hall of the last power station, as seen from the gantryway.
When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.
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.
The engine room.
This floor of the workhouse had corkscrew conveyors–big augers–in the floor to move material around. Most of the walls that were metal were missing, leaving the concrete structure and open doors.
Goop and slop slip to drop in the shame drain.
The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.
This is a great example of a combination rock house; the silos below used to fill trains with ore dropped from mine cars pulled to the top of the structure.
C’mon and grab your friends… we’ll go to very—rusty lands…
The view from the larry, looking out at the overgrowing coke oven top. Papers listed the order of the charges for each oven, noting the sticky doors and persistent leaks. Emergency respirators and rescue gear was stored close, as long exposure to emissions from the rusty hatches could make worker pass out on the top of the ovens.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
These ceramic bricks were likely from the fireproof tunnel that connected the elevators.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
The first step of the filtering process is being spun through this tube.
This giant gear’s sole purpose was to turn the ship’s single rudder in all conditions.
Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!
Tunnels interconnected all of the complex, carrying power, steam, laundry and food throughout the hospital. This is a typical causeway that would have been very busy when the hospital was operating. In some places, signs still point to defunct areas of the hospital.
A gateway for St. Louis as seen through a gateway (of sorts) in East St. Louis.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
One of my favorite shots of the headhouse at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4, with one seagull threading the needle. The socket holes on the frame got blown out thanks to my bad developing, but I like the effect. Arista 100.
The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.
A wide view of the steam pump room, complete with pistons (taken apart for their brass), flywheels (covered in graffiti and rust) and pressure gauges (smashed apart for fun). I guess what I’m trying to say is, I was not disappointed.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
After a short rainfall douses the mill in downtown Fergus Falls, the river next to the brick walls swells and the sounds of water overtakes the echos of the nearby bars. Reflections are on the foundation of the former distribution and rail building.
So much relies on one thing stacked on top of another thing.
The middle section of the smokestacks were coal hoppers, and this device would load the coal into the hoppers from the conveyor belt it rode across. The bottom section of the stacks were storage rooms while the very top were, surprise, chimneys for the power plant.
There are so many pipes i the factory–I wonder how many people knew where they all went, in the days these machines operated at capacity.
Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.
The conveyorway between the on-site grain elevator and mill.
In a strange loft next to the brewhouse are these twin kettles, which seem much older than the main kettles in the brewhouse.
Spots of yellow gravel mark gold mines with nothing left on the surface. Is this one of the drainage pipes?
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
Every floor of the main hospital buildings had its own bathrooms. They often make obvious the fact that these buildings were intentionally built as permanent structures. Even a century after they were built, and several decades of total neglect, they were in fabulous condition.
Looking from one workhouse at another, with the other residents of Mill Hell falling into place as the distance grows. Across the rail yard you can see Froedert Malt elevator and Calumet.
The flour mill (rear) and its elevators. The taller elevator was moved here in 1955, when the Harrisons bought it from Federal, who declared it surplus. The smaller elevator replaced an earlier smaller warehouse in 1926. Taken shortly after dawn. This one picture made the drive worth it, for me. Medium Format.
The elevator works on gravity… this is where a conveyor belt was to move the grain toward the main elevator to be loaded into ships.
The only way to get to the second floor–since demolition crews punched-out the staircases and ladders leading upwards–was to climb this elevator shaft. In the lower-left corner is a blower for the foundry furnaces.
The basement of the asylum was a strange place. Take, this fireplace, for instance, in an otherwise barren room. Random cinderblock (left) has created a little room behind the fireplace. To round out the strangeness, a toilet was plumbed into the middle of the space. Note the stone foundations.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
Gloves hang in the basement of the former quality assurance labs.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
Water at the bottom of the silo was perfectly clear.
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.
This might have been part of the Pioneer Pellet Plant. It looks to be a ball mill, which pulverizes ore by spinning it with thousands of ball bearings.
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.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
There were three main stockhouses, two of which still exist, that are filled with tanks like these in addition to Fermentation. Each tank is the size of the city bus and few are left after the 2008-2009 scrapings.
Paint lines were constantly monitored through big windows. Adjustments could be made on the dedicated consoles. This is what most of the painting floor looked like.
A typical shower in the old section of the hospital. It looks a little horrifying in the harsh light of a camera flash on the thousands of little white tiles. One soap holder hadn’t been stolen yet.
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.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
Across the walls of the brick repair shop, near where men and machine entered Shaft No. 3, vines, pipes, and graffiti battle unknowingly for visual prominence.
The boiler room has four big boilers in it, which seems like overkill. No wonder this plant could supply power to the works and the town at full capacity!
Look at the floor–do you see the hole? That goes down a lonnnnnng ways.
Looking up from the ground floor at the various levels of the sugar mill.
This section of the production floor was constantly dripping. Someone had laid down giant plastic sheeting to attempt to protect the lower floors, but it hasn’t worked.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.
A machine to cast copper billets.
One of the cupola air intakes, rattled loose by the demolition downstairs, hangs stranded on the second floor. You can see that the floor I’m standing on in this picture used to extend all the way to the right wall. The blue paint on the wall made the climb absolutely worth it.
The superstructure for the sea-leg skyways serves no purpose now… the offices are bricked up, too. Why?
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
This building had its own kitchen, suggesting that it may have been one of the hospitals units within Norwich, such as the tuberculosis hospital.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
Gold, which has a relatively high mass, would drop through the slats of the sluice boxes as the water flowed over them. Around the dredge were a half dozen radiator pipes to keep the water flowing through the machines.
This side of the mill, which abuts the Great Miami River, is much older than the other side of B Street. You can tell it went through many revisions.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
A side view of the oven pusher from the ground. The tallest coal bunker looks tiny in the distance, though on the scale of the factory it’s practically on top of me as I’m taking the picture.
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.
Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
The front door to the auditorium.
Latin; to grow. Root of the English word ‘surge’.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
Without a roof, the bricks were being washed away in the later years of the roundhouse.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
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
The huge snowfalls of 2011 brought new collapses across the buildings.