At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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.
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.
A machine to cast copper billets.
This is the crane that would be used to lower extra-heavy bits of copper ore into the fire of the furnace.
One of the older buildings on the site, this is an old power house that provided electricity to the plant. I spent some time walking around it and believe it was fired with coal gas but had a diesel backup installed later.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
The final ball mill in the Chain O’ Mines concentrator. Behind it was a bucket of steel balls.
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.
The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.
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 conveyorway between the on-site grain elevator and mill.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
Steam pipes squirm around the stacks.
Island Station, in the middle of the power house, in the middle of a thunder storm. Flapping pipe covers and sheets of ran penetrating one massive arched window and blasting through the other, as winds power through the building from the Mississippi. The sound of the thunder made every length of steel squeak under the pressure.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Under the monster and its teeth.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
The superstructure for the sea-leg skyways serves no purpose now… the offices are bricked up, too. Why?
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
Chester Creek’s lower sections change, demarking decades of change for Superior Street.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
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.
Part of the system below Dock 2.
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
The bottom of the grain drier inside ADM-Delmar #1.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
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.
It was as noisy then as it is colorful now…
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.
Gloves hang in the basement of the former quality assurance labs.
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.
A few from atop the steam gauges along the western wall. The turbines were scrapped quickly after the plant closed, it seemed.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
These steam powered pumps were integral to the cooling of the meat packing plant next door.
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 first step of the filtering process is being spun through this tube.
The generator hall of the last power station, as seen from the gantryway.
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 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.
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.
C’mon and grab your friends… we’ll go to very—rusty lands…
The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.
Looking up from the industrial courtyard.
Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
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.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
Look at the floor–do you see the hole? That goes down a lonnnnnng ways.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the nitrating house.
Jet Lowe is my inspiration.
These ceramic bricks were likely from the fireproof tunnel that connected the elevators.
Watch your head, say the colors. This side of the plant is apparently still standing and is owned by the city.
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.
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.
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.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
This sawtooth roof collapsed months later under the weight of an early snow.
Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!
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.
Latin; to grow. Root of the English word ‘surge’.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
Next to the generator room is the pump room, which moved steam around the complex.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
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.
Looking up from the ground floor at the various levels of the sugar mill.
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.
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.
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.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
The sun sets in front of a huge concrete building—about four times the size of the power plant. Probably a corn storage bin from an ethanol operation that ran here in the 1980s.
So much relies on one thing stacked on top of another thing.
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 side of King that faces the lake is stained yellow-green.
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.
Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
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.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.
Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.
The metallic arms of the missile erector, which would stand rockets over the blast pit in the launch position. Medium Format film–cheap but excellent Fomapan 100 in a Pentax 67.
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.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
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.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
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.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
The sound of water running in the distance.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
This drying house was full of ventilation ducts, broken scales, and insulated carts to haul powder around the line.
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.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
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.
The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.
One of the early automated painting booths in the paint plant line.
Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.
This picture tells half the story about the size of half of the complex. For Port Arthur, it’s average, but this would be a fantastically large elevator if it were anywhere else!
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.
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.
These copulas made the iron for casting.
A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.
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!
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.
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.
The only good shot I have of the top of Battery A, in the upper left. Though it seemed to have been disused before its neighbor it had a lot less growth on it.
This picture shows the challenges of moving around underground in the base.
Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.
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.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.
Chester Creek, where it was forced to dip below the circa-1970s I-35 tunnels.
At the top of the workhouse, dust collection pipes weave through cross-crossing conveyors.
Sunset through a stained window in the headhouse made the floor feel like a heavy industrial Disney movie.
Looking up the Dominion Elevator’s tower. I especially like this picture because it shows how so much of the electrical conduits wound round through the mostly hollow space.
I love when moss grows indoors… one of the little pleasures of exploring abandonments.
In a strange loft next to the brewhouse are these twin kettles, which seem much older than the main kettles in the brewhouse.
The huge snowfalls of 2011 brought new collapses across the buildings.
Heavy steel doors to isolate the underground magnetic separation mill from Eagle Mine’s main tunnel.
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.
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.
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.
ADM-Delmar #1- Maintainance Department. The stainless steel bits are part of the grain dryer added in the 1940s. The workhouse itself (the larger tower) was a dedicated Cleaning House, meaning that grain passed through both these buildings to be rid of dust, dirt and extra moisture before storage. In the foreground is the old ADM locker room and pipe department.
Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.
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
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
Workers would undoubtedly prefer to use the belt manlift on the right.
Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
A lime auger and massive feet of the lime hopper.
Looking up at the network of elevators at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. Its train shed doors stand open under the void where conveyors should be. You can see where they used to connect on the left and right. The outside of the building is covered in racist graffiti.
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
Without a roof, the bricks were being washed away in the later years of the roundhouse.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
Water at the bottom of the silo was perfectly clear.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
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 bottom of the stairs leading from the work floor to the cafeteria.
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.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
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.
One of a few dozen steel bed frames left in the rubble of the collapsing building.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
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.
Goop and slop slip to drop in the shame drain.
Chutes connect the bottoms of the silos to a conveyor belt.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
A natural stone floor in Brewery Creek’s upper path has been worn smooth.
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.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
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.
Bits and things in a pile in the corner of the smelter, the unsold chunks of industrial history that didn’t sell at an on-site auction before my visit.
The conveyor between the shore and Dock 2. Note the gap in the aerial walkway that used to connect Dock 4 to the rest of the complex.
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!
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
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.
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.
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
This giant gear’s sole purpose was to turn the ship’s single rudder in all conditions.
Blue plastic siding filters the summer sun, giving the otherwise reddish-brown interior a splash of color.
In the Lime House, the sunset picked-up the last light of day to make this image. Lime is used in the beet sugar refinement process to reduce the acidity of the beet juice mixture.
The front door to the auditorium.
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.
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.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
A huge steam pipe snakes between catwalks, through the floors, and toward the condensers, so the water could be recovered and reused.
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.
I did not take the escape ladder to the surface, but I am told it pops up in the middle of a hill next to the missile silo doors.