pipes

Weekend’s Worth

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.

Workhouse Pipes

At the top of the workhouse, dust collection pipes weave through cross-crossing conveyors.

The Freedom – Brahm

A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.

Huron-Portland Cement, Duluth Plant

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!

Tunnel Light

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.

Distillery Floor

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.

Gas Pump

Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.

Tank

The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.

Distiller Control Panel

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.

SWP4- The Monster’s Mouth

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.

Old Ward

Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.

Refrigeration Pump

These steam powered pumps were integral to the cooling of the meat packing plant next door.

Tunnel Tiles

These ceramic bricks were likely from the fireproof tunnel that connected the elevators.

Spare Parts II

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.

Direct Lightning Strike

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.

Old Coke Power House

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.

Engine Room Arch

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.

Escape Hatch

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.

Under Dock Two

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.

Missile Arm (Fomapan 100)

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.

Firedoor

Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!

Cloverleaf Smelter Boilers

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.

Boiler Row

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!

Battery Run

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.

Consumer’s Grand Stair

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.

Escape Ladder

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.

Boiler Blowers

While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.

Port Sluice Room

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.

Offices

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.

Above the Stacks

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.

Sifters with Manlift

On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.

Collector 4

Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.

Pump Room

Next to the generator room is the pump room, which moved steam around the complex.

Swirl – (C)SUBSTREET

Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!

Boiler Room

Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.

Oven Battery

Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.

Mill Tram Doors

Heavy steel doors to isolate the underground magnetic separation mill from Eagle Mine’s main tunnel.

Biking Past Bunkers

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.

Train Shed

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!

Warehouse Foundations

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.

The Original Tumblr

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.

Steam Downstream

In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.

Floatation Floor

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.

Building 402

Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.

White Shadows

Looking up from the ground floor at the various levels of the sugar mill.

headFrame of Mind

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.

These Things Fall

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.

Snaking Stack

A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.

Waders Where

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.

ADM-Delmar #4- Head to Head

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.

Film: Gold Floatation

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

Hot Metal Trench

The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.

ADM-Delmar #1- Maintainance Department.

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.

Autokiln Pipes

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.

Second Floor

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.

Production Floor Clock

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.

SWP4- From the Annex (Arista 100)

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.

Hallway, or Tunnel?

The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.

Kabelkanal

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.

Wiggle

Steam pipes squirm around the stacks.

Auger

A lime auger and massive feet of the lime hopper.

Rock Mill

The final ball mill in the Chain O’ Mines concentrator. Behind it was a bucket of steel balls.

A Factory Wants

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.

Water Dry House

This drying house was full of ventilation ducts, broken scales, and insulated carts to haul powder around the line.

The Danger Line

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.

Ratimis – Brahm

The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.

Devan

Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.

Broken Dust Pipe

It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.

Peeling Pistons – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Grain Feeds

I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.

Auger Floor

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.

It’s What’s For Dinner

This building had its own kitchen, suggesting that it may have been one of the hospitals units within Norwich, such as the tuberculosis hospital.

Whiskey Country Sunset

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.

Ford Motors Mine Elevators

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.

Lever

Depending on the position of the valve, flour could be routed from the filtering process back into a mill.

Teenage Art Gallery

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”)

Door I

The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

Pool 8 Door

The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.

Steam Valves

The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.

Moss

I love when moss grows indoors… one of the little pleasures of exploring abandonments.

Top Floor

Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.

Dust Collectors in Color

Sunset through a stained window in the headhouse made the floor feel like a heavy industrial Disney movie.

Lower Brewery Creek

Chester Creek’s lower sections change, demarking decades of change for Superior Street.

Marked Doors

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.

Old Exterior Wall

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.

Floatation Stairs

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.

Freezing Steam Tunnel

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.

This Way and That

Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.

Blue Wall

After climbing the elevator shaft to the illusive second level, a new pallet of colors were revealed.

Pipe Reference

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.

Fume Lines

One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.

Distilling Room

The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.

Half Demolished Boilers

Easier-to-demolish parts of the power plant were torched apart. Catwalks to nowhere meant lots of dead ends.

Trommel

The first step of the filtering process is being spun through this tube.

Covered in Coke Dust

Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.

Carrie Tower

Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.

Egomaniac – Brahm

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.

LEMP Elevator

Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!

Group Shower

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.

Machine Stand – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Yeast Stairs

A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.

Boiler Intakes

Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.

Sewing Room Stairs

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.

Film: Vapor

Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7

Loading Tubes

These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.

Brewery Creek Waterfall

Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.

Car Elevator Portal

This is what it might have looked like if a new Ford descended in the elevator with its headlights on. As seen from the Mississippi side–the opposite portal faces the sand mine.

Beet Levels

This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.

Assurgere

Latin; to grow. Root of the English word ‘surge’.

Sun-Shined Ice

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.

Catwalk, Looking Up

The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.

Port Sluice Sprays

Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.

Rudder Controls

This giant gear’s sole purpose was to turn the ship’s single rudder in all conditions.

Turbine Room

A few from atop the steam gauges along the western wall. The turbines were scrapped quickly after the plant closed, it seemed.

Paint Control

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.

Dorm Hallway

Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.

Basement Bed

One of a few dozen steel bed frames left in the rubble of the collapsing building.

INAAP Lighting Storm

Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.

Under #203

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.

Collapsed Outfall

A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Mill Tram

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.

Vines in the Workshop

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.

Starch Line

On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.

Made Indy

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.

Ice Chute Lights

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.

Comm Junction

The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.

Torched Feeds

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.

Decorative Cast Iron Sink

Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!

Nopeming Steam Tunnel

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.

Water Tower

The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.

Lockers

Lockers for the boiler room workers.

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Milling

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.

Evaporator

Blue plastic siding filters the summer sun, giving the otherwise reddish-brown interior a splash of color.

Westinghouse Stokers

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.

Storm Station

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.

Dominion- Cracked Skylight

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.

Paint Line

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.

Old Tanks

Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.

Tunnel Cart

A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.

Coke Batter B Control

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.

Ben

The conveyorway between the on-site grain elevator and mill.

Dust Funnels

Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.

Time Cards

A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.

Hot Mess

Looking up from the industrial courtyard.

Workshop

Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.

Bedrock Drain

A natural stone floor in Brewery Creek’s upper path has been worn smooth.

Evaporator Innards

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.

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