A new loading shed to fill train cars.
The rear of the complex shows the more than 100 year old workhouse–still working! I do not know if the tanks are original to the 1901 elevator, but I suspect so.
Worm in the path of raw ore where it would be dumped from rock cars into the silo below.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
Prize Mine has been the victim of erosion. Its north wall is pushed in by rockfall and its south side is far from ground level.
This is one of my favorite images of the year because of the color, light and textures. Someone told me once that the medium of photographers is not film or digital sensors, but rather shadows. This photo is evidence of that.
I wonder how sheltered workers on this mid-level catwalk that follows the ore chutes is in storms. Note the chunks of concrete stuck in the catwalk grates–the pockets (right) are falling apart.
This is where the lime would spill out.
I believe these hooks were meant for hanging filters to dry.
The coal crusher (above) and the conveyor (left) to bring the powdered coal to furnace hoppers (right).
A typical wall in the base.
I love when moss grows indoors… one of the little pleasures of exploring abandonments.
On the left is the broken glass room that contains the controls for the cable spool, now gone, that sat in the metal shell on the right. The stairs led down to the hoisting engine itself. You can make out the slits where the cable ran up to the headframe tower through the gaping archway.
If it weren’t for the fact there were trees growing from it, and that I cropped out the end of the rail approach, one might think this is still used occasionally.
From an unsteady perch atop the blast furnace, the morning light began to leach into the complex below.
These corner pilings served as bumpers… a little assurance against wind, ice, and new captains.
Asbestos-cord-wrapped glass tongs piled in a shed next to the pouring line.
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.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
There isn’t an unbroken window in the entire historic complex as of 2013.
Drawn in fresh concrete about 50 years before I took this picture, and only 2 years after this elevator blew up…
The secret sweet-yet-salty center of the nameless factoryscape. Home base, tuned to rule the AC and turn out Product X at record rates, I’m sure.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
This tunnel goes to the adit over the Eagle River Mills. I bet those carts go fast down here!
The the left, the nitrating line in War City. To the right, War City’s sole suburb, Charlestown, IN.
The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.
The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.
The new steel door of the diesel car shops, built in 1948 and used through the 1960s, as seen from the service pit. On the top of the photograph you can see the exhaust vent.
This mean-looking thing had a purpose, probably, but that function has been lost to decades of expansion.
Because the shaft is nearly vertical, rocks riding inside shift a lot. To keep them from breaking down the door and raining into the shaft.
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.
This was a living space for the keepers during storms, when it was too dangerous to return to the houses on the point.
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.
Mounted in an office.
I found a face.
Disabled forklift… I think it’s a Clark.
The top of Dock 4 was too dangerous to explore, but this panorama gives you an idea of the view (and how rotten the wood was).
From the slip where grain boats would tie for loading and unloading, the unloader juts in a modernist-architectural way that is oddly visibly satisfying. Inside that white building is the retracted boat unloader, more or less a long and sturdy conveyor attached to a joint and crane motor. There used to be four loaders that looked like simple tubes with cranes and ropes attached hanging from this side of the elevator. All that remains of those is one fixture on the white building (not visible here) and the frame of one on the elevator proper, visible in the upper-middle of this image, to the right of the unloader apparatus.
A closeup of a soon-to-be-scrapped crane pulley.
Old boathouses near the dock.
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 the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.
Under the monster and its teeth.
“Against the blue sky, its rusting central silos look like rising smoke meeting the last minutes of a sunset. These give way to a corrugated night sky of blue gray, punched-through with staggered four-pane windows, all glassless.”
Looking into one of the fire slides, designed to evacuate patients extremely quickly. In 1880, a fire completely destroyed the asylum at St. Peter, Minnesota, killing 30 patients.
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.
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.
Without a conveyor belt, this tripper seems lost. The job of this machine was simply to take grains from the moving conveyor belt and eject it into the silos via the chutes on the sides. Note all the dust collection venting added to the machine to suck up any explosive grain dust.
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.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.
Looking down Pommenicher Straße from Gaststätte Rosarius, the monstrous machine about to devour the town bites at the ground.
The factory was utterly vertical.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
The porcelain hoops guided the silk threads through the device.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
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.
Looking across the whole milling operation from its dedicated powerhouse stretching across Eagle River.
Looking through perfectly clear water into an abandoned mine room. My guess is that it contained some pumps to keep the mine dry and equipment related to the elevators.
In case of fire, workers on higher floors would take the emergency slides to escape.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
The top of the docks are so rotten in places that you can see the lake through the boards. In the foreground you can see the controls for the chutes, which work on a clutch.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
Kat dancing down the trestle, which is one of the highest in the state, standing about 100 feet over the road. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
A massive steel sheer’s equally massive drive cog. Imagine the force.
Behind the evaporators are heavy access hatches to inspect the steam pipes within.
Without a roof, the bricks were being washed away in the later years of the roundhouse.
This rod mill (?) was made in Denver Colorado at a factory now buried by condos. #justdenverthings
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
A broken window looking through the First Aid Room and into the Control Room in charge of directing grain into ships. You can see one of the large conveyors on the right, clad in green. Chutes and staircases intertwine seemingly randomly through the big empty spaces.
A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The well-worn chair in one larry’s operator cab, next to an overgrown coke battery.
This low brick building is interesting to me.
A bank of vertical filing cabinets, probably dating to National Guard days.
Where the tailings boom meets the mill.
Quincy Smelter, 2014.
Part of the back of the distribution boards; the rear of a giant remote transformer switch.
This is the crane that would be used to lower extra-heavy bits of copper ore into the fire of the furnace.
Jet Lowe is my inspiration.
The last batch of molded metal stuck in the chute, this metallurgical furnace was falling apart brick by disintegrating brick b the time I got to it. On the upper floors there is a sophisticated network of vents and chimneys to make these little furnaces as hot as possible.
Cages and hooks to dry wet miner clothes.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
#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.
The first step of the filtering process is being spun through this tube.
“What’s that diamond thingy on the Pilot House?” you ask? It’s a 1920s-era radio transmission direction finder, a pre-radar navigation aid. Lit with diffused flash.
Much of the plant depended on steam, not only for heat but for mechanical power.
This is a 1956 furnace. It was used to forge wheels, casings, and parts for the axel shop.
The fantastic Art Deco portico over the main entrance to the concourse.
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.
The pilot house, lit with the lights of Superior.
At the top of a skyway that brought fresh-dried cotton into the Nitrating House from the Cotton Dry House. How? Monorail, of course.
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
An original, minimally remodeled bathroom above the cafeteria reminds us what the whole complex once looked like.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
The woman in the wall has the bed; is pulling it in; is holding you down…
A volcano (?) under a window.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
A high-ceilinged room where kegs would be delivered for cleaning, before they were refilled with fresh booze.
A vintage X-Ray machine in the oldest section of the hospital.
A fallen branch smashed out this skylight years ago, and since then the bees have found this tiny toilet a perfect home. This is part of the hotel where employees slept.
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.
One evening I spent an hour lighting tea candles through the tunnels below the elevator. It was a magical transformation.
Iron becoming dirt becoming birches.
This picture typifies the industrial ideal of the early 20th century. More metal than air. More efficiency than beauty. More profits than people.
Another ruined spiral staircase in the mill.
The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.
The end of one of the scrapped turbines. Judging by the aborted attempt at cutting it in half, the scrappers had some trouble with this one.
One of the machines left over in the underground magnetic separation plant.
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 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.
Latin; to grow. Root of the English word ‘surge’.
The bridge here moved workers between the dock, the approach tracks, and refueling buildings.
This ruined skyway looks like it should be at ground level because of the growth, but it’s actually the second floor of the building.
Looking through the trestle toward the ghost town.
Looking out from my perch close to the Kam toward the Ogilvie head house. To the left is a newer concrete annex, probably built in the years it bore the name Saskatchewan Pool 8.
Colors of the boiler room.
These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.
A quick vertical panorama taken on my back at the sweet spot of a great summer sunset. On the skylight is the torch-cut catwalk that used to link the outside of the smokestacks that vented the cupolas.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
It will be a good harvest.
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.
Outside the locker room without the sandwiches and beer… plenty of glass shards, though, if you feel like it.
The spiral staircase ends in the basement, where two oil tanks (for the lantern) and a freshwater tank (for the Keeper) were stored. The basement consists of two long arched vaults like this.
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
A string of vehicles have found death at Packard recently. Usually they are simply driving up ramps and pushed off the rooftops, but this one seemed destined for a worse fate. Found in the far corner of the far building.
Interlocking bricks at the mouth of the stoker-less boiler.
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.
The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.
A line of huge machines wait to be used as parts under a long-disused belt drive.
Where workers would sign documents and collect their pay.
The side of King that faces the lake is stained yellow-green.
One of the many blast doors. Note the plunger to seal off the airflow in the event of an attack or accidental explosion.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
Numbers on a pillar counted tank capacity for a removed water container; an unhinged door in an unhinged factory beguiles those looking for an exit.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
Part of the grain drier system in ADM #1 crawls up the side of the building like a steel vine.
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.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
The surgical suite was flooding.
Looking across the catwalk behind the ore chutes, when they were up, and at the top of the ore chutes during loading.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
Aaron by the concentrator.
This movable chute came off its rails.
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.
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 rooftop scene.
There were bins with hundreds of spools in them in the basement.
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.
A sharp turn in the coatings department twists the steel out of sight.
A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.
The original metal sign over the porticos.
A colorful makeshift wall.
Behind the factory was an old truck, blocked in by overgrown trees on one side and the buildings on the other.
The gold mine is now a gravel pit.
At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A closeup of the now-scrapped steel chute.
Much of the milling equipment predated the mill itself, so I would not be surprised if this particular machine really dates to 1860.
In the nitrating house.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
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.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
Christmas lights from the time Island Station was an art studio lean against a rusty boiler.
A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.
The stairs of this elevator had their landings removed long ago to keep vandals grounded.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
This part of the workhouse was sheathed in fiberglass, but now you can see its insides from a mile away.
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
Stained windows and sheet metal catch the sunset from across the Ohio River.
Looking down a manlift on the ore dock side of the elevator. It’s a belt-less belt-o-vator!
A printing press in the attic of the Reception Hospital.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
This steel cup on the card would move molten copper to the caster from the furnace.
The generator room was state of the art when it was installed, allowing the complex to use motors and electric lighting ahead of its competitors.
The hoist signal dangling beside the modern mine shaft would ring a bell next to the giant electric motors that would send the men and machinery into the underground.
Two counterweighted elevators moved men between the surface, mine, and underground mill.
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.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
The powered lime hopper had a lot of levels.
The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.
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 two exhaust vents coming out from the boilers en route to the stacks. Plywood marks where where catwalks were removed to extract equipment.
Pocket door and light switches in the upper control room, at the top of the spiral staircase.
Old hospital beds.
It’s never a good sign when the windows are boarded from the inside.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
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.