rusty

Herb 54 (Worker Graffiti)

Drawn in fresh concrete about 50 years before I took this picture, and only 2 years after this elevator blew up…

In the Trommel

Looking through the washer that is the first stop for the dredgings.

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.

Crystalizer 5

A line of huge machines wait to be used as parts under a long-disused belt drive.

Cutler-Hammer

Part of the back of the distribution boards; the rear of a giant remote transformer switch.

Pilothouse

The dredge is divided into four levels. The top level has controls for the tailings boom and, when it was there, the bucket excavator.

Conveyor Roofs

One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.

Cooperage

One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.

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.

Keeper’s Station Quarters

This was a living space for the keepers during storms, when it was too dangerous to return to the houses on the point.

Vintage X-Ray

A vintage X-Ray machine in the oldest section of the hospital.

Presses

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.

Right of Way

A washout two thirds of the way down the tram gave me a place to relax in the thin air.

Port Sluice Sprays

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

Nitrating Line

The the left, the nitrating line in War City. To the right, War City’s sole suburb, Charlestown, IN.

Storage Vault Door

One of the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.

By Pass Stokerside

A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.

Hoist Room Panorama

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.

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.

Chute A-6

Atop Elevator ‘M’, formerly Cargill ‘O’.

Silk Spools

There were bins with hundreds of spools in them in the basement.

Carved: PAIGE

In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.

Blending House XXX

An emergency slide to help workers evacuate the blending house in an emergency.

Almost There

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.

Milwaukee Road Boxcar

Just across the North Dakota border, a rusty Milwaukee Road boxcar sits where it was shoved off the mainline. The grain elevator in the background marks the tracks, which is still used by BNSF.

Asbestos Alley

This is the crane that would be used to lower extra-heavy bits of copper ore into the fire of the furnace.

Mine Levels

Levers and indicators to control and track the path of mine cars moving up and down the mine shaft. Note the mine depth indicators would trace paper… this is because the steel cables stretch out over time, so the line length changes with the years.

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.

Paint Shop

Different doors for different vehicles, I would guess. White Pine Mine used tire-based vehicles, rather than track-based, making it pretty different than other mines I’ve been to.

Dynamo

A closeup inside the mill’s power room.

From the Old Mill

This is part of the oldest section of factory, one that hasn’t had a roof in a long time and all usable equipment has been extracted. The machines pictured would spin sliced beets in boiling water… it was a sealed system before someone cut holes on sides of each unit.

Workhouse I

On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

Trommel

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

Aimless Spiral

This spiral staircase isn’t doing Lemp much good–maybe they’ll let me have it! I do love, though, that there is a door going to it–without walls–and it ascends to a second floor that doesn’t exactly exist anymore.

Time Cards

A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.

Bottom of the Barrel

A sheik mustard-yellow paint scheme across the roofless engine house goes great with the industrial moss and rust.

Power Plant

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.

Mine Level Indicator

The main shaft’s cable spooled with bird castings belies the fact that lives used to dangle from its steel-wound strength. Arrows on the circles would indicate the mine level the cars were currently at.

Electric Steel- Workhouse

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.

Turbine Casing

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.

Please Close Windows

Wind blew taconite dust against the walls of these suspended control room, making even the glass appear to rust.

Killer Wheel

This mean-looking thing had a purpose, probably, but that function has been lost to decades of expansion.

Prize Mine, Facing Dogtown

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.

Built 1860

Much of the milling equipment predated the mill itself, so I would not be surprised if this particular machine really dates to 1860.

STOPlease

The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.

Adobe Window

It’s never a good sign when the windows are boarded from the inside.

Water Wheel II

A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.

Corner of Globe

The corner of the elevator… lumber armored with steel for fireproofing and water resistance.

Two Chairs

The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.

Hangers On

A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.

Tailings Boom II

…a better view of the huge tailings boom stretching outside of the tailings pond.

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.

Barge Loader

Looking from the crane-motor catwalk into the Calumet. The arm shown here with the pulleys looped through it would have been lowered and the bucket conveyor in it would throw grain to waiting ships and boats bound for flour mills and foreign lands.

Chute-Side Catwalk

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.

Geometric Fantasy

The coal crusher (above) and the conveyor (left) to bring the powdered coal to furnace hoppers (right).

Studebaker in HDR

At sunset the light skips from puddle to stagnant puddle across the whole foundry room, playing with the classic sawtooth roof with half-hearted shadows.

Lyons Boiler

Installed in 1904 at the center of the plant, this is one of two batteries of boilers. Being in Oshkosh, heat was very important to keeping labor moving in the cold months.

354

Looking across the catwalk behind the ore chutes, when they were up, and at the top of the ore chutes during loading.

Skeletal Skyway

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.

Puffer by Bibio

The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.

Dock 4 Panorama

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).

Mine Evacuation Alarm

The shaft house, where hydraulic steel doors allowed or denied entry into the mine shaft. Overhead is a light and alarm. If it sounds, the mine is being evacuated, and you best not go in and best stay the hell out of the way. Locals dump tires here, now.

Two Vents at Four

The two exhaust vents coming out from the boilers en route to the stacks. Plywood marks where where catwalks were removed to extract equipment.

Forklift

Disabled forklift… I think it’s a Clark.

Assurgere

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

Spiral Staircase

This picture is perhaps the most appropriate in its visual depiction of how unstable the mill was. 1. Note the lack of stairs on the spiral staircase; they’re rusted and twisted apart, not simply cut off. 2. Notice the cracked concrete on the lower left corner; that was cracking as I was standing on it taking this photo, and don’t think there’s anything under that to begin to stop one’s fall. 3. You’re looking into an open elevator shaft; its safety cage is sliced away and wide open.

197

In the mine offices, hooks and a board with numbers was the system to keep track of who was in the mine and who was safe.

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.

Curtains

This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.

Feb Forever – Brahm

The south wall of the power plant. Its sheet metal skin couldn’t fit around the structure, it seems… note the very strange protruding superstructure.

Portico Details

The fantastic Art Deco portico over the main entrance to the concourse.

LP Hand Warmer

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

Gas Pump

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

Blast Door II

One of the many blast doors. Note the plunger to seal off the airflow in the event of an attack or accidental explosion.

Avanti Elevator

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.

Ogilvie’s Fez

When I first saw Ogilvie’s from the ground, I promised myself to look back when i found my way into this little pitched outcropping which seemed to have the best view of Thunder Bay I could imagine. It turns out, though, that there is no floor in that section; it is just extended machine access! Oh well. Mount McKay in the background in the last light.

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.

Fisher Locker

#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.

Spare Parts I

This steel cup on the card would move molten copper to the caster from the furnace.

Rust-Shut Grain-Thrower

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.

Workhouse III

This part of the workhouse was sheathed in fiberglass, but now you can see its insides from a mile away.

Eagle Mills

Looking across the whole milling operation from its dedicated powerhouse stretching across Eagle River.

Silos Like a Sunset

“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.”

Dock Shack I

Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.

Rock Crusher

These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.

Basket I

Cages and hooks to dry wet miner clothes.

Gangway I

A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.

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.

Metal Sheer Cogs

A massive steel sheer’s equally massive drive cog. Imagine the force.

1917 Mill

The oldest part of this mill had a wooden roof that rotted away long ago. Slowly, rust is dulling the edge on every cog left behind.

Roof Door

When I moved from the roof back into the upper floors of the distillery, the plants growing out of the masonry caught my eye. It’s 60 feet up, but looks like it could be an old wall.

God Loves Lime

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.

Lighthouse Basement

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.

Shaft No. 3 Hoist Shell

Looking through the an access panel at the hoist room for Shaft No. 3. The cable had long ago been scrapped, along with the motors to drive the pulleys. I still admire the workmanship on the spool’s arching metal shell.

Perch

Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.

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.

Have One

My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.

Overhang

This picture gives you the idea of how the boat-loading control rooms are set up; they lean over the dock and Lake Superior to be able to see down into the holds of the boats… important, considering how quickly it loaded the boats! An uneven load could put stress on the hull of a laker, increasing the risk it will break and sink.

Elevator Pulley

Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.

American Crane

A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.

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.

Old Bathroom

An original, minimally remodeled bathroom above the cafeteria reminds us what the whole complex once looked like.

Dock 5L

One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.

Skyway

The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.

A Century at Lyric

After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.

Rundblick

A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!

Fire Slide

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.

Silo I

At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

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.

Ghost Truck

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.

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.

Conveyor Bend

A sharp turn in the coatings department twists the steel out of sight.

War City Power

From the bottom of the skyway I looked back, my eyes tracing the vines from the marsh up the smokestacks to the perfect Midwestern sky.

Sea Leg Motor

The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.

Machine Shop Crane

An interesting crane in the back of the machine shop. It seems very light duty, so I am not certain what it was used for.

Operator’s Chair

The well-worn chair in one larry’s operator cab, next to an overgrown coke battery.

Two Scrubbers

The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.

Bed Rest

Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.

Spinners

A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.

Old Kettles

In a strange loft next to the brewhouse are these twin kettles, which seem much older than the main kettles in the brewhouse.

Sinterband 3

The control room for the whole of the plant. Sinterband here means one of the sintering lines. Temperatures, gasses, mixtures, speeds, and so on were centrally controlled here.

Signals

In case power was lost, this manual signal could direct trains on and off the taconite trestle. Turning the pole would change the color of the light on top and the shape of the metal flags.

Elevator Shaft

The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.

Moss

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

Headframe

There isn’t an unbroken window in the entire historic complex as of 2013.

Bridge to Factory

One of the many fireproof bridges connecting the factory sections, one way to prevent fires from spreading throughout the plant.

Snowed In Dryhouse

The UP gets a lot of snow, making exploring its old mines a special challenge in the winter. The snow is more than 6 feet deep in this picture, and firm enough to walk on.

Rubber-Lined Cars

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.

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.

Ogilvie Headhouse

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.

Gauges

In the grungy control room, I found a little slice that was never graffitied.

Paradies

Looking out the finishing end of the sintering plant at a network of torched-off catwalks through a maze of rust and asbestos. Paradise.

Spools

This picture typifies the industrial ideal of the early 20th century. More metal than air. More efficiency than beauty. More profits than people.

Hoist Operator Booth

Peering through the glass in the Hoist Operator’s cab, stained with graffiti. The cable and reels can be seen through the glass… these are now gone.

Down the Boom

Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.

Midock

The holes were for men to poke reluctant ore with long poles, with the hope that a lucky jab would let the load slide down into the boat below. Now they’re just traps.

Kernel Crusher

When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.

Workmen’s Compensation

Funny how sensitive modern English speakers have become to gendered language. I doubt the workers here–almost all female–were offended by this posting for ‘Workmen’s Compensation’.

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