rusty

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.

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.

Dryhouse

A stencil instructs the first and third shifts to ask security for access. Security was out during all my visits, except one mishap where a strung-out local chased me with a truck. Having spent a decade exploring the U.P., I was not caught off guard.

Nitrating Line

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

Cotton Monorail Two

At the top of a skyway that brought fresh-dried cotton into the Nitrating House from the Cotton Dry House. How? Monorail, of course.

Lime Silo

The powered lime hopper had a lot of levels.

Conveyor Roofs

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

Crystalizer 5

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

Perch

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

Killer Wheel

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

Corner of Globe

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

Firebox Bricks

Spare firebox bricks palleted on the second floor, is if it was going to be repaired.

The Chief Lady

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

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.

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.

Eagle Mills’ Rusty Fasade

Blue skies and rust-pocked siding contrast the high-altitude blue sky. By the time I had worked my way back to the tram, it was sunset.

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.

In the Trommel

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

Mothballing by the Numbers

When the factory’s production line was up for auction, many parts were removed, crated and labeled with big painted numbers to ease their removal by buyers. Not everything sold, however, so not one dark corner of the factory seems without a pile of dislocated industrial junk.

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.

Dock Shack I

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

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.

Right of Way

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

Hanging Duct

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.

Rooftop Panorama

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.

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.

Sea Leg Counterweight

The steel sea leg is so heavy it requires a huge counterweight that travels the height of the elevator.

Forklift

Disabled forklift… I think it’s a Clark.

Conveyor Bend

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

Dripping Rock Chute

Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.

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

Campaign Tracker

A handmade sign tracks the progress through the current beet campaign. For this factory, it was about 30 years ago. Perhaps the idea was to pit shifts against each other.

Cutler-Hammer

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

Abriss einer Stadt

Looking down Pommenicher Straße from Gaststätte Rosarius, the monstrous machine about to devour the town bites at the ground.

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.

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.

Gangway I

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

John Buzz

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.

Side of a Boiler

Christmas lights from the time Island Station was an art studio lean against a rusty boiler.

Two Scrubbers

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

Asbestos Alley

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

Green Wall

The original color of the wall was probably green.

Old Bathroom

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

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.

Approach of Dock 6 – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Workhouse III

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

Three Pulls to Freefall

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.

Shaft No. 1 Hoisting Motor

One of the pair of motors that powered this mine shaft. In the 1950s, this shaft was designated a rescue shaft, and was only maintained for emergencies. One reason that Cheratte built Shaft 3 nearby was because these motors and infrastructure did not have the capacity that the giant mine below called for.

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.

Spare Parts I

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

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.

Blending House

Blending the explosive ingredients was dangerous. It is no wonder that the blending house had so many emergency slides.

Tunnel Tiles

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

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.

Hoist House

I included this image to illustrate the height of the headgrame and the distance between it and the hoist house. Of course, compared with the depth of the mine shaft, this distance is short.

Find Texture

Much of the plant depended on steam, not only for heat but for mechanical power.

A Century at Lyric

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

Curtains

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

Please Close Windows

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

Down For Repair

Behind the evaporators are heavy access hatches to inspect the steam pipes within.

Eighth Floor Warning

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.

Far Flung Locker

Workers’ lockers, strewn across Main Street, yet still out of the way.

Portico Details

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

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.

Tealight Conveyor

One evening I spent an hour lighting tea candles through the tunnels below the elevator. It was a magical transformation.

By Pass Stokerside

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

Water Wheel I

This wheel scoops the washings from the sluice room and places it on the tailings conveyor.

Revised History

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.

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…

Spinners

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

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.

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.

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.

Quincey Flywheels

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.

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.

Mine Elevator

Two counterweighted elevators moved men between the surface, mine, and underground mill.

Spools

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

101-B

An original stencil-brushed sign.

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’.

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.

Basement Bed

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

Tailings Boom II

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

Thunder Bay Elevator- Out of Service

Beside the half-demolished Thunder Bay Elevator shops and offices (brick building) are some rusting fishing boats. A little bit of SWP #7 is seen in the upper right.

35 Ton Crane

A wimpy crane by most standards, only suitable for moving around parts of steam turbines.

Building 10

I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Vintage X-Ray

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

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.

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.

Workshop

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

Charge Car

I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.

Basket I

Cages and hooks to dry wet miner clothes.

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.

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.

Covered Door

I love the texture of the rust through the decaying yellow paint.

Workhouse II

Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

Fermenter Sixteen

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.

Shadows of Taconite Harbor on the James R. Barker

As the Barker steamed past the dock and island, the sunset casts the shadow of the Taconite Harbor receiving trestle on the boat. Through the fog, you can see some of the islands that were joined into a breakwater.

Adobe Window

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

Flooded Ford Mine Room

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.

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.

Copperless Dynamo

Looking through the center of a scrapped generator, its copper long scrapped.

Mammoth Mine, Mammoth Hill

Mammoth Mine overlooks Central City from atop Mammoth Hill. In the distance you can make out Coeur d’Alene Mine (red), which operated from 1885 through 1940.

Silk Thrower

The porcelain hoops guided the silk threads through the device.

Hopper Stopper

Powdered coal would sit in these hoppers before they get mixed with water to make a slurry. Then the mixture is injected into the firebox and ignited to make a coal-powered flamethrower capable of boiling water very quickly.

STOPlease

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

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.

Dorm Hallway

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

Rock Crusher

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

Cooperage

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

Geometric Fantasy

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

American Crane

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

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.

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.

Pilot House Pride

“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.

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.

Carved: PAIGE

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

Inside Eagle Mine III

This tunnel goes to the adit over the Eagle River Mills. I bet those carts go fast down here!

Silo I

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

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.

Water Wheel II

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

Abandoned Switch

A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.

Operator’s Chair

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

Silk Spools

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

Mill 43

Part of the 1917 mill that had a little bit of roof left over it–most of this building was open to the sky. The birds loved it, but everything metal was quickly becoming too unstable to walk on.

Lockers

Lockers for the boiler room workers.

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.

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.”

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.

Elevator Shaft

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

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.

ADM-Delmar #4- Top of the World

The spectacular, if precarious, view of downtown Minneapolis from the roof of ADM Annex 4. Note the great messages left by various graffiti artists who made it to the spot.

Turbine Bottom

Part of the Pillsbury tunnel that brought water back to the Mississippi River.

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.

Whoa! Over 200 pictures (339!) for this tag! Refresh the page for another random sampling.