rusty

Silk Spools

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

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.

In the Trommel

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

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.

Basket I

Cages and hooks to dry wet miner clothes.

Mine Elevator

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

Headframe Eyes

Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.

Evaporator

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

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.

The Freedom – Brahm

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

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.

Workhouse II

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

Nitrating Line

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

Two Chairs

The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.

Bottom of the Barrel

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

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.

Curtains

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

Bids

A bank of vertical filing cabinets, probably dating to National Guard days.

Please Close Windows

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

Tealight Conveyor

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

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.

MPE3- 3 Ship

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.

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.

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.

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.

Silo I

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

Keg Room

A high-ceilinged room where kegs would be delivered for cleaning, before they were refilled with fresh booze.

This Way and That

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

Lockers

Lockers for the boiler room workers.

RotoGrate Technicolor

A colorful boiler is a happy boiler! RotoGrate systems remove ashes from the boiler firebox by revolving the bottom of the system to let the fly ash drop into a hopper. This greatly increases boiler efficiency.

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.

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.

Comm Junction

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

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.

Abandoned Switch

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

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.

Cables, Gangways, and Booms

The bottom of the tailings boom is rotten. In days when the dredge, floated, gangways connected it to shore, it seemed. You can see the size of the pontoons under the boat here.

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.

Copperless Dynamo

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

Elevator Pulley

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

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.

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.

Cascade Room

Sarah below Cascade Park. This space was destroyed when the park flooded.

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.

Rundblick

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

Forklift

Disabled forklift… I think it’s a Clark.

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.

Dripping Rock Chute

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

Rotten Dock

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.

Crystalizer 5

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

Furnace

This is a 1956 furnace. It was used to forge wheels, casings, and parts for the axel shop.

Dynamo

A closeup inside the mill’s power room.

Turbine Bottom

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

Elevator Shaft

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

Snaking Stack

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

Find Texture

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

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.

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

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.

Killer Wheel

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

Wilson Bros. Truck

Behind the factory was an old truck, blocked in by overgrown trees on one side and the buildings on the other.

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.

Gangway I

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

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.

Lost Time – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Bridge to Factory

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

Assurgere

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

Cooperage

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

Water Wheel I

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

Not Your Corner Office

Outside the locker room without the sandwiches and beer… plenty of glass shards, though, if you feel like it.

Hangers On

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

By Pass Stokerside

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

Tunnel Tiles

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

Furnace 59

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.

Carved: PAIGE

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

Moss

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

Diesel Doors

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.

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.

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.

Empire Bricks

Interlocking bricks at the mouth of the stoker-less boiler.

Payroll

Where workers would sign documents and collect their pay.

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.

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.

Cutler-Hammer

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

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).

Rock Crusher

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

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.

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.

354

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

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.

A Century at Lyric

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

Tailings Boom II

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

Side of a Boiler

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

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.

STOPlease

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

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.”

440 Volts

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.

Down For Repair

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

Vintage X-Ray

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

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.

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.

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.

Chute A-6

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

Water Wheel II

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

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.

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.

Spools

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

Time Cards

A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.

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.

Operator’s Chair

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

Fans

Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.

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.

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.

Portico Details

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

MPE3- Tripper

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Skyway

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

Dorm Hallway

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

Covered Door

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

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…

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.

Two Economies

HDR matrix panorama. Looking from the grain elevators, now doomed, toward the city between the flour mill’s water tower and tile elevator’s neon sign, the old and new economies seem almost united. Yet the financial centers rise in reality to shadow the now-abandoned industry and manufacturing. The way of things, I’m told.

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.

Adobe Window

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

Lime Silo

The powered lime hopper had a lot of levels.

Silk Thrower

The porcelain hoops guided the silk threads through the device.

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.

Frick

Two small generators connected to a Frick steam engine.

Spinners

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

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.

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.

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.

Far Flung Locker

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

Green Wall

The original color of the wall was probably green.

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.

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.

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.

Bed Rest

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

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.

I-Beam Extending Into Basement

Holes were cut into the floor to extract equipment from the basements. it was interesting to see the I-beams extending through all the levels of Studebaker.

Dock 5L

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

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.

Firebox Bricks

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

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