rusty

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.

Port Sluice Sprays

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

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.

Dorm Hallway

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

Cave Brewery Entrance

In the far back of the cellars there are some old bottles. This arch shows an old entrance to the cellars, now collapsed.

Basket I

Cages and hooks to dry wet miner clothes.

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.

Eagle Mills

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

Cascade Room

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

Tealight Conveyor

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

Elevator Pulley

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

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.

Firebox Bricks

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

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.

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.

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.

Blast Smelter View

From an unsteady perch atop the blast furnace, the morning light began to leach into the complex below.

Two Chairs

The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.

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.

Vintage X-Ray

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

In the Trommel

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

Asbestos Alley

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

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

Headframe Eyes

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Lime Silo

The powered lime hopper had a lot of levels.

Assurgere

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

Tailings Boom II

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

Dock 5L

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

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.

Water Wheel I

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

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.

The Freedom – Brahm

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

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.

Two Scrubbers

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

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.

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.

Snaking Stack

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

Workhouse II

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

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.

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.

Industry + Aurora

A nice view of the aurora borealis (“Northern Lights”) strong enough to outshine the industrial lighting at the power plant. The lights in the foreground direct ships discharging coal for the station.

Evaporator

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

Abriss einer Stadt

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

Covered Door

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

Crank on Dock 4

Exploring Dock 4 was a very different experience, since it was almost all metal.

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.

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.

Not Your Corner Office

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

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.

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.

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.

Blending House XXX

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

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.

Sea Leg Motor

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

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.

Wilson Bros. Truck

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

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.

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.

This Way and That

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

Comm Junction

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

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.

Gauges

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

Moss

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

Chute A-6

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

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.

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.

Mine Elevator

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

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.

Carved: PAIGE

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

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.

Old Bathroom

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

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.

American Crane

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

Silo I

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

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.

101-B

An original stencil-brushed sign.

Killer Wheel

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

Gas Pump

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

Furnace

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

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.

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.

Turbine Bottom

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

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.

Conveyor Roofs

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

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.

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.

Trommel

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

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.

Cutler-Hammer

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

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.

Down For Repair

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

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’.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cupola Closeup

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.

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.

35 Ton Crane

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

Metal Sheer Cogs

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

Bed Rest

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

Spare Parts I

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

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.

Inside Eagle Mine III

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

Last Trace of Mitchell, Minn.

The last trace of Mitchell, Minnesota is a pile of cans on the side of the main street, Mitchell Avenue. These will be recognizable for another century or so, for future history-minded explorers.

Copperless Dynamo

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

Lockers

Lockers for the boiler room workers.

Forklift

Disabled forklift… I think it’s a Clark.

Conveyor Bend

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

Blending House

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

Spools

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

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.

Firebox

The pipes in the boiler would be full of water, so the heat in the furnace.

Emergency Slide

In case of fire, workers on higher floors would take the emergency slides to escape.

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.

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.

Time Cards

A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.

Right of Way

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

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.

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.

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.

Gangway I

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

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Skyway

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

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…

Dock Shack I

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

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.

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.

Signal Panel

Pocket door and light switches in the upper control room, at the top of the spiral staircase.

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