rusty

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.

By Pass Stokerside

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

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.

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.

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).

Moss

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

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.

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.

Blast Smelter View

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

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.

Headframe

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

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…

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.

A Century at Lyric

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

Inside Eagle Mine III

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

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.

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.

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.

Killer Wheel

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Forklift

Disabled forklift… I think it’s a Clark.

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).

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.

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.

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.”

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.

ADM-Delmar #4- Basement Bell

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.

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.

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.

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.

Gangway I

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

Comm Junction

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

Abriss einer Stadt

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

Lockers

Lockers for the boiler room workers.

Silk Thrower

The porcelain hoops guided the silk threads through the device.

Building 10

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

Water Wheel II

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

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.

Eagle Mills

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

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.

Emergency Slide

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

Perch

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

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.

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

Metal Sheer Cogs

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

Down For Repair

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

Fans

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

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.

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.

Operator’s Chair

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

Bids

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

Cutler-Hammer

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

Asbestos Alley

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

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.

Basket I

Cages and hooks to dry wet miner clothes.

Conveyor Roofs

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

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.

Trommel

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

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.

Find Texture

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

Furnace

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

Portico Details

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

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.

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.

Have One

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

Sea Leg Motor

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

Old Bathroom

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

Abandoned Switch

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

Keg Room

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

Vintage X-Ray

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

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.

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.

Tealight Conveyor

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

Spools

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

Two Scrubbers

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

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.

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.

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.

Assurgere

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

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.

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.

Rock Crusher

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

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.

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.

Not Your Corner Office

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

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.

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.

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.

Empire Bricks

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

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.

Skyway

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

Crystalizer 5

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

Payroll

Where workers would sign documents and collect their pay.

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.

Hangers On

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

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.

Front Porch

A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.

Rundblick

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

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.

354

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

Elevator Pulley

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

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.

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

Silk Spools

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

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.

Conveyor Bend

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

American Crane

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

Wilson Bros. Truck

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

Silo I

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

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.

Elevator Shaft

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

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.

Bed Rest

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

Side of a Boiler

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

Time Cards

A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.

Workhouse III

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

Spare Parts I

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

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.

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.

Mine Elevator

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

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.

Lime Silo

The powered lime hopper had a lot of levels.

STOPlease

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

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.

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.

Signal Panel

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

Adobe Window

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

Workshop

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

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.

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