This gives you a sense for what it looks like to stand on the roof of the main production building at sunset.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
The pits have long since been filled so the roundhouse could be used for storage.
The pitch of the roof is more typical for areas with lots of snow—not the border of Ohio and Kentucky. So, I assume this roofline accommodated some equipment inside for trains—note the tracks.
Electric Steel’s bins reflect the sunset.
These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.
ADM overshadows the Meal Elevator. The cleared area behind is now home to Surley Brewery.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
On the boarded-up first floor of the house proper near the door to the chapel, the last pew sites next to a wet box of Bibles.
This is what the mine shops look like from the road between Gaastra, MI and Rogers Location (formerly Bates, MI). The community was renamed for the mine, probably under the heavy influence of M.A. Hanna.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
The valley is full of rocky peaks that stand out from the winding creeks, which only truly run after storms. It is a very beautiful place.
The vibrant colors clashed with the silent hotel.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
On the outside of the steel silos and headhouse is a riveted bulge that does not look like the silos. Inside is this elevator, a rudimentary (read: dangerous) and old (read: dangerous) freight elevator.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
The Beeghley was launched in 1958… you can see it unloading limestone here with its retrofitted self-unloader. Update: This ship has been renamed the ‘James L. Oberstar’ after the Minnesota Senator. [Read more on Boardnerd.com here: http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/oberstar.htm]
In the corner of the former school grounds…
The steam-powered hoist that pulled ore and dropped men from the mine. Note the hydraulic-operated brake on top with its massive brake pad. Now scrapped.
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.
Miller Creek, in one of the wider sections that features a trout (as in the fish) canal in the middle of the drain. Even though it is underground, the fish are able to visit their breeding ponds upstream by swimming through the specially designed tunnel.
One of the older buildings on the site, this is an old power house that provided electricity to the plant. I spent some time walking around it and believe it was fired with coal gas but had a diesel backup installed later.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
In the ward for the criminally insane, this door was the most-worn. Nail scratches mark the area around the peep hole, the wood is gouged everywhere from thrown chairs and hard kicks, and a ominous blood-colored stain is visible where it dripped in the second inset from the bottom. Aside from the damage, the coloring in this section was very vibrant, though it was probably little reprieve for those who had to work here.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
Shadows of the rusty trestle and cold control towers on the Barker. Workers are preparing to swing over the sides of the boat to help secure her to the Minnesota Power dock.
The layout and design of the buildings reminded me strongly of a brewery or distillery. To the right you can see some of the retrofits by the first lumber company to buy the buildings, in the 1970s.
Looking toward Duluth from the top of a Dock 1 light tower. NP Dock 1 is on the left… an earlier competitor to Allouez. The stars reflect on Lake Superior.
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.
Pozo Mine, the most menacing mine building I’ve ever seen. Black and white film, shot with the Fuji GX680, a beast of a camera.
A portrait of the second school of McConnell, built in 1937.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
Either the company was pulling parts from this evaporator to use as parts for other plants, or the last thing the workers did was to get this machine ready for the next campaign. Either way, plans changed.
Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple; Open the door and see all the people; Here’s the parson going upstairs; Here he is saying his prayers…
The white mark allowed for a manual RPM check on this big steel flywheel on the ground floor. Note how dark the bottom level of the mills is—that’s because all of the equipment is blocking out the light.
A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
This is one of the modern nurse’s stations where the last inpatients lived in the mid-2000s. The windows are thick shatterproof plastic. I am unsure why the suspended ceiling is missing.
Thunder Bay Elevator, now stands without a headhouse. Around the silos, a few shacks still stand.
The primitive chair caught the falling plaster.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
As photographed from a cement piling for Slip #3 poured in 1935, disconnected from land by erosion. How do I know the date? A pair of steamship engineers carved their initials and ranks into the wet cement!
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
It was interesting that, even though storms had carried the wooden walkway that stretched under the dock, these piles of spilled taconite remain where they had dropped.
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.
The flour mill (rear) and its elevators. The taller elevator was moved here in 1955, when the Harrisons bought it from Federal, who declared it surplus. The smaller elevator replaced an earlier smaller warehouse in 1926. Taken shortly after dawn. This one picture made the drive worth it, for me. Medium Format.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
Seven TV sets and not one shows my reflection. I’d also like to point out not two of these are the same.
Looking up at the network of elevators at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. Its train shed doors stand open under the void where conveyors should be. You can see where they used to connect on the left and right. The outside of the building is covered in racist graffiti.
The roof of the elevator was partly lit naturally with six big skylights. The less electricity pumped into a grain elevator, the less chance of a grain dust explosion.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
This was one of two skyways that went between production line offices. It’s easy to tell because it’s not reinforced for machinery to travel through it. I also like that it’s a double-decker, so to speak.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
Beautiful doors separated the boiler room and the sugar mill. Can you imagine the gracefully curving steps in a power plant today?
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
Pipe fittings in little drawers, lit by tea lights.
One side of the street is demolished. The other is not.
From factory to skate park to restaurant. This is in the skate park stage. The buildings to the right are demolished now, and in their place are hockey rinks.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
This is my favorite wallpaper in the whole hotel.
When Nopeming was affiliated with local farms, it often slaughtered its own livestock. This is the part of the hospital where food would be prepped, below the stage in the Service Building.
He had the knees of a stallion. RIP.
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.
The BOMARC launch buildings are spaced on a large concrete pad that looks like a parking lot. Out of view are underground pipes for fueling and cooling the rocket motors.
The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
A single metal emergency slide rusts away at sunrise.
These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
The iron holding up the plaster ceiling is rusted to the point the weight of it is bending it right over.
My favorite shot of the 17-story Art Deco office tower attached to the train station.
Not necessarily a children’s room.
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
This floor of the workhouse had corkscrew conveyors–big augers–in the floor to move material around. Most of the walls that were metal were missing, leaving the concrete structure and open doors.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.
The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.
The hospital was surrounded by walking paths that crisscrossed the front green, as it was called. Part of Kirkbride’s plan was to have ample opportunities for exercise outdoors–fresh air, especially cold fresh air, was thought to have curative properties.
A damaged roof channeled rain onto the adobe walls, cutting them in half. In the distance, a preserved house and the ruins of the Colmor School.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
Indianapolis’ beautiful downtown is in the distance, past the gas storage tank.
Gold, which has a relatively high mass, would drop through the slats of the sluice boxes as the water flowed over them. Around the dredge were a half dozen radiator pipes to keep the water flowing through the machines.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
This was not always the top of the elevator.
A big sliding fire door opens onto a train dock.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
Where staff could sleep.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
The building behind Daisy was demolished, leaving these tanks and a pointless conveyorway. Now it’s bricked (see over door near right corner of mill) and the tanks are exposed to the elements. There are a few holes in the area that have a healthy drop, so you should avoid the area.
The railing were jealous of both the bricks and bits, and chose instead to dissolve like this.
The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.
One of two projectors, still set to run old 3D flicks.
One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.
Standing on the ruins of the former sister dock, looking back at the soon-to-be-demolished family member. The pilings I stood on for the shot were those of the Chicago and North Western RR #3 which was dismantled in 1960 and used to be 2,040-feet long.
Though it’s a little unclear what control station controlled what function, these levers seemed to relate to some of the bigger equipment inside the dredge, such as the trommel.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
A typical room in Birtle.
Shadows cast by the ropes, counterweights, and backdrops.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
This room on the top floor of one of the oldest buildings has seemingly not changed since it was adapted for employee use. Some sections of the hospital were adapted for staff to live in. Paying Patient Ward–where capable patients were separated from wards of the state.
Typical bunk rooms in MS-20.
This is the far interior of the hotel, where the darkness made the shag carpet seem to move whenever the trees outside swayed. That is to say, constantly.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
On top of the light hoop, 160-feet up, a ship comes into port, ready to load-up. If you look really close, you can see my shadow cast on the dock below, courtesy of the full moon.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
The workshop sat below the main working floor and had serious power going to it.
The sun sets in front of a huge concrete building—about four times the size of the power plant. Probably a corn storage bin from an ethanol operation that ran here in the 1980s.
A super-shallow depth of field shot on the Leica Summilux.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
The cemetery for the old asylum is, sadly, largely unmarked. Only in recent years has there been a real effort to locate and identify the remains there.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
The most pointless, beautiful and nuclear-bomb-proof catwalk I’ve been on to date. It goes between two high levels in its own bottom-lit concrete capsule in the center of the tallest, thickest building. Hang on, we’re riding this one out.
Camera: Pentax 67. Film: Kodak Ektar 100.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
A storm passes over BOMARC’s center row of launch buildings. You can clearly see the tracks on which the roof would retract for launch.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
Shadows of the timberwork and cribbing are cast across cracked lake ice. My footprints follow cat tracks.
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
The hoist room, before it was used for storage.
Algae grows where water flows/From the sawtooth roof/To the mines below/The sun climbs high/But is in no one’s eyes/A wall alone crumbles/It was no suprise
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
The second most important building at Prize Mine.
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
Approaching the tunnel I heard about for so long…
…a little close for comfort.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
Peering out of the porthole of the light tower, I saw the shadow of the station on the lake.
The rumors were true. Success is sweet.
Sunrise in SEMI. The shadow of Kurth Malt is cast across ADM-Delmar #1. Clouds behind ADM-Delmar #4 light up. It’s cold and the air smells like train grease.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
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
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
A super-long exposure of the side of the middle of Daisy Elevator, built in 1927. The oldest silos are closest to the mill and date to 1916. They were expanded toward Superior in 1927 and 1941. The total capacity is about 500,000 bushels.
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.
I found a face.
Grand Army, as seen from a Gilman Tram grade.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
Bayard Sugar Mill, as seen from the old power plant
You can see why so few products had bright packaging. If the can here was brown, you’d never see it in a dark wood cabinet.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
The elevator near the offices seemed a day’s work away from being operational
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
The sun lowered behind the dead flour mill, bending its image upon itself.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
This was the exterior wall of the roundhouse; engines would have entered on the other side and machinery would line this side, hence the big windows for natural light.
The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.
A typical building from the expanded starch line.
The meticulously tiled dry house shower floor–cracked by frost.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
Fergus Falls State Hospital. Well, technically moonlight… but a with stars nonetheless! The orange glow from the left and in the rear of the building are exterior lights on associated–former State Hospital–buildings. All other light is from the full moon that evening.
A new loading shed to fill train cars.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
While the last of the Studebaker production buildings were being demolished, I visited again. Here’s a shot taken shortly after the demolition crew left for the day.
The nitrating house was a chemically dangerous place, so it had thick metal and concrete shield for every station right next to an emergency shower.
The top floor of the apartment seemed so empty without the furniture that once adorned it. Instead, my eyes were drawn to the worn paths in the floor between the rooms.
Standing on the ruins of the burned Northern Pacific RR Freight House. It’s the best place to watch ships move around the harbor. Some things haven’t changed…
The top floor’s old-fashioned hospital ways were too much to pass without a photo or two… with the paint falling off the walls it was as if the building was shedding its skin in an effort to become rejuvenated or useful.
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
The coal water power plant stack accompanied the smell of an arson.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.