sheet-metal

Coke Shack

Between the repair shops and the stock department is this odd little structure. No, the walls are not level–it’s not your eyes. The shops slope left, the structure slopes right.

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.

National Mineshaft

On the National Mine property are two shafts, both serving the same workings. This one seems to have gotten some upgrades in the 1960s, judging from the condition of the metal.

Tumbleweed Catcher

Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?

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.

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.

Stacks

The side of Stelco and its scrubber-stacks. This is demolished now.

Covered Door

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

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.

Second Floor

This is a typical view of the factory; most of it was long hallways flanked by piles of equipment and access points to maintain them.

Workshop

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

Supply House and Carpentry Shop

At first glance, I thought the center building was a hoist house because of the shape of the window. Now I think this was built as a warehouse and later used as a laboratory.

Ore Skip

At the top of the Head Frame, over the silo, a space is hollowed-out for ore cars to dump their load before going back underground in search of copper.

Dock 5L

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

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.

Corrugated Awning

The steel awning and its elegant staircase are one of my favorite features near the old carpentry shop. The gymnasium-theater is in the background.

ADM-Delmar #4- Green Skyway

The green-tinted skylight makes this a bright green corridor, the lower of the two skyways connecting the two workhouses.

Rock Crusher

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

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.

Emergency Slide

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

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.

Headframe Eyes

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

School Ruins

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.

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.

Casting House Trestle

The whole smelter ran on gravity… elevating the various raw materials and working with them until at the bottom of the furnace, copper poured out.

Isabella, MB- Service at Cost

Inside the office was a small furnace and a collection of mechanical belts. You can see “SERVICE AT COST” and “POOL 168” in the background.

Slagbins at Sunrise

A morning shower made the plant’s metal siding shake… probably nothing, though, compared to when the furnaces were blasting. The objects on the ground are molten ore containers.

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.

Double Con

Standing on a caustic tank with my head out a roof hatch, I look at the sign of the last brand to be produced here.

Sketchy Skyway

This skyway, built to help seal off two parts of the complex during an out of control fire, was probably too rotten to burn by the time I saw it.

Corner of Globe

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

Sea Leg Counterweight

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

Film: Pozo Mine

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.

Half Demolished Boilers

Easier-to-demolish parts of the power plant were torched apart. Catwalks to nowhere meant lots of dead ends.

Test Patient Pattern – Brahm

Gaskets still organized on nails beside the power plant. This used to be a maintenance room, but since its roof and walls were torn down, it’s not any kind of room.

Tunnel Tiles

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

Collapsed Glassworks

Snow weight collapsed this section of McKee… the newest section. The brick buildings always outlive cheap metal ones.

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.

Skyway

The left building is active, the right building is not, though both were built as Wilson Bros buildings. The skyway was rough, inside and out, but I liked the small gate in the bottom of it–it reminded me of a castle. Skyways like these were a fireproofing measure.

Side of the Warehouse

Not a part of the Foundry, but the Enclosed Body Building. The rebar welded over the windows and the rust patterns with the lighting makes this geometric photos one of my favorites from the year.

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.

Creature – Brahm

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.

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.

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.