The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
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.
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!
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
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.
It’s a mystery to me why this elevator has a Gold Medal Flour ghost sign. You can read it along with its obsolete monikers today.
After a short rainfall douses the mill in downtown Fergus Falls, the river next to the brick walls swells and the sounds of water overtakes the echos of the nearby bars. Reflections are on the foundation of the former distribution and rail building.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
The Western Elevator’s old moniker looks over Fort William (the neighborhood). Snow falls over Mount McKay in the background. This elevator is still active… the only active elevator in Fort William proper.
Water at the bottom of the silo was perfectly clear.
If you look carefully along the side of the slip alongside this image of Cargill B-2, you will see the remains of the crane stops when this was a Hannah coal dock.
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.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
Looking at the huge and modern Cargill B2 from the circa-1919 Lake Superior “I”. This is a rather unique perspective of Enger Tower and Skyline.
I wish I knew the story of this popcorn-themed boxcar.
With its fresh paint, Lake Superior Elevator “I” almost looks contemporary, but it far outdates its neighbors, It replaced a wooden elevator by the same name in 1919.
The side of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #7, still active, is hypnotizingly regular. From a distance, its texture resembles parchment. Its color resembles the color of the wheat in late October.
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.”
― Emily Dickinson
At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The same view in 2007.
Superior, WI, some have said, is a suburb of Duluth, MN. It’s more like a sub-suburb, I would argue. It’s the industrial district that is technically in another state, one that sells beer on Sundays. Perspective is looking out of the mostly-disassembled larger (newer) elevator.
It’s a small world… look at it.
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
From left to right: shaft building, headframe, rock house, hoist house.
Model: Devan. Instagram: sextmachine
The end of the peninsula where Consolidated D was built, aka General Mills A, used to hold a Northern Pacific freight depot. These are part of the ruins of it.
The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.
Looking at the side of the Superior Elevator from the tracks that feed the Western. Note the old flagpole.
Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.
One night, I camped behind the sugar mill. You can tell be the clouds that a cold front was moving out—it was a hot day.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
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.
In the mid-2000s, Peavey sealed the spaces between their Electric Steel Elevator bins. What they unwittingly created was a graffiti time capsule. “Impeach Bush”.
The main rail artery for Thunder Bay passes Ogilvie’s.
These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
When I revisited the mine in 2013, the hoists were scrapped and sitting by the road.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
Looking toward Sleeping Giant from the workhouse.
Panorama from where the skyway connected the cleaning house and elevator. ADM Meal Storage is to the right, ADM-4 is to the extreme right, and Kurth is on the left.
General Mills bought Consolidated Elevator’s “D” in 1943 and renamed it “A,” though no additional elevators have followed from that firm to date. Visible on the right is the first annex, built along with the elevator in 1909.
This is a great example of a combination rock house; the silos below used to fill trains with ore dropped from mine cars pulled to the top of the structure.
A sunset shot of the Western Cable Railroad depot in the middle of the Lemp brewery complex, with the malting house in the background. Western used to have an exclusive shipping contract with Lemp.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
What time is it?
Thunder Bay Elevator, now stands without a headhouse. Around the silos, a few shacks still stand.
On the left is the 1907 elevator section and its 1926 expansion is on the right. Interesting how the century-old silos seem to be faring better. Windows provided light to the underground conveyor tunnels, which were used to bring grain out of the silos by gravity.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
I’m very happy to have caught Marquette before it was completely destroyed. If you’re wondering, it costs about $1,000,000 to demolish and elevator like this, and not that much work for the demo crews.
Capitol 6 has three annexes. It must have a massive capacity. Note the poor condition of the breakwater.
Parrish and Heimbecker (front) Davidson & Smith-AU-S (middle) Government (back)
Looking out of the top of the grain tower at Duluth.
Taken from atop a grain train at the end of Cargill B-2, looking toward Lake Superior “I”, now part of the sample complex. This area used to have another slip, but Cargill filled it on when it built the elevator on the right.
Transfer Elevator, Built 1916
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
Before Portland-Huron Cement’s Duluth Plant was (mostly) demolished and (partly) turned into a hotel, the top of its silos gave a cinematic view of elevator row.
On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
Looking out of the elevators. Canada Malting, Vitera A and Vitera B in the background.
A spring moon stands over the very active former Grand Trunk Elevator, now ‘Superior’. It seems to have gotten more than a few facelifts over the years.
A look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
Gulls check in on me while I climb around the roof of one of the train shds of SWP #4. FP-100C.
Looking toward the famous Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge from Lake Superior. Shot on a the legendary Pentax 67.
The red brick elevator is reflected in the flooded railyard. Note the saturated red square on the elevator, where the ‘4’ was scrubbed off. FP-100c.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
The Osborn Block is the prettiest building you’ve never seen in the Twin Ports.
A little sun and a little moisture sprouted this grass in the middle of the steel silos, in the midst of Minneapolis’ “graffiti graveyard”. Two images of time: nature growing through industry and rust dissolving old art in the elements.
Portland Huron and downtown Duluth from the end of the Elevator A slip.
The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
Looking toward the museum from a broken window on the side of the concrete tower. The sign on top lights everything a dull pink-orange.
When the ship loaders were added, a doorway was cut through the metal silo to make a room for the grain handling equipment. Note the dust sensor in the corner of the torch-cut archway.
An elevator is reflected in the flooded footprint of Spencer & Kellogg. These trains are in storage for the winter.
This part of the workhouse was sheathed in fiberglass, but now you can see its insides from a mile away.
Connecting the ground and the sky.
I liked the color of her hair against the rusty rock house and blue winter sky.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
The annex casts a long shadow over its old headhouse and the former UGG (currently Vitera C) elevator. Arista 100.
Can you hear the ship’s horn through this picture?
The tower of Dominion certainly dominates the elevator row.
Looking up the rock house.
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
Looking toward Fort William (Western) Elevator from the top of Superior Elevator. Fort William is bordered on the south and east by this wide, winding railyard. Note the pretty and quaint brick offices of the Western.
For years, the Ford was docked next to the former Pennsylvania and Reading Railroad anthracite coal dock.
Exploring Dock 4 was a very different experience, since it was almost all metal.
These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
Calumet stands at the side of the Union Pacific railyard.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
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…
Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?
Taken from under the headframe.
Summertime is when Duluth goes to the lakeside to listen to music, visit traveling fairs, and talk to neighbors about the smell of the lake. As seen from the castle walls.
Sunrise over Mill Hell, and all of Kurth’s various skyways. The elevators in the foreground date to the mid-1920s, Electric Steel is behind and is a little earlier than that.
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
One of the smallest of the many elevators in Thunder Bay, this little elevator held corn for the glucose and starch lines.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
A passing cloud almost looks like a puff of smoke from the trimmed smokestack of Consolidated D. In the lower corner you can see a little Stonehenge that someone with a sense of humor and heavy equipment built.
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.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
Looking at ADM-1 from beside ADM-4, back when ADM-4 had a train shed and ADM-1 had a skyway. In the thick woods beneath the skyway was a long time homeless camp… most of its residents were very friendly.
“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.”
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
Mill Hell before the University of Minnesota began developing the area. Now many of the buildings are gone, there are new roads and even bike paths.
A photo from the early 2000s before the conveyors were scrapped.
Enger Tower is an 75 foot stone structure built in 1939. It overlooks the elevators of Rice’s Point that are, for the most part, far older than it.