trees

Car Ears

Fall fog swept up from the river valley, making the building look more like it felt–a ghost, out of time and place.

Ruined Hoist

Steel mine hoists, near the place they worked, wait for scrap prices to justify their final removal from Osceola, Michigan.

River Ruins

Looking at the last wall of the hotel from the banks of the river.

Lizzie Mine, Missouri Flats

Inside this small iron clad mine is a couch and some clothes. It seems that for a short while, someone was living inside of it…

Testing Grounds

Ammunition had to be tested on site before shipment. That was done here. These heavy concrete bunkers deflected rounds harmlessly into the earth.

Materials Yard Chutes

It is unclear whether this area was for coal dumping or ore dumping, though the huge dents in the steel plating suggests the latter.

Treasure Mountain Concentrator

The purpose of the concentrator was to separate the gold and silver-rich ore from the waste rock. You can tell from the design that the process relies heavily on gravity.

Electric Pole

One of a pair of poles to hold the electric lines for the streetcars entering and exiting the tunnel.

The Tower and the Town

Cheratte lives on in the shadow of its abandoned coal mine, although most of the shops are abandoned and many of the city’s landmarks have fallen into disrepair. Like other Belgian mining towns, those who have stayed in the town have kept up their apartments, so much of the company-building duplexes and homes are in great condition.

Nitrating Line

The the left, the nitrating line in War City. To the right, War City’s sole suburb, Charlestown, IN.

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.

Prize Mine Powder Vault

A safe distance from Prize Mine is its dynamite storage vault, designed to explode up–not out–should the worst happen.

La Crosse Tunnel Trams

The wood-braced structures descending the hill connected the La Crosse Tunnel to the mill in Central City. To see a picture of an aerial tram in action, see at my Treasure Mountain article.

Upholstered Glowstick

Behind one of the kitchens is one of the few pieces of furniture remaining. Beside it, a small electric space heater–small by 1970s standards.

Old Orphanage

It would be a shame if this building is not preserved. Word is (as of 2015) that construction may start on this section soon.

Bonded Warehouse Office

This office, as seen from the power plant, administered the bonded warehouses. There used to be a few more of them, according to old maps and postcards.

Beds in Hallway

Beds line a basement room that is part way between the concepts of inside and outside. Boards and bricks were falling while I was photographing it—stay out.

Water Tower

In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.

Birch Takeover

Trees between duplexes overshadow the buildings they were planted to shield; revenge for the boards on the windows.

Overgrown Pillars

One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.

Entrance to BOM

Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.

Ely’s Peak by Night

A 5-minute exposure of the tunnel and stars, and even some of Duluth’s city lights bouncing off the clouds. A single off-camera flash in the tunnel gives the effect of an oncoming train.

Slag Nuggets

Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.

Sanatorium Side

Every walking path was strewn with debris. It was hard to imagine that all that was inside once.

FFSH Cemetery

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.

Gold Creek and the Old Concentrator

A creek has cut through the middle of the mine property, washing away the loose rock and eroding the foundations of the Concentrator. It’s pretty, though! It’s be belief, though I cannot prove it, that some of the water here originates from inside the now-buried Santiago Tunnel, which is no doubt flooded to a great extent.

Selby Tunnel Portal

The lower portal of the Selby Tunnel, as it looks today. The area is a popular spot for homeless to camp–can you spot the tent?

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.

Spring Melt and Chutes

Wind took the spring melt on the trees growing in taconite pellets and made it airborne. Loading chutes in the background.

Red Line Apartments

Redlining is the practice of shutting certain races out of neighborhoods, and it is still a big problem today. Such behaviors were a big factor in creating the need for these projects.

Junction Box

Between all of the buildings was dense growth, especially vines.

Hike to Frontenac

The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!

Profile – (C)SUBSTREET

Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.

Front Porch

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

Dock 2 Approach

This was taken before the top of the docks really started to rot-out; now this stretch past the crane is distinctly unsafe to cross. Still, you can’t beat the view of Dock #2 winding into the distance, where the approach is chopped-off before the yard used to extend.

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.

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.

Tilston School (Kodak Tmax400 35mm)

The Tilston School,built in the late 1960s. In front of it is a memorial and model to the first schoolhouse. This building, however, has been turned into a kind of town dump. The classrooms are filled with mattresses and discarded tires and trash.

Ore Bucket on a Tram at Mayflower Mill

The aerial tram at the Mayflower Mill gives a sense of what the Gold Prince Mill in Animas Forks once looked like. Trams connected the mill to the mines around it without the need to negotiate trees, rivers, and rough terrain.

Pillsbury Tailrace

The mill was powered, in part, by water flowing through turbines under it. After the flow worked the industrial heart of the flour mill, it was exit to the Mississippi here.

Tac Tripper

Taken from the arm of the pocket loader–note the tree growing out of the conveyor belt. Often where you see old piles of taconite, trees are springing up. The byproducts of the pelletization process break down and make a really fertile mix, especially with all the iron content!

King- Tarp of the Beast

The lower floors of King Elevator are scrapped and ruined. Nearly everything that is not concrete has been destroyed. Some time ago it seems that someone built a tarp-roof hovel inside of the ground floor.

Tire Dump

Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.

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.

Air Compressor House

While the maps name this the compressor house, I believe, based on its size and number of heavy machine mounts, that it also housed the pumps to drain the mine.

Loading Dock

A truck loading dock for raw materials. Looking at the concrete, you can sort of tell where the rails used to run.

Miner’s Outhouse-(C)SUSBTREET.org

I’m not sure, actually, whether this was an outhouse (right), but it seems likely. In any case, it was connected by a covered staircase to the Bunk House (left). The soil here was not all tailings, so there is a bit of thick grass–almost the only in sight!

Bldg. B

I found a meth lab in this building once. (Yes, I called it in.)

Palms

Behind the small stage is a hallway signed by practically every act that walked through its doors. There’s also a pair of palms. Since all the heat in the building collects in this area, it did seem more tropical.

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.

Franz-Engels-Straße

The coal extractor swings back and forth, ripping coal from the ground and throwing it on a conveyor belt to be burned a few miles away.

Hotel Wall

The inside of the hotel, as seen from inside its beer cave.

Cradle and Tree

Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.

Skyway

The exterior of the factory is unassuming

The Animas River, near Mayflower Mill

Near Howardsville, Colorado, the Animas River gets quite wide. This is near the Little Nation Mill, which is worth a stop if you’re traveling north from SIlverton. It’s also near the former Gold King Mine, which “blew” in 2015 and flooded the Animas River with toxic mine water.

Water Towers

SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.

Puddle of Sky

Looking toward the Quenching Tower from the coal tower platform.

Overgrown Spires

The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.

Cafeteria

The great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.

Mountain Sunrise

Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.

Front of the Adler

The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.

Tunnel Skylight in Sidewalk

Ava near the Memorial Building. The block glass embedded in the sidewalk here is actually a skylight for the tunnel below, which connects the Memorial Building to the steam and supply systems of the hospital.

Storage Bunker

North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.

AIr Vent & Lamp House

On the left you can see one of the later air shafts for the mine below, which allowed for natural air exchange with the main production areas of the coal mine. That is to say, there were no fans blowing fresh air down below.

English Garden

The walkway to the end of the dock is elevated, so one walks above the trees and bushes growing in the rotting taconite pellets that have collected over the years.

West Portal, January

My first view of the tunnel was in the dead of winter. In spite of being in the middle of the forest, it was totally silent. Mamiya GA645 / Kodak Pro 400

Trees in the Stacks

Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.

Rundblick

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

Stickfence

Typical New Mexico ranch fencing. The power lines follow the rails between Springer and Wagon Mound.

Tower, After the Lightning Strike

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.

Studebaker Headquarters

The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.

Gold Collar Mine

Below Grand Army Mine is Gold Collar. A ‘collar’ is the braced section around the portal of a mine shaft.

Puffer by Bibio

The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.

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

Warehouse Foundations

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.

Erekt

The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.

Melhoir Ruins

Looking out of the biggest cave into the shell of the burned brewery, almost 125 years after it was destroyed by fire.

Broadway On Broadway

Looking at the Broadway from across Broadway, a beautiful Buffalo day. Note the glazed terra cotta facade–and the signs of fire damage from the first floor.

Elev. 1 in Lake Superior Fog

In what used to be a hallway under what used to be a skyway, each with what had conveyor belts for the grain that once was stored here. The fog doesn’t change.

Warhead Storage

This building would store and maintain warheads. It was right next to the launch pad, but the two were separated by a high mound.

Pier Tree

Between elevators, a single tree has taken root. I think it’s growing out of a rail grade, so the seed might have fallen off of a train.

Jalopy and Contrails

The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.

Ruined Cottage

A side view showing the extreme structural damage to what I believe is the Masonic Cottage. I honestly cannot unravel how some of this was done, unless the local armory is missing a 4″ canon and some cartridge shot.

Bricabrac

The bricks are decaying at different rates at this corner, making it especially colorful.

Above the Tunnel

While it looks like a sidewalk, this is the roof the infamous (thanks to Ghost Adventures) steam tunnel that connects the steam plant and demolished Hart House.

Singing Roundhouse

2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.

Back Door

Looking out of the “back door”, where equipment could be lifted into the factory with a crane. The bottom of the coal conveyor can be seen outside.

Fans

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

Dock 5L

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

Back Gate (Film)

Scanned after being recovered from the bottom of an old wooden box for a few years. Circa 2005.

Enger Tower from Rice’s Point

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.

INAAP Power

Looking toward the power station at the edge of the explosives plant.

1952 Highrises

Two of the remaining four towers in the projects. Throughout our time there we saw and heard squatters inside and chose not to go in. What do you call a smart choice made in the midst of a dumb choice? There should be a word for that.

Telegraph Lines

The tangled telegraph lines between Mitchell and the engine house keep the old pole from topping in the wind.

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 Brick Bucket

Near the old slag dump there are the remains of the pouring buckets that received the molten steel from the US Steel blast furnaces, filled to the brim with pig iron. They must be incredibly heavy!

Hot Metal Railcar

A ‘Hot Metal Car’ that would transport molten steel across the ‘Hot Metal Bridge’ from the furnaces to the mills.

Jackson Residence

“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.

Foot in the Door

A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.

Overgrown Hallways

On the left are rows of dayrooms; on the right is one of two long hallways which connect the two halves of the hospital. The large, center section of the hallway would fit chairs for patients to look out on the gardens. They called it a conservatory. This hallway would be as close as some patients would get to nature.

Tailings Boom I

Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.

Blending House

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

Mitchell Avenue of Mitchell, Minn.

Mitchell Avenue, the main drag of a ghost town. Traces of asphalt and curbs are barely visible through patches of grass. In the old plan of the town, Mitchell Hotel would be to my direct left in this scene, and about 10 houses would flank this street to the left and right.

Nurse’s Tree

Trees by the beautiful Nurse’s Cottage above and behind the Kirkbride. One side looks out over farmland while the other faces the back of the hospital grounds. As of 2014, the city is allowing artists to rent spaces inside.

Tram Door on The Concentrator House

The big door at the bottom of the concentrator was where a tram once connected to lower the (pre-) processed ore into the river valley, where the railroad was. It’s unclear whether this ever connected directly to Eureka’s Sunnyside mill, although it’s possible.

Keeper’s Houses

These houses were built for the use of the lighthouse keepers in 1913 (left) and 1916 (right). The second house was added when the entry added a fourth light and required a second rotation. Today, there are no unbroken windows in either building.

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.

Gangway I

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

Hospital Portico

When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.

Quencher

The quenching water was reused over and over.

Station Wagon

Dead cars were parked permanently near the model farm. Perhaps it had an automotive program. After all, before they were ‘Indian Residential Schools’ they were ‘Indian Industrial Schools’.

Shaft No. 1 Tower

Looking through skylights of the payroll office toward the Cheratte No.1’s tower. This is where workers would wait in line to receive pay, surrounded by the mine workings.

War City Sunrise

Ducking the steam lines overhead between the mixers and compressors, a water tower says “good morning,” right past the slack power lines. This is the sleepy uptown of the war city.

Boarded Barracks II

Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.

Workshop

Those able to work would be compelled to help fix up the facility, grow, harvest, and prepare food for fellow ‘inmates’, or work on vocational skills.

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.

Hiking to Cramer Tunnel

Taking a midwinter hike in Cramer after a blizzard and ice storm was my idea. Do my friends seem upset to you?
Mamiya GA645 / Kodak Pro 400

Wrong Side of the Fence

Two roads; the left one you can walk down, but you have to answer questions when people ask. The right one–you don’t want to be found on that one.

New Mexico Ghost Town

The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.

Colorful Night

At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.

St. Louis River Valley

On the roof, looking toward Jay Cook Park over the ruins of the Hart House. You can see how Nopmeing (“out in the woods) got its name. Fujicolor 100 on Leica M7.

Kate

Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.

Cargill and Enger Tower in Fall

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.

Fort Liege Sign

A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.

Anon

Above the altar are faded murals. Here’s the Holy Grail.

Cut Short

This is what I believe to be the Masonic Cottage, where infected Freemasons would be treated together and enjoy some simple luxuries because of their social connections. Freemasonry is still popular in North Dakota.

Shadows of Taconite Harbor on the James R. Barker

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.

Do The Nope

A self portrait on a tire swing outside the Service Building.

Torched Refrectory

The second floor was hit by arson years ago, but it still carries the telltale features of its original design, specifically the woodwork below the roof.

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