Looking toward the Quenching Tower from the coal tower platform.
The inside of the hotel, as seen from inside its beer cave.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
Between blizzards on the hill, I look out over the Chateau. Kodak Portra 400 on Voightlander Bessa.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
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.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
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.
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.
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.
Taken around 11,600 feet.
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.
This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.
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.
It’s a small world… look at it.
Looking out of the biggest cave into the shell of the burned brewery, almost 125 years after it was destroyed by fire.
No windows? Bricks? Must be for flammables.
At Treasure Mountain mine. This collapsed building was likely the 1937 Compressor House, which pushed compressed air and water into the Sanitago Tunnel in the time it was producing.
Trees between duplexes overshadow the buildings they were planted to shield; revenge for the boards on the windows.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
A humble prairie elevator at Fannystelle, Manitoba. What a name!
Cobble streets wrap around the inside of the fort.
C’mon and grab your friends… we’ll go to very—rusty lands…
The last of four radar domes on the base.
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.
At sunrise the fog rose near the solvent recovery line. You can barely read the “XXX” warning.
The end of the dock disappears in the fog.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
This building had the rusty remains of a few mattresses, likely used in the 1940s when this site was last occupied.
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.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
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.
A long exposure of the launch pad and its dedicated guard shack. In the middle of the base is a tall antenna which was part of the MARS program during the Gulf War. The MARS program helped connect calls between deployed soldiers and their families.
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.
Ask your dentist about brushing your teeth with asbestos!
The ice around the dock, compressed by the waves, was less clear than the open ice.
My first picture at Nopeming, sometime around 2004. The same year that the county stopped mowing the lawn.
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
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.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
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.
This ruin was once the Toltec Mine, a producing gold and silver claim that operated into the 1940s.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
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.
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.
Steel mine hoists, near the place they worked, wait for scrap prices to justify their final removal from Osceola, Michigan.
The gold mine is now a gravel pit.
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.
Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.
Looking toward the power station at the edge of the explosives plant.
Shells of mixing buildings.
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.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
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.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
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.
A 16-minute exposure from the roof of an abandoned building shows the aurora borealis and streaking stars.
A yellow house above the mineshaft.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
Sliding fireproof doors and an old hydrant at Harlowton’s old yards.
The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.
The second most important building at Prize Mine.
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.
One of a pair of poles to hold the electric lines for the streetcars entering and exiting the tunnel.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
The windows reflect the sky. The bricks hit the ground.
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.
Approaching the tunnel I heard about for so long…
Everything had to be tested before being sent to the front lines. Here’s where smaller ammunition would be test-fired. I was able to dig up several misfired rounds. Now they live in my collection of oddities.
Fall fog swept up from the river valley, making the building look more like it felt–a ghost, out of time and place.
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
When I saw this section, I knew the dock was abandoned.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
The playground used to be near the school which is now in ruins.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
The the left, the nitrating line in War City. To the right, War City’s sole suburb, Charlestown, IN.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
Camera: Pentax 67.
The bricks are decaying at different rates at this corner, making it especially colorful.
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
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.
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.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
The most derelict of the old bonded warehouses. Note the barrel elevator on the side of it!
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.
The bridge here moved workers between the dock, the approach tracks, and refueling buildings.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
One of the last times I saw the skyway standing. ADM’s Meal Elevator is in the distance.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
The tangled telegraph lines between Mitchell and the engine house keep the old pole from topping in the wind.
Looking north from the east portal of the tunnel… a beautiful place. Wilderness. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
A different kind of tree fort.
Looking out toward Redore from the second floor of the workshop. This is why I love living in Minnesota.
Looking at the last wall of the hotel from the banks of the river.
A street side exposure of the original 1914 section of the orphanage. Turned into black and white to deemphasize all the graffiti across the front steps.
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’.
A midwestern jungle surrounds the meat packing plant.
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!
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
A truck loading dock for raw materials. Looking at the concrete, you can sort of tell where the rails used to run.
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.
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.
The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.
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.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
Looking down Pommenicher Straße from Gaststätte Rosarius, the monstrous machine about to devour the town bites at the ground.
Above Treasure Mountain Mine is the capped shaft of the defunct San Juan Queen Mine. This is taken near that location, looking down the road that connects the mines to Animas Forks.
Past the underground repair shop is this cliffside adit.
An article from Minnpost describes this design as “marital”, and I could not agree more.
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.
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.
Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
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.
The quenching water was reused over and over.
Wind took the spring melt on the trees growing in taconite pellets and made it airborne. Loading chutes in the background.
Castle, Montana is a ghost town. Almost no signs remain that it was a mining town.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
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.
I found a meth lab in this building once. (Yes, I called it in.)
From left to right: shaft building, headframe, rock house, hoist house.
Below Grand Army Mine is Gold Collar. A ‘collar’ is the braced section around the portal of a mine shaft.
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.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
Frontenac, as seen from the Missouri Flats area.
It would be a shame if this building is not preserved. Word is (as of 2015) that construction may start on this section soon.
2005. Looking across the Mississippi from a park the night after the first snow.
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?
Looking across the spired rooftop of the Kirkbride building. In the foreground is a fire chute that contains a metal spiral slide designed to evacuate patients in case of a fire. Note the ironwork on the chimney.
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.
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.
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.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
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.
One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.
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.
Between all of the buildings was dense growth, especially vines.
Iron becoming dirt becoming birches.
The overgrown offices serve no one at this former Federal Elevator in Snowflake, MB.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
Spots of yellow gravel mark gold mines with nothing left on the surface. Is this one of the drainage pipes?
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.
A ‘Hot Metal Car’ that would transport molten steel across the ‘Hot Metal Bridge’ from the furnaces to the mills.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
A self portrait on a tire swing outside the Service Building.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
“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 Broadway from across Broadway, a beautiful Buffalo day. Note the glazed terra cotta facade–and the signs of fire damage from the first floor.
Trees like masks.
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
A sentinel stands watch over an abandoned Hannah, ND house. Medium Format.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
The west portal of the tunnel is open, and if it wasn’t for the rough track, I would think by looking at it that a train could be coasting up behind me any moment. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!
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.
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
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.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
This building would store and maintain warheads. It was right next to the launch pad, but the two were separated by a high mound.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
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.
Taken from under the headframe.
The great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.
Footprints of houses past; tailings of mines past.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
I wonder who boarded the family house… the EPA?
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
Ground floor windows were built to be barred.
Colleen on the roof.
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!
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.
It is unclear whether this area was for coal dumping or ore dumping, though the huge dents in the steel plating suggests the latter.
Ammunition had to be tested on site before shipment. That was done here. These heavy concrete bunkers deflected rounds harmlessly into the earth.
A rooftop scene.
Typical New Mexico ranch fencing. The power lines follow the rails between Springer and Wagon Mound.
The dredge is divided into four levels. The top level has controls for the tailings boom and, when it was there, the bucket excavator.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.
The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.
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.
In front of the mine building the ground has opened up, showing a one-subterranean hallway. Locals seem to be using the dangerous hole as a trash dump.