trees

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.

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.

INAAP Power

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

Treasure Mountain Cabin

This building had the rusty remains of a few mattresses, likely used in the 1940s when this site was last occupied.

Barracks and Trees

One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.

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.

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.

River Ruins

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

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.

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…

Bench Swing

This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.

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.

Sanatorium Side

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

Telegraph Lines

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

Fans

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

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

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.

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.

Junction Box

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

Glory Hole Mill Creek

A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.

Front of the Adler

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

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.

Back Gate (Film)

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

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.

I Love Birches

Looking out toward Redore from the second floor of the workshop. This is why I love living in Minnesota.

Bldg. B

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

Hospital Portico

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

Abriss einer Stadt

Looking down Pommenicher Straße from Gaststätte Rosarius, the monstrous machine about to devour the town bites at the ground.

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.

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.

Rundblick

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

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.

Asylum by Starlight

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Melhoir Ruins

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

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.

Stickfence

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

Skyway

The exterior of the factory is unassuming

Orphanage Arches

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.

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.

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.

Overgrown Pillars

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

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?

Electric Pole

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

Tire Dump

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

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.

Water Towers

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

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.

Ruined Hoist

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

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!

Birch Takeover

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

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.”

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.

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.

Powerlines

The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.

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.

Fergus Falls State Hospital Roofline

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.

Slag Nuggets

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

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!

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.

Fort Liege Sign

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

Do The Nope

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

Mountain Sunrise

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

Gold Collar Mine

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

Colorful Night

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

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.

Front Porch

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

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.

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.

Nike Launch Pad

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.

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.

Water Tower

In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.

Loading Dock

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

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.

Boarded Barracks II

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

Trees in the Stacks

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

Jackson Residence

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

Singing Roundhouse

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

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.

Foot in the Door

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

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.

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.

Firing Range

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.

Erekt

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

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.

New Mexico Ghost Town

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

Quencher

The quenching water was reused over and over.

1970s Wing

My first picture at Nopeming, sometime around 2004. The same year that the county stopped mowing the lawn.

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

Studebaker Headquarters

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

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.

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.

Bricabrac

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

Cooperage

One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.

Neighborhood Dump

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.

Blending House

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

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.

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.

Puddle of Sky

Looking toward the Quenching Tower from the coal tower platform.

Nitrating Line

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

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.

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.

Rooftop Panorama

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.

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.

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.

Dock 5L

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

Storage Bunker

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

Tailings Boom I

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Carrie Tower

Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.

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.

Hot Metal Railcar

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

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.

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.

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.

Hike to Frontenac

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

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.

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.

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’.

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