A pink room with very heavy doors that reminds me of the rooms at some of the insane asylums that I’ve explored.
Behind the barge unloader (a Webster for those grain tech nerds out here) that used to extract grain from docked boats. The ladders are fun to climb, even though they get warped and wavy in places. High in the elevator would have been a crane engine that would lift the unloader, packed with a bucket conveyor, while workers would manipulate the direction of the spout with ropes manually. The buckets would rotate, scraping and elevating the grain into the silos above. It’s a rare piece of equipment for the Great Lakes.
The last wooden school chair survives—almost intact—by being jammed between a pipe and the ceiling of the boiler room.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
It seems logical that, at one time, a rock crusher was installed at the base of the mine rails shown here at the top of the Concentrator. Rocks small enough to fit between the rails would automatically bypass the crusher and continue to the work floor via the hopper below.
This was not always the top of the elevator.
One of the paper warehouses, with snow blowing across the floors.
The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
This building cleaned the barrels that transported ingredients through the plant.
This rockhouse was added below the shaft to load Gilpin Tram cars.
One of the last improvements to this elevator was the addition of a new scale in 1968.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
Modern ruins of the Gilman-Belden tram…
The doorframes become more askew every year as the buildings slip downward into the gulch at different rates. This seems to be the part of the mine ruins where transients leave their marks. The graffiti dated back to the 1970s, at least.
The side of the main elevator, severed by “Woodchucks”.
A broken-down wooden grain chute.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
A big door into the fire pump room.
Scrawls on the side of the beams of the ‘Pipe Shop;.
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!
There’s no way an explorer, much less a choir, could stand here now. Since this picture was taken the roof has collapsed onto the loft.
On the extended engine bay…
In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
Looking from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
The depot at the head of town seems to be being disassembled. Behind it is a dead signal where the tracks used to be; they’ve been pulled.
The Columbus Mine overlooks its mill, which was one of the last to operate in the region, thanks to the demand for industrial metals during World War II.
Hard to find your seat when it doesn’t know its own name.
A wooden mold sitting outside of the foundry.
The top of Dock 4 was too dangerous to explore, but this panorama gives you an idea of the view (and how rotten the wood was).
This building had the rusty remains of a few mattresses, likely used in the 1940s when this site was last occupied.
Off the beaten path is this old LTV sign. Now it points to a ghost town and dead dock.
A sort of blender in a powder line building. The top vent had been removed, so leaves and light fall onto the teeth now.
These corner pilings served as bumpers… a little assurance against wind, ice, and new captains.
Behind a nurse’s station.
When I wasn’t paying enough attention on the rotten balcony, I accidentally put my foot through a rotten floorboard. I snapped a picture to remember the moment.
This was my first view of Harris Machinery’s property… it was strange to find what looked like a ghost town five minutes from downtown Minneapolis!
The stage of the theatre still holds hymnals and other vestiges of its time as a church.
An unshielded heaframe and single pulley.
Someone had helped themselves to one of the safety posters before my visit.
Artifacts from the days this was a furniture factory and warehouse.
A small wood-paneled office for the on-duty keeper to use.
The offices for the Five Roses elevator have long been boarded. To the left you can see the Manitoba Pool Elevator slogan, “Service at Cost”, meaning they would not make profit off farmers and dues.
We mark our world in unexpected ways… this is how patient possessions would be stored during their stay in the old asylum wards. It’s about the size of a shoebox, and this particular drawer has a name where the others do not. Its place reminded me of the hospital cemetery where more than 3,000 are buried and less than 1% of whom are recorded by stone or plaque in their resting place.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
The hoist signal dangling beside the modern mine shaft would ring a bell next to the giant electric motors that would send the men and machinery into the underground.
For 20 years, this served as the public library. According to blogger, this has been moved to Springer.
Someone’s abandoned to-do list.
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.
In front of a rust-welded Illinois rotary stoker is where the boiler-men made their mark. The last year I can make out is 1985.
Thanks to the demolition (I’ll never say that again), the inner structure of the bins are revealed. So much wood!
There big filters helped the mill sort through the flour, for additional milling, for example.
A closeup of the finely-carved seats in the house, presumably original to the Sattler. There are not too many of these in this kind of condition. If you have a better name for this figure than Cordelia, leave a comment.
The elevator works on gravity… this is where a conveyor belt was to move the grain toward the main elevator to be loaded into ships.
This is one of the biggest warps I’ve ever found in a wooden factory floor hasn’t broken yet. When you stand on it, it make a very loud popping sound as the boards shift. The poster on the pillar near the left side of the frame advertises recreational boating, presumably to the factory workers who left this floor in the early 1980s.
Much of the milling equipment predated the mill itself, so I would not be surprised if this particular machine really dates to 1860.
The bits with handles are the filters with screens of different sizes. Larger grain particles would be stopped at the top for further reduction via the mills, while the powder at the bottom would be run through another bolter–one of the refinement stages in flour production.
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.
Inside the Beulah elevator were all of the original notices and notices. These are instructions for filling rail cars with flour sacks.
One of the many small treasures hiding in the mill…
The flour mill’s interior is really just a system of steel and rubber tubes that crush flour over and over in the gap. This mill was never run off of water power directly, but it used to generate power using the river.
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.
William Duncan built this house for his family in 1879. It has become one of the most popular structures in the ghost town of Animas Forks.
Where the approach meets the dock.
Happy mine bacteria ‘chews’ away at one of the narrow gauge rail ties still embedded in the sand floor. The orange color is not a mistake of mine; it is the result of different minerals leeching into the water table and draining into the mine. Keep in mind that, about 100 feet above, is the Ford plant itself!
Looking into the mouth of the hopper which mine carts dumped into at the top of the Concentrator.
Did you leave in a hurry?
The end of the dock, done quickly and cheaply with wood. The towers were for lights, so ships could be loaded at all hours.
Upper Prize Street in Nevadaville earned the nickname ‘dogtown’ when a pack of dogs took over the abandoned houses.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
Castle, Montana is a ghost town. Almost no signs remain that it was a mining town.
While the building looks uniform on the outside, inside it’s clearly divided between a hoist room and shaft room (seen here).