The Midwest

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Champion Paper
Hamilton, OH

The Champion Paper Mill opened in 1893 and closed in 2012. It was Ohio’s biggest paper mill, now it’s the emptiest. Take a page from the pulp belt, fire up your iPad, and see what a 50 acre industrial graveyard looks like.

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City Methodist Church
Gary, IN

Gary’s sad story is written on the payrolls of US Steel. When the mill modernized there were massive layoffs, as a result this grand gothic church’s congregation fell from 1,700 to 100. It closed in 1975.

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Clark Equipment
Buchanan, MI

Buchanan was a company town unwilling to grow with its company. Then, after almost 100 years, that company left. How a rust belt city put on–then taken off–the proverbial map. Michigan edition.

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Clyde Iron Works
Duluth, MN

Clyde Iron Works made the highest capacity cranes in the world in Duluth, decades after the industrial town got rusty. Then, a few years ago most of the complex was demolished to make room for a hockey rink. The machine shop is now a bar and grill.

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Daisy & The East End Mills
Superior, WI

Daisy Rolling Mill was one of many flour mills built in the 1890s in an area then known as the East End Milling District, but it alone survived a devastating fire in 1914. It was the last of its kind in the Twin Ports when Peavey closed it in the 1970s.

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DMIR Dock Five
Duluth, MN

On your left you see Dock 6, retrofitted with conveyor belts, swarming with hard men and cold trains, bathed in orange light and smelling of taconite, oil, and sweat. On the right is a stripped, dark, empty, motionless chunk of steel jutting into Lake Superior, an island in so many ways. Read on to find out where the good days went.

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DMIR Roundhouse and Railworks
Two Harbors, MN

Climb­ing that lad­der let me see through the steam, by the orange light of the sun­set dump­ing through the sooted sky­lights like the shop lights on the dead crane. It had been a while since it lifted a loco­mo­tive off its cha­sis, but the smell of grease was still strong enough to lubri­cate my sinuses