The picture from 1919 says it all; when an F5 tornado rages through the town leveling everything around it, this flour mill stands, anchored to the river, indomitable.
Miners and their bosses watched helplessly as the mine flooded with water over and over again. When all was said and done, they had probably mined more quicksand than iron. Rogers Mine was started in 1910 but was allowed to flood in 1937, though its shops were used well into the 1950s.
Serving those who were turned away because of race and income, training generations of nurses, and now collapsing into the streets of St. Louis out of neglect. Now that raindrops freefall from the clouds above to the basements in the shadows without touching a floor, wall, bed or desk, it’s clear that this city lost an opportunity and a landmark.
If there was something I didn’t think I needed more of in my life, it was grain elevators. After growing up a midwest explorer in a place with the nickname ‘Mill City’, I was tired of these concrete towers; I thought I had seen it all. Santa Fe taught me exactly how wrong I was. Climb with me 120 feet above Chicago and see why…
After 150 years of digging, brewing and burning, Schmidt Brewery still rules the West Side. Here is a story of new beginnings, starring a cave and a castle. It starts in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1855…
The Selby Tunnel extended 1,500 feet under a chunk of downtown Saint Paul and some thought it was lost. It isn’t. Here’s what it looks like today.
Wooden platforms traced the feather beds of steel horses, the worn boards faintly glowing orange from the polluted light filtering through ancient cube glass. “Good night, Minneapolis, sleep sweet.”
Builder of drill presses for Studebaker, South Bend Lathe, Oliver Plow and even Notre Dame. This century-old foundry and factory was recently demolished, without so much as a blip on the internet. I’m here to fix that.
Do you like Art Deco style buildings? How about in a State Hospital from the 1930s? As I write, this old hospital is being turned into an assisted care facility–find out what came before.
I go step by step through the coke making process, down to the job descriptions, to illustrate the functions of the plant. I talk about the history, the racism, the ad campaigns. All you need to know about Milwaukee-Solvay Coke you can learn right here.
“Well that’s that,” I thought, looking at the torch marks on the staircase zigzagging across pillars and pipes to the deck above. Still, I made the most out of this damaged relic of Wisconsin and Michigan mining history, circling the dock over the course of three winters to collect these photos and stories.