When I revisited the mine in 2013, the hoists were scrapped and sitting by the road.
The giant cog is missing on this machine, which turned a sugar slurry intro crystals. Green-blue stained glass makes the rusty machine glow in aquamarine.
One of the principal businesses in McConnell was a farm implement and lumber store. This is too new to have been bought there, but I like that it’s still on the edge of town. It’s more comfortable than the emptiness beyond, that used to be a little prairie town.
The mill is one of the tallest buildings in the city. It’s too bad that the cupola with its big skylights and flagpole were removed.
This mean-looking thing had a purpose, probably, but that function has been lost to decades of expansion.
One of the pair of motors that powered this mine shaft. In the 1950s, this shaft was designated a rescue shaft, and was only maintained for emergencies. One reason that Cheratte built Shaft 3 nearby was because these motors and infrastructure did not have the capacity that the giant mine below called for.
The white mark allowed for a manual RPM check on this big steel flywheel on the ground floor. Note how dark the bottom level of the mills is—that’s because all of the equipment is blocking out the light.
From the slip where grain boats would tie for loading and unloading, the unloader juts in a modernist-architectural way that is oddly visibly satisfying. Inside that white building is the retracted boat unloader, more or less a long and sturdy conveyor attached to a joint and crane motor. There used to be four loaders that looked like simple tubes with cranes and ropes attached hanging from this side of the elevator. All that remains of those is one fixture on the white building (not visible here) and the frame of one on the elevator proper, visible in the upper-middle of this image, to the right of the unloader apparatus.