Under the star trails at our rooftop camp it was hard to believe that I was still living in a time when ghost towns–real ghost towns–were still engraved onto the sides of mountains. Below its cracked city streets courses the treasure that built the town and the poison that killed it. Cup your ears against the walls, be very still, and listen to the memory of a place called home.
A rare look into one of the last wooden grain elevators in the country, Globe. Along the waterfront in in Superior, Wisconsin, industrial technology spans almost the whole 20th century. If you enjoy history, lakeside skylines or just impressive carpentry…
It died when a nuke went off–and it looks like it. Nobody perished with it, though, and there is no radioactivity… just smokestacks and dead-end roads. This withered war plant has seen better days, but who doesn’t find the post-apocalyptic aesthetic a little intriguing?
At its peak, Port Arthur and Fort William was home to more than 30 elevators once. Some of them remain, but many are abandoned.
Minneapolis was Mill City; flour mills and linseed mills dotted the landscape, and not just along the Mississippi River. To support the world’s biggest flour and linseed companies, a huge network of grain elevators were built by various interests just outside of the east bank’s industrial districts. I investigate these elevators and the factories immediately around them one by one. Welcome to Mill Hell.
In Duluth, 28 terminal elevators dominated the harbor. Some exploded, some burned, some were demolished, and a few remain. This is a close look at the last 125 years of grain trade architecture in the city.
At a time when tariff laws, domestic manufacturing, and government regulation highlight every newspaper across the country, Longmont Sugar Factory marks a lesson to be learned.
How can a government create an entire industry with a tax? How does a factory turn a beet into table sugar? Can we learn about our cultural history by a ruined factory left far behind? Let’s practice some industrial archeology and stand in the place of ‘high-smellers’ past, reimagining these four brick walls in a national historical context.
Built in the 10th century and abandoned by the 14th, this is the oldest ghost town I have ever explored. It stands atop a desolate mesa in New Mexico in the shadow of an extinct volcano.
This building seemed a bit too eager to murder me, but it was too late to turn back. Built with inadequate materials, due to WWI material shortages, and built in a hurry, due to its sister plant burning to the ground, every day this building still stands flouts time, nature, and gravity.
For 133 years, Hamm’s brewed good, cheap beer. “From the land of sky blue waters,” their jingle went, never finishing the sentence: “Comes the corporate takeover.” This post packs a childhood memory, the story of Hamm’s from its founding to recent demolitions. So sit down, crack a cold one, and…