On December 16th, 2011, the last Ford Ranger standard truck left the assembly line and paint shop and not long afterward the doors were chained and locked. Then it was my turn.
Fort Snelling was first sold off in 1858, long after Minnesota had lost its status as a frontier state, but the Civil War and conflicts between settlers and the Dakota renewed the need for a […]
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?
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.
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…
The Harris Machinery property dates to 1870 when the Peteler Portable Railway factory built their factor here. Between then and now the tenants have changed a couple of times, but there’s still a little piece of Minneapolis that looks and smells just the same.
Huron-Portland Cement Company came to Duluth in 1917, and it operated there until 2008.
This is my goodbye to a St. Paul power plant currently being demolished: ISLAND STATION. It served in a limited capacity from 1924 to 1973, but its iconic steel smokestack left an impression on me and thousands of other St. Paul residents, past and present.
In 1910, after three years of digging and blasting, workers finished their giant tunnel from West End right into downtown Duluth. It’s still there, hiding.
Lowertown Depot is neither a depot, nor is it in Lowertown. Its past is equally obtuse, blending the history of a railroad, an oil company, and the sandstone bluffs of St. Paul themselves.