I have a unique perspective of the Allouez Ore Docks, and that’s my usual perch on the last light hoop. Find out how the docks sound when the lake freezes. What it’s like to watch a 1,000 foot ore carrier passing by in the fog. Finally, I go in detail to tell the history of this place, where boats and trains danced by the lake.
The Buffalo Central Terminal opened months before the Great Depression, lived a smoldering life, and was mostly abandoned by the 1980s.
Colmor, New Mexico was founded in 1887 and abandoned in the 1960s. It missed the railroad. It missed the highway. It’s a dirt road kind of town.
Cramer Tunnel connected LTV Steel’s taconite mine and concentrator with its ore dock at Taconite Harbor. It served from 1957 to 2001, when LTV declared bankruptcy for the last time.
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.
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
It started as a rumor, then I heard it over and over–there was an abandoned train tunnel outside Duluth.
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.
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.
The Milwaukee Road cut through Montana with steel and electricity. It left behind depots, roundhouses, electrical substations, and even towns.
The Era of Steam grew forgetful in its old age and left one of its playthings behind. Mitchell Yards ran from 1906