The house in the woods has eyes!

And a mouth.

Roscoe, MN Abandoned.  Roscoe is a teeny tiny little town that is no more, but once was, in the Southeast corner of Goodhue County.  

I was on my way home from Albert Lea yesterday and spied the broken remnants of house in some woods on the edge of a field.  It was a typical abandoned house.  It does very much look like it has eyes and a mouth…ooOOOoooo spooky.


Minnesota North Shore – Two Harbors Abandoned site

On our way back down the North Shore we stayed in Two Harbors.  Lou’s Fish House has some very tasty morsels for the smoked seafood connoisseur.  The smoked jumbo shrimp were fantastic!

If you are into architectural antiques, be certain to stop by North Shore Architectural Antiques and check out the inventory.  There are lots of interesting old pieces there to browse.  They offer a deconstruction service – three levels in fact.  I see this becoming more and more popular as society is taking to the repurpose, reuse, reclaim and recycle movement.

You can head down to the waterfront and observe a working ore dock by walking out on the break-water.  Also in the immediate vicinity are four locations operated by the Lake County Historical Society:  Two Harbors Lighthouse, The Depot Museum, Edna G. Tugboat and 3M Museum.

This is a great town to spend some time in.

Two Harbors AbandonedThe Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway (DM&IR) is a railroad operating in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin that hauls iron ore and later taconite to the Great Lakes ports of Duluth and Two Harbors, Minnesota. Control of the railway was acquired on May 10, 2004, by the Canadian National Railway when it purchased the assets of Great Lakes Transportation.


150px-Logo_of_the_Duluth,_Missabe_and_Iron_Range_RailwayThe Duluth, Messabe and Iron Range Railroad began in Two Harbors with a 6-stall wooden roundhouse, but it didn’t take long for the railroad to expand. By 1930, a machine shop, boiler shop, car shop, boiler house, storehouse, foundry, engine room and a 50-stall brick roundhouse blanketed the 30 acres of DM&IR’s lakefront property. 109 locomotives were maintained by the shop, half of which were overhauled annually, while 30 or so received light repair. The roundhouse and machine shop ran 24 hours, maintaining the fleet for both a long ore season and abusive timber season, in addition to limited passenger service.

Out of the 30 buildings that comprised the historic shops, 8 still exist today, although the roofs of many are failing catastrophically. Historic roundhouses and locomotive shops all over the Midwest have been destroyed, but these are still preservable, in spite of the damage. With a little social-historical consciousness and the desire to save those reminders of bygone days that mark the American timeline.


This site was absolutely fantastic!  I must say that it is my all-time favorite abandoned site to date that I have had the privilege to shoot.  The lighting inside was amazing and the graffiti outstanding.  I shot this location with my trusty Nikon D60 coupled with the Tamron 18-270mm @ 7.1 on auto ISO.  This is the camera that is by my side at all times.  You’ll notice the grain in the photos.  I think it adds character to the images.  I was going to process this location all in B&W, but the colorful graffiti, moss and other aspects of the building dictated otherwise. On some level I wish I would have spent more time and used a different camera, lens and tripod.  Different gear and more time would have allowed for a more complete exploration of the light and angles of this relic and captured some rock-solid exposures.  I think some really amazing HDR photography could be produced here.

Abandoned Hunting – The Abandoned

Cyn and I had some time last weekend to do some abandoned hunting.  We drove through West Central MN (212), NE South Dakota and SE North Dakota.  We were amazed at the number of abandoned farms and homes still standing.  The first two images are two of many that “got away.”  The snow was somewhat of a hindrance.  Minimum Maintenance roads are nothing to mess around with this time of year.  The roads to several properties where minimum maintenance or simply were just not plowed.  GPS coordinates will come in handy for a return trip 🙂

The next few images are of an almost abandoned town in SD called Hammer.  There was one home there still occupied – not quite a complete ghost town yet.  Further along you will see that we did find a couple of abandoned homes that we could get to and explore (Montevideo and Big Stone City).  We both would have liked to get inside the 1911 brick schoolhouse in Louisburg, MN, but that just wasn’t possible.

It was a great few days to get away and capture rural decay and commit historic visions to pixels.  The post to follow will include all of the photos of all points in between the abandoned places.

Happy Merry Ho Ho Ho

Aaaahh the holiday seasons…what’s not to love?  Time off of work, lots of food and drink, spending time with family and friends – oh yeah and some time to get out and shoot.  Even though it was a short amount of time, it was photo-time non-the-less.  We shot our way from one holiday gather to another.  We didn’t have all day, but we were in familiar territory and only ventured off the beaten path a bit.

We envisioned a vague course East from the North metro toward Rice Lake, WI.  We deviated only slightly due to time constraints [you don’t want to be late for dinner].

It never fails, we usually stumble upon an abandon house or even two or more; this trip was no different.  Each find may not be superb one, but we always try to take a closer look anyway.  This one only contained a tattered hide-a-bed sofa.

The slide off of the work-site trailer house was a great find.  The pheasants were great as well.  I have put on many miles in recent times and haven’t seen near the numbers I did this day.

Happy belated holidays to all.  I hope they were as wonderful for you as they were for Cyndie and I (and the wieners).