The Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range Railway

Composite by Sometimes Interesting

Dan and I did not know the complete history behind the Duluth, Missabe, Iron Range Railway – until now.  In 2013, Dan and I came across an extensive abandoned building while in Two Harbors, MN; our hearts raced as we arrived on the site.  We were lucky enough to be able to photograph this location in all of its splendid decay. This building will be forever imprinted in our minds as it was our very first urban/industrial abandoned site.  We have mostly explored abandoned homes/farmsteads in the countrysides of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North & South Dakota.

A very talented writer and fellow blogger whose posts can be viewed at Sometimes Interesting, wrote an extensive piece on the Duluth, Missabe, Iron Range Railway; he has restored old life into these more recent photographs as seen below within the gallery and in Dan’s original post: [ Dan Traun’s original post from 2013-07-22].  We are deeply appreciative of the time and effort that Sometimes Interesting put into Ghosts of the Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range Railway.

For fifty years the depot and roundhouse in Two Harbors sat abandoned, reminding of an era driven by coal and iron. The site was eventually razed, but not before photographers Dan & Cynthia Traun were able to visit and capture the buildings as they appeared in their final days.  Source: Sometimes Interesting

Sometimes Interesting is all about uncovering the history of the abandoned, forgotten, and unexplained.  Spend some time delving into this site; you will be absolutely captivated by the research performed and his writing talent.

Composite by Sometimes Interesting

The vibrations from the ghost machinery, the history that trickled from the deteriorating walls, the past whispers heard from the employees who worked in this magnificent historical building, have forever been silenced as these buildings are no longer standing.  All that will remain are the memories, photographs, and stories told through the many people who have been touched by its presence. Please enjoy my photographs taken from the exploration of this site below, stop and take a peek the images my husband, Dan Traun, had captured in  Dan Traun’s original post from 2013-07-22, then read the extensive history behind this magnificent building by visiting the site of Somtimes Interesting- Ghosts of the Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range Railway.

Enjoy!

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Minnesota North Shore, Exploration of Two Harbors

After our walk around Cove Point Lodge, we headed back into Two Harbors, MN to take in some city scenery.  On our way, we noticed a sign alongside the road for “Cooter Pottery”.  Dan quickly took the sharp left onto the road heading us in that direction.  Off the beaten path and down a dirt driveway, we came to a creative hotspot that Dick and Debbie Cooter have built.  The kiln and pottery showcased here was absolutely amazing and the colors that Debbie used for her rug weaving was spectacular.  Walking into the showroom was to say the least; inspiring. A stop highly recommended!

A quote taken from Dick Cooter from his website.  To view the website and gallery click on the following link Cooter Pottery.

“My pots are fired in a 125 cu ft wood burning kiln inspired by traditional Korean kilns.  The pots I make are sturdy, bold, and reflect the processes of making them, simple decoration enhances the rich surface created by long wood fires. “

A quote taken from Debbie Cooter about Cooter Handweaving:

“I was introduced to rug weaving 27 years ago as a folk art.  The tradition using recycled clothing to weave and household items appealed to both my creative and thrifty nature.”

After spending some time photographing the Cooter Pottery grounds, we headed into Two Harbors and stopped to photograph the two lighthouses in the bay.  While driving around this quaint little town, our eyes laid upon the signs of abandonment in a large building not far from main street.  What we ran into that day required a trip back later in our vacation.  The buildings that we ran across was the old Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway 30 acre lake front property (DM&IR).  Oh my… My heart skipped a beat as the excitement poured into my body.  This was going to be a good!  We stopped for only a short period of time photographing just a small portion of this property.  The feeling these building put forth is far beyond any words that can spew out of my mouth.  Look for a post on this site in the near future as it has been recently demolished and is no longer standing.  We were extremely lucky to have noticed this gem when we did.

The next leg of our trip will bring you along with us as we tour Split Rock Lighthouse and the grounds of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.

 

Abandoned outside of Forbes, North Dakota

The only song we heard walking through fields of tall grass as we approached this abandoned farmstead, was the North Dakota wind as it howled through the branches of the old Maple trees.  The excitement grew as we came closer to the house.  The wonder of what you may find as the old rickety door is pushed open, is like reading the first pages of a novel.  Sometimes it grabs you and pulls you in, other times it just holds your attention.  There wasn’t much left as the plaster of the walls started disintegrating long, long ago.  The trusty Hoover is still waiting to clean up the mess time has left behind.

Each of these properties hide a plot line (with or without clues) and the fun part for me is to create the characters and scenario played out in times past.

North Dakota Ghosts- The old school in Forbes, North Dakota

Dan and I were on a mission to find abandoned properties near Fargo, North Dakota as we were heading north on a business trip last year.  My father grew up north of Fargo in the small town of Crookston, MN and I still have family living in Moorhead, MN.  What a great way to mix business with pleasure and take some extra time to explore this area and visit some family.

Stumbling upon ghostsofnorthdakota.com (take some time to stop by their website), we were surprised to see just how many towns, excuse me,  ghost towns, North Dakota actually has.  The decline of the small town in North Dakota and how they have captured these sites before they disappear off the land forever was inspiring to both Dan and I.  The trip sounded interesting, exciting, and educational all at the same time.  We grabbed the Gazetteer and planned our route of the road less traveled.

Northeast North Dakota, although flat, has its own beauty.  There may not be majestic mountains, enormous river gorges, or the sounds and tranquility of the ocean waves in this part of the world.  However, the flat land makes its own palette as shades of the blue sky, and the green, yellow, and gold in the fields combine to make art.  The sound you hear, is the song of the tall grass as it sways in the wind, or the flutter of wings of the migrating birds.  Perhaps it is the silence… at least that is what we encountered in the northeast portion of the State.

Our plan was to see some of these ghost towns that ghostsofnorthdakota.com speak of and to capture a piece of these sites before nature takes over and slowly deteriorates the walls that provide strength to a structure.  Follow the abandoned rails, and you will see what was left behind.  Oh, the stories that these small towns can tell.

For the next few posts, I will share the sites we encountered.

Forbes, ND

Welcome to Forbes, North Dakota.  Founded in 1905, the population at the 2010 Census was 53.  

According to a former student, the school closed its doors in 1987 and is now left to decay.  Walking through the halls, you can almost hear the laughter of the children and the wisdom of the teachers as they guide their students through the coursework.  The grass on the playground is tall and the chains have now succumbed rust.  The ceilings crumble, the paint is peeling, and the moss grows rampant.  Soon, she will be gone.