St. Joe Lead Company - Federal Mill No. 3

El GatoEl Gato Global TrekkerRegistered Users Posts: 991 Major grins

Photographing old architectural buildings is a favorite of mine so, I could not pass up the opportunity to spend several hours exploring the Missouri Mines State Historic Site. A rock-hound since I was a youngster, this was a twofer…old buildings and minerals.

Nestled deep within the eastern Ozarks (St. Francois County) is an area known as the Old Lead Belt; it is a major part of the great Southeast Missouri lead district, the premier lead mining district of the world. The mining industry in this area has played an important role in Missouri's economic and social fabric for more than 280 years.

Missouri Mines State Historic Site preserves the site of the former St. Joe Lead Company, which was established in 1864. The site consists of 18 historically significant structures and artifacts of the largest mine-mill complex (65.59 acres) in the Old Lead Belt. This Site occupies Federal Mill No. 3, a lead-concentrating complex and the largest lead mill in the world. It remained in operation from 1923 until 1972, and is located in Park Hills, Missouri.

I have begun processing a series of images based on the photos, which I took during this site visit. I will post a few from the series every so often as I get the opportunity to work on processing the raw material (I guess pun intended).

My passion for B&W imaging has guided me in the development of this series.

Given the construction of these structures along with their slow deterioration and the eerie “left-as-is” state of the buildings and work areas, all contributed to my selecting to present these images in B&W.

I hope you enjoy these and those to follow in this series.

As always, C&C is welcomed and appreciated.

Conveyor belt and processing building

Water Tower

Retaining pond

Main processing complex

Comments

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am San Jose, CARegistered Users Posts: 8,317 Major grins

    Wow! Such stunning processing! Seem so sharp and vivid! Also seemingly simple subjects framed and presented in such exciting ways.
    Bravo Gato!

  • black mambablack mamba Major grins Jacksonville, FLRegistered Users Posts: 7,816 Major grins

    Beautiful series, Al. With your penchants, you had to think that you struck gold. Your knack for framing and overall presentation is unexcelled around here. Good work.

    A Question. What is being held in the retention pond? Effluents from from different manufacturing processes? Just curious.

    I always wanted to lie naked on a bearskin rug in front of a fireplace. Cracker Barrel didn't take kindly to it.
  • JuanoJuano Major grins Lima, PeruRegistered Users Posts: 4,485 Major grins

    Very cool processing Gato, my favorite is the last one, I like crooked things...

  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandAdministrators Posts: 12,815 moderator

    They're all great shots. My fave is the last one of the bunch. The B+W conversions are first class.

    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Registered Users Posts: 991 Major grins

    Thank you everyone!!

    From such a very talented group of photographers, your comments are very much appreciated and humbling.

    Thank you so very much!

  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Registered Users Posts: 991 Major grins

    @black mamba said:
    Beautiful series, Al. With your penchants, you had to think that you struck gold. Your knack for framing and overall presentation is unexcelled around here. Good work.

    A Question. What is being held in the retention pond? Effluents from from different manufacturing processes? Just curious.

    Tom...

    Without any analytical substantiation...I speculate that the pond was full of water.

    I could not smell any discernible oder(s), see any signs of chemical by-products and deduction based upon when the facility closed in 1972, I hope that any truly nasty chemicals or mining-milling waste had been removed years ago.

  • sarasphotossarasphotos Major grins Augsburg, GermanyRegistered Users Posts: 3,224 Major grins

    Great shots, Gato and wonderful b+w processing. My favorite of the bunch is the third - I like the sky over the retaining pond.

  • black mambablack mamba Major grins Jacksonville, FLRegistered Users Posts: 7,816 Major grins

    @El Gato said:

    @black mamba said:
    Beautiful series, Al. With your penchants, you had to think that you struck gold. Your knack for framing and overall presentation is unexcelled around here. Good work.

    A Question. What is being held in the retention pond? Effluents from from different manufacturing processes? Just curious.

    Tom...

    Without any analytical substantiation...I speculate that the pond was full of water.

    I could not smell any discernible oder(s), see any signs of chemical by-products and deduction based upon when the facility closed in 1972, I hope that any truly nasty chemicals or mining-milling waste had been removed years ago.

    I'm sure you're right, Al. I'd forgotten the year it closed. Have you more to post from that shoot and/or do you plan another visit?

    I always wanted to lie naked on a bearskin rug in front of a fireplace. Cracker Barrel didn't take kindly to it.
  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Registered Users Posts: 991 Major grins

    @sarasphotos said:
    Great shots, Gato and wonderful b+w processing. My favorite of the bunch is the third - I like the sky over the retaining pond.

    Thank you Sara. I appreciate your comment!

  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Registered Users Posts: 991 Major grins

    @black mamba said:

    @El Gato said:

    @black mamba said:
    Beautiful series, Al. With your penchants, you had to think that you struck gold. Your knack for framing and overall presentation is unexcelled around here. Good work.

    A Question. What is being held in the retention pond? Effluents from from different manufacturing processes? Just curious.

    Tom...

    Without any analytical substantiation...I speculate that the pond was full of water.

    I could not smell any discernible oder(s), see any signs of chemical by-products and deduction based upon when the facility closed in 1972, I hope that any truly nasty chemicals or mining-milling waste had been removed years ago.

    I'm sure you're right, Al. I'd forgotten the year it closed. Have you more to post from that shoot and/or do you plan another visit?

    Tom....

    I have quite a few shots from this particular facility. I spent around four hours, combing over the area. A large percentage of the site was restricted and had no trespassing, no entry signs posted (for obvious safety reasons), which really limited where I wanted to go. I have a strong feeling that I would have found some very interesting machinery, along with production areas and other buildings, had I had unfettered access . I came home with a lot of images. I have been culling through them to select just those I think warrant further post-processing.

    I was fortunate to be able to take many photos of building interiors, without having access to the buildings themselves. Many of the buildings had exposed, open, broken-out, missing windows, doors, etc., which afforded a good opportunity to get those interior shots.

    There is also a rail line on the property, which I took photos of.

    I took images both in color and infrared. The conversion and post-processing to B&W seems to be more dynamic in those images shot with the infrared camera.

    I look forward to posting additional sets from this shoot in the coming weeks.

    Thank you again for your comments, Tom! Much appreciated.

  • willard3willard3 Jefe Máximo Registered Users Posts: 2,512 Major grins
    edited October 27, 2021

    This is an excellent set of b&w, Gato.
    Plenty to look at.

    It is better to die on you feet than to live on your knees.....Emiliano Zapata
  • roaddog52roaddog52 Major grins In the sticks, NE of SeattleRegistered Users Posts: 1,301 Major grins

    @Stumblebum said:
    Wow! Such stunning processing! Seem so sharp and vivid! Also seemingly simple subjects framed and presented in such exciting ways.
    Bravo Gato!

    Plus 1

    I don't know where I'm going, but I'm going anyway.

    Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity!
  • CornflakeCornflake Major grins ArizonaRegistered Users Posts: 3,118 Major grins

    Very well done! Thanks for sharing these.

  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Registered Users Posts: 991 Major grins

    Willard, Roaddog, Don....

    Thank you for your comments!

    Sorry for my late reply....the daytime job is beginning to ramp up once again....good in many respects, not so good in the reduction of "free time" to pursue more enjoyable activities.

    Thanks once again everyone! I very much appreciate all of your comments.

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