CGW Railroad Trestle- Carroll, Iowa

The remnants of this timber stringer stand tall over the Sauk Trail bike path on the Western edge of the small city of Carroll.


 ADM Milling Company Elevator- Des Moines, Iowa 

In the deep southeast corner of Des Moines, where the pipeline flames burn, and scrap metal is processed, lies the grim monolithic remnants of the ADM Milling Company grain elevator. This massive testament to the agriculture boom of the early 20th century closed just a few years ago. Its property has been confined behind barbed-wire fences and padlocked gates. Its interior is beginning to rust, weather, and become overgrown. Some talk of using it as a modern art project has been tossed around, but the future of this multi-story tomb is largely unknown.


Next to the still operational, monolithic processing plant lies the remains of the once bustling administration building for the Rath Packing Plant.
Behind the brick walls of the plant, millions of animals were slaughtered- hacked and sliced into slabs of meat for the millions of consumers depending on Rath for their animal products. The plant has witnessed one human death as well. In 1948 a union worker was killed during a protest which elevated to the point of requiring the National Guard to be called in to restore order.

Opened in 1891 by George Rath, the plant remained open for nearly a century. The building closed its doors in 1985 and has sat vacant since. The Rath Plant in Waterloo was quite reknowned- in an era where meat plants were a large economic boost to small-town communities, this plant was the largest of its kind…in the world.

More information can be found here:





Trout Hatchery- Cedar Falls, IA

Any cause for travel is a great oppurtunity for me to capture some abandoned places. Getting out of Central Iowa is always a great time to search for new material. This week I just so happen to be in Cedar Falls and my hostess informed me o
f the remnants of a once lively trout hatchery just a short jog through the woods near Pfeiffer Park.

Taken from the City of Cedar Falls Website: “Acquired in 1921 from land donated by Mary Pfeiffer. This Park is named for a spring on the south bank of Dry Run creek that was the first source of water for the city. Earlier in this century it was also developed as a trout hatchery. Remnants of the old hatchery still exist and are the Park’s most interesting and unusual feature.”


Gardiner Consolidated School- Near Perry, Bouton, IA

A short five miles away from the fairly bustling town of Perry lies the overgrown, and profoundly dilapidated, remains of the Gardiner Consolidated school. State highway 169 runs adjacent to the property- not that one would be able to tell.The impressive three-story, brick structure is entirely shrouded by growths of Hackberries, Mulberry trees, and wild oaks rendering it almost completely camouflaged to any passerby.

Seldom do I research a location and come up completely empty, however, that happens to be the case with this overgrown consolidated school near Perry. The only information that I was able to find came from a book published in 1922 by George Brown entitled, “Iowas Consolidated Schools.” What I discovered was that this particular school received no state aid. Now, I’m not 100% certain as to what that means for a public school, but my best guess would be that Gardiner Consolidated school was funded and operated on the enrollment fees or other costs. According to the records in Brown’s text, during the school year of 1922, 67 pupils attended class here with 11 of which being high-school students or upper classmen. Presumably, this building housed elementary classes as well as higher level courses for middle/high school aged students. Despite this, 67 pupils is not a substantial amount and considering the non-state-funded status of this school, its no wonder I had trouble finding information. Even while in operation, Gardiner Consolidated was likely a somewhat insignificant school.


Some monochrome shots I’ve been working on. Im a sucker for B&W.


Union Pacific Four Mile Creek Bridge-
Berwick, IA

Tucked away in the quaint Mally park in Berwick, a sloping berm cuts through the forest. The Union Pacific Railroad used to run through the unadorned Iowa town. Steel rails were spiked into the berm to carry train cars carrying coal, or oil, or consumer goods. This abandoned stringer used to bridge the gap over Four Mile Creek for Union Pacific trains for decades. Now, it remains a charred, graffitied skeleton of its former life. The rails have long since been removed, and the rocky slopes of the berm, overgrown.


Train Depot- Minburn, IA

A preface: I had hesitated to upload these photos, back when I initially took them, due to the poor quality of the camera I was using. So ignore the lensflare, the washed out colors and the uneven framing :)

This 100 year old depot sits in the middle of the towering grain elevators near the middle of the tiny town of Minburn. What was once used as a rest stop and station for the multitude of trains that used to criss-cross this area of central Iowa, will now be given new life this Thursday as a trail head, cafe, and rest area for a nearby bike trail. 

KCCI is covering the moving process as the depot finds its new home just a block away.

Find out more here:


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