Ruined Seminary (Original Photography)


A couple summers ago, I shared some black and white photos of the ruin of a seminary in the minuscule town of Wasioja, Minnesota. This is the town I lived in until I was about five years old and, back in those days, the ruin was completely open and you could walk around the rubble. These days, it has been protected behind a chain-link fence and has a very un-photogenic "No Trespassing" sign across the chained and locked gate.

Under The Fence]()

Last weekend, I had driven to Rochester to help my parents cut, haul, split, and stack firewood for the upcoming frigid hell that is a Minnesota winter and, on the way back to Mankato, decided to stop at the ruin for a few more photos. It was getting late in the morning, so the light was harsh. I usually avoid these conditions, but it made for an interesting challenge.

Windows: Not Software]()

The sky was spectacular, with an assortment of clouds to work with. The above photo was taken from the front of the structure, so the wall was back-lit. I brought some of the stone's texture back when I got the image into Lightroom.

The Roof Was On Fire]()

Many years ago, the seminary caught fire. With all the storms and harsh winters that have come since, it's amazing that anything is left standing at all. As you can see in the next photo, someone put wooden beams in some of the windows to keep them from collapsing. They look like they've been there awhile, too!

Weathered In Minnesota]()

Here's another window that really worked with the sky. Shooting up toward the second story avoided getting that pesky fence in the shots. The previous one was through ground-level windows, so I needed to find an angle that hid unwanted objects.

Totally Pane-Less]()

This next one isn't my favorite photo of the bunch, but it illustrates some of the challenges with working in this area. I shot this over the fence, since someone was nice enough to leave a large plastic bucket (aka stool) for me to stand on. The fence is visible through the window on the far side and, even after adjusting in Lightroom, the contrast makes it a little difficult to see what you're looking at upon first glance.

Pesky Fence!]()

Here is a great view of the roof! It almost looks like the crenellations atop a castle battlement, if you had a really flimsy castle with thin walls. An article about the seminary is available here.

Flimsy Castle]()

Back in Mankato, I am continuing the brutal task of looking for work. So far, I've had little success in this task. I am also going to attempt to set up an Etsy store in the next month or so, to sell prints of some of my better photographs. We'll see if anything comes of it.

Thank you for taking a look! If you enjoy my work, please click the upvote button. Comments are also greatly appreciated.


Comments 17

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03.09.2019 22:58

I love old run down places like this and what an awesome series of shots

04.09.2019 01:29

I wish there were more of them to take photos of. Maybe there are, and I just don't know where to find them.

04.09.2019 02:30

Yeah maybe your right but there not well documented so hard to find

04.09.2019 09:07

Wonderful photos of this old ruin. The remaining stonework is amazing. The forced angles made the photos be even more interesting.
I'll be thinking positive thoughts about your job search.

04.09.2019 01:58

Thanks. It was interesting trying to work over and under that fence. Whoever left that five-gallon bucket deserves a thanks!

04.09.2019 02:29

This post was chosen to be voted by THEUNION.

04.09.2019 04:08

Hey it seems to be a place where also some ruins arround, i guess its not so much like here in my base and your favorit location but some is better than non, so you got the chance to grab some pretty nice pictures.

with sunny greetings from Andalsuia
Don Thomas

04.09.2019 09:58


There aren't very many here, and they only date back to the 1800's. Most European settlers didn't arrive until the early to mid 1800's, and the natives in this area were mostly nomadic. In other parts of the United States, natives built more permanent settlements, but they are too far away for me to visit.

Still, the buildings of the 1800's have their character. The old mills are particularly fascinating, with their mechanical water-powered machinery.

04.09.2019 17:27

Yes, your right the mills are also a part of some genius, still working if maintained over the years, and not wasting energy (moreover if assembled they will generate electricity with out setting carbon dioxide free)
Zwischenlinie-2 für Steem-Post 940x120.png
with sunny greetings from Andalusia

Don Thomas

04.09.2019 21:16

Hello @fotosdenada, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

07.09.2019 14:02

Howdy sir fotosdenada! Those are really interesting photos and I can see the challenges to getting them. "crenellations?" lol..that's a great word. already preparing for winter, that's sad! They're too long and cold up there.

07.09.2019 18:10


Autumn is just starting here, but we have to have wood ready for winter early. It's nice to have the woodshed stocked and ready by the time the first flakes start to fall. My dad will order a truckload of waste cuts from a local lumbermill in October. Those burn a lot faster and hotter, so we like to have the felled hardwoods to mix with them in the fireplace.

08.09.2019 18:38

Very interesting sir fotosdenada! So they use a fireplace as a major part of their heating the house right?

08.09.2019 22:42

They have a gas furnace, but wood is more pleasant. It also greatly reduces their hearing costs, though the house is actually very well insulated.

09.09.2019 00:59

Ok, that makes sense. I love fireplaces too. Getting lots of wood to use everyday through a long winter is tons and tons of work though, as you well know!

09.09.2019 03:06

Especially if you have to plan for a few weeks where the high temperature doesn't even hit -20, like that last one. Here's hoping that doesn't happen again this winter.

09.09.2019 03:11