Step 1: Be obsessive with Google Earth.
I found this place because of all the decrepid shacks scattered over the hillsides. I wasn't exactly sure what they were or why tracks ran by each one.
Once I made it out there, I could only find a couple sagging structures left. The space where they existed was completely gone. I found out later that they had been all razed because Superfund status and because the year before, even after all cleanup was complete, another full old boom stick was rediscovered.
A little history:
"Founded in 1922, by 1956 the plant was manufacturing 41 million pounds of explosives a year. The operation was the main supplier for the mines located in the region. In 1983, the operation ended the production of nitroglycerine and exclusively processed ammonium nitrate, a much more stable product."
I've found old crates from this plant deep inside mines before. It was nice to explore part of where they originated.
*This was a few years back and I'm not sure if this part has been bulldozed too even though the Google still believes the contrary. Also note, this property and perimeter is still very active.
by No Stone Unturned Photography
, on Flickr
The train tracks turned into wooden rails through the building to keep out sparks
*Only found some busted up pieces of the old style crates
Bonus - Nitroglycerin sweats