• The Legacy of James Dee

    We explore a monument to one of Houghton's most influential residents, the towering Dee Block at the foot of Isle Royale Street.

Recent Posts

  • Trimountain No.1

    Trimountain No.1

    Of all the mines that had sunk shafts into the great Baltic Lode, the Trimountain could be considered the ugly ducking of the bunch. Besieged by mismanagement and difficult geography the mine was never able to fully take advantage of the copper bounty below its feet. From its establishment in ... Read More »
  • Facades (p2)

    Facades (p2)

    Very few tourists venture up to the north end of 5th Street. If they did, they would find sitting atop a slight hill a collection of old buildings housing a used book store, art gallery, and a few apartments. And if they looked up above their heads they would find ... Read More »
  • Quincy’s Creek

    Quincy’s Creek

    Sitting on the shores of Torch Lake, just north of the town of Mason, sits the expansive facilities of the Quincy Stamp Mill. It operated for over 60 years, and was one of the last mine facilities closed in the Copper Country. Because of this, most of the facility still ... Read More »
  • Anatomy of a Steel Dam (p3)

    Anatomy of a Steel Dam (p3)

    As you progress along the foundation of the Redridge Dam, you drop level after level via a series of concrete staircases built into the floor. It’s about 30 feet from the gorge rim where the dam’s wing sections are, to the river level where the main center section sits. As ... Read More »
  • A Re-Alignment

    A Re-Alignment

    The Osceola Mine and the community that served it continued to grow up through the turn of the century. The mine expanded southward, opening two new shafts along the old Opechee Mine property. The town itself was expanded out as far as it could, stretching out until it sat right ... Read More »
  • The Revolution in the Valley

    The Revolution in the Valley

    The Keweenaw Peninsula garnered its name from the native population who referred to the long finger of land as “Kee-wi-wai-non- ing”, roughly translated as the “place where portage is made”. Those early people would forgo traveling around the long finger of land in favor of a direct route straight through ... Read More »
  • Smelter Tech: The Corliss Engine

    Smelter Tech: The Corliss Engine

    While James Watt’s improvements to the steam engine may have been responsible for giving birth to the industrial revolution it would be the contribution of George Corliss that made it profitable. Watt’s contribution to engine design was one of practicality and reliability. Corliss’s contribution was one of efficiency, creating engines ... Read More »
  • Smelters of the Copper Country

    Smelters of the Copper Country

    As we noted in yesterdays post, smelting was a particularly costly enterprise that only became feasible once the mining industry of the peninsula had reached sufficient size and scope. That event occurred around 1880 with the establishment of the Portage Lake Smelting Works, and by the dawn of the 20th ... Read More »