Monthly Archives: August 2006

A Train Forgotten

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The railroad we walked on was in operation for over 50 years. Lines of rock cars moved up and down it every day for all those yeas. Then, one day, it simply stopped. The workers simply left, leaving everything where it was. Some things were sold; some were dismantled. Other …

Mystery Mark

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We have seen our fair share of graffiti on the ruins and relics of the Keweenaw. But after a few hours along the Quincy and Torch Lake we found a recurring mark on the relics we were finding which begged further explanation then simple graffiti. Both the upside down tender …

An Abandoned Rail Car

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the quincy #2 complex as seen along the Q&TL Moving past the cog-rail, we rejoin the Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad on its journey east. High up on the hill beyond we could make out the silhouettes of the Quincy #2 complex, now the only remnants of a vast industrial …

The New Q&TL

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After a short distance traveling along the trail, we came to a clearing. In front of us, crossing the trail and blocking our path, was a rail line. This line, however, was intact and relatively new looking. What’s more, it was actually three rails. The rails on the outside were …

Derailed and Derelict

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Riding along the ridgeline overlooking the Portage valley, the engineers of the Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad must have had quite the view from the cab of the engine. At the turn of the century this entire hillside was cleared completely from any tree that could block the view. A …

The Water Tank

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A railroad is more then rails, locomotives and rail cars. There is also an extensive amount of support buildings that are built to service the railroad. For the Q&TL, this included the roundhouse, various water towers, and two turntables. Maps of the line clearly show one of those turntables sitting …

The Roundhouse

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It was clear what we would find down “Roundhouse Road”. Every railroad will have one, used for the shelter, maintenance, and repair of locomotives. Essentially garages, these buildings got their name from their usual semi-circle – or round – footprint. Roundhouses would circle a central turntable, used to turn and …

Portage Valley View

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Quincy Mine – along with C&H to the north and Copper Range to the South – were the three biggest mines on the copper range. Their influence was strong and far reaching, lasting for almost two centuries. All three built expansive surface plants, ports, smelters, stamp mills, roads, and a …

The #5 Hoist Building

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Scattered along the remnants are metal posts – some twisted and bent – that once held machinery. These had been cut clean off with a blow torch by the scrap hunters that had robbed this area of machinery after the mines closed. A delicate brick ledge, perhaps used to support …

Anatomy of a Hoist

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What we found in the woods along Tecumseh road is a common ruin we encounter on our explorations of the Copper Country. Copper mining had grown far past it’s infancy by the time the lake mines began production, and the technology and methodology of copper mining had standardized across all …

The Second Hoist

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The second hoist building ( or so we had called it ) was similar in form to the structure we had encountered earlier – only on a more grand scale. This building was easily twice as large as the other – the “H” shaped foundation of red brick was a …

Another Pile of Rock

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We moved past the possible #4 engine house, and moved further down Tecumseh Road. Knowing that mine shafts usually follow a line, we figured another mine should be close by. After walking a good distance and finding nothing we decided to turn around and head back to the main rail …

Ruin on Tecumseh

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we take a closer look at the ruins along the road Tecumseh road is one of those old and forgotten roads in the Keweenaw. Once, in its youth, the road served an important role in taking travelers between the shafts of the Osceola, out to the town of Tecumseh, and …

Shaft Countin’

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How do you find an abandoned copper mine? You look for the poor rock pile of course. Like we did here in Osceola, coming across a poor rock pile is a good sign that further ruins are nearby. Keweenaw mine companies didn’t waste any time or money in the removing …

A Pile of Rock

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After a short stop at what we thought was the Osceola depot, we continued on down the line. Soon we found ourselves in the shadow of two large piles of rock on either side of the trail. It was poor rock, waste material from the underground that was hauled to …