Monthly Archives: October 2006

The Tunnel

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The great expanse of stamp sands we currently were standing on, all originated from the Mohawk mill behind us. The water/stamp sand solution that exited the stamp mill was carried by water chutes (called launders) to the lake’s edge where they were dumped. Over time, the stamp sands would fill …

The Barren Beach

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It is a strangely off-worldly experience to step out from the stamp mill ruins and onto the barren landscape of the sands. Gazing out across its desolate expanse stretching towards the horizon, you can’t help but feel as if you are standing on another planet. In the far distance we …

The Fallen Hopper

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Sitting among the scattered remains of the Mohawk Stamp Mill was a large concrete monolith. Apparently single block of concrete a good 15 feet in height and 30 feet in length, this structure sat haphazardly upon the ruins – almost as if it was simply dropped there. It looked out …

The Lower Level

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the smokestack from the lower level As we neared the edge of the second level, we looked down across a zone of destruction. The lower level was a mess, a tangle of concrete, reinforcing bars, steel beams, cables, and any other industrial material you could think of. There were no …

The Second Level

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the second level, as viewed from the third Stamps were large, heavy, and cumbersome pieces of equipment. Most mills only had a few, and only the real profitable mines (such as C&H) could install more. The Mohawk Mill had 4 stamps. Only question was: where were they? Not that we …

Stamps, Jigs, and Wifleys

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The purpose of the Mohawk Mill – as with any stamp mill – was to separate the copper from the rock that incased it. The process relied on the differing physical properties of the two substances, specifically the weight and hardness. Copper was of a greater density then the igneous …

The Pump House

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This first level we found ourselves on was devoid of much detail. Mostly a flat concrete surface, it was dotted in places with round holes that seemed to drop into an opening below our feet. It was too dark inside this opening to see any detail and the hole was …

The First Level

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The monolithic Gay stack that stood impressively above our heads seemed to be on its own. Besides a cement “flu” that arched down from the stack to the ground, no other buildings or ruins could be seen around it. Stamp Mills relied on steam power to drive the stamps, and …

Where Stamp Mills Roam

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Getting the copper out from the underground is only the first step in the copper production process. The copper that leaves the mine is encased in a tomb of igneous rock, which needs to be removed. This process is carried out at the stamp mill. Copper rock removed from mines …

The Smokestack

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a monument to another time They stand tall and proud across the copper country landscape. Seemingly constructed as impressive monuments to an industrialized time, their gray columns rise high above the surrounding forests and towns. Once these pillars coughed out over the land, spewing black smoke into the air in …

Trolley in a Field

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The boom years that occurred at the turn of the 19th century quickly transformed Calumet and the surrounding communities into a modern metropolis. Electric lights, paved roads, modern plumbing, and even opera houses quietly ushered in a new modern era. The coming of the trolley line in 1901 yelled it …

Hoist Building Lineage

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Through our explorations in the Copper Country, we have noticed various trends in mining technology, infrastructure, and building techniques. We have also noticed how these trends evolve over the years, shaping the ruins we find on our travels. The Gratiot Hoist Building is the apogee of hoist building design, and …

From Inside the Hoist

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An inside look at the Gratiot Hoist building in a 360 view from the hoist pedestal itself. Get the big picture of this modern hoist ruin by clicking on the image below.

Dark Tunnels

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the basement tunnel to the hoist The identity of the mystery building yet to be determined, turned our attention back to the goal at hand: finding the hoist. While we knew that the hoist had to be in the direction we were heading, the woods were become thick and impassible. …

Ruin in the Trees

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So here we were. We had found both the rockhouse, and the shaft building. We had also found the dry, a few electrical related ruins, and climbed the rock pile. We had almost did it all, except for the one missing ingredient: the hoist building. breadcrumbs to the hoist – …