Monthly Archives: April 2007

A Town Is Born

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the Osceola Depot With the discovery and development of the Osceola Amygdaloid lode, the fledging mining company of the same name quickly became successful. By 1880 the company had sunk four shafts, and a stable work force had become a necessity. Along the narrow dirt road leading to the mine, …

Osceola Revisited

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a piece of foundation we thought might have been the Osceola Depot. But is it? The Osceola Mine struck fortune with the discovery of the Osceola Amygdaloid lode in 1877, just to the southeast of C&H’s Hecla Mine. The three original shafts of the Osceola became big producers, and as …

Soda Cans

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Often when exploring the woods and fields of the Keweenaw, we stumble upon trash. Some might say that everything we feature on these pages is trash, and I suppose technically it is. But here we aren’t talking about poor rock walls or still smokestacks. We’re talking about old bottles, buckets, …

North Kearsarge No. 3

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a shaft and rock house on the Kearsarge lode similar to what might have stood at North Kearsarge No.3 The mine at North Kearsarge (and its sister mine at South Kearsarge) enjoyed the benefits of an association with one of the more wealthy mine companies along the Copper Country. The …

Watering Hole

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an interesting ruin on the edge of a small pond at Kearsarge Like a living creature, copper mines required sustenance to live. A mines boilers required fuel each day, and to feed their hunger trains delivered large quantities of coal to their door, piled into large mounds nearby. Those boilers …

A Mystery to Solve

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The long and unbroken wall that sat atop the hillside at North Kearsarge, was not one continuous wall at all. After getting to the top of the ruins and walking along them, we realized that these were a series of buildings. Are confusion stemmed from how close to each other …

Wall of Rock

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Mines were built where the lode dictated, with little room for improvisation. Like most lodes, the Kearsarge Amygdaloid on which the North Kearsarge worked was narrow, only 200 feet wide at its thickest. The graceful curve of the lode’s path sent it under swamps, marshland, or – in North Kearsarge’s …

Surface Plant

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part of the collection of buildings that make up Quincy’s surface plant A mine itself is only a collection of tunnels underground, connected in a honeycomb maze of drifts and shafts. (see “Anatomy of the Underground”) From the surface the true size and scope of this labyrinth is hidden from …

Coal Delivery

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the approach to a trestle at North Kearsarge used to deliver coal to the boiler house In order to feed the mining hoists with steam, boilers required large amounts of fuel. Normally this would come in the form of coal, but for the Copper Country’s early years coal was a …

Boiler House

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Steam engines thirst steam, and the boiler house provides that steam. Our discovery of boiler houses is rather recent, and not all mine sites have them. The more recent mines such as Centennial, Kingston, and Gratiot relied on electric hoists to do all their dirty work. The power to supply …

A Trip to the Theatre

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During Calumet’s more metropolitan days, this was the first thing most people saw when coming into town. Before the automobile and the highways that carried them invaded the Copper Country, most people travelled by train. This is the Mineral Range depot, where thousands of immigrants made their first steps on …

Hoist Details

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Hoist buildings, at least at the time the North Kearsarge was built, were generally wood structures that sat on a poor rock foundation. The hoist engine itself was supported by its own heavy-duty foundation that was designed to hold the great deal of weight and force the engine would carry. …

A Typical Mine Hoist

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It has been said many times here in these pages that the hoist was the heart of a mine. The life blood of copper flowed by the power of these steam behemoths. Often a mine’s most expensive purchase was their hoist engine, and it was the center of attention. Impressive …

The Name Game

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The Kearsarge Amygdaloid was home to more independent mines then probably any other load. No less then a dozen mines struck shafts along its length from the Cliff Range to Calumet. These included (from north to south) the Ojibway, Seneca, Gratiot, Mohawk, Ahmeek, Allouez, North Kearsarge, Wolverine, South Kearsarge, C&H, …

Postscript

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The steel dam at Redridge was completed in November of 1901, and became only the second steel dam in the United States. It was preceded by the Ash Fork Dam in 1898 and followed by the larger Hauser Lake dam in 1907. The Hauser Lake dam was subsequently destroyed by …

Anatomy of a Steel Dam (p3)

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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 …

Anatomy of a Steel Dam (p2)

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In its simplest form, the Redridge dam is a steel wall built across a ravine – 464 feet wide and 74 feet high. This wall is built from a series of steel I-beams set on 8 foot centers that support a layer of 3/8″ thick concave plates. Near the bottom …

Anatomy of a Steel Dam (p1)

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Steel dam construction was flirted with only temporarily at the turn of the century, a time which the Redridge Dam owes for its existence. By 1900 the wood crib dam that had been built on the Salmon Trout River to supply water to the nearby Atlantic Mill had proved inadequate …