Monthly Archives: August 2007

Mill Machines: The Frue Vanner

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EDIT: According to several readers with more knowledge on the subject then I, the machine remains pictured in the following post is not a frue vanner after all. Instead it seems that it most likely was a classifier used to sort middlings coming off the jigs or wash tables. So …

Floors and Ceilings

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looking up the old skylight of the Quincy Mill – almost a century since the glass was first installed Taking a ginger walk up the concrete stairway up to the second level of the Quincy Mill addition brought us to another room very similar to the first. Only the entire …

The Wooden Box

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a mystery box sitting among the Quincy Mill Ruins We find a lot of stuff that baffles us here at explorer. Heres another one. Before leaving the first floor of the Quincy Mill addition we notice this wooden box. It sits high up on a wooden pedestal, and attracted out …

The Addition

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the Quincy Mill addition, image courtesy HAER, American Memory Collection, Library of Congress The scope of the Quincy Mine operation is quickly illustrated by the continued expansion the Quincy Mill undertook at the end of the 19th century. At first Quincy built one mill here at the banks of Torch …

Stuff

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more piling from the no2 dock at Quincy Mills After leaving the remains of the old boiler/pump house, we took a stroll around the wooded area area surrounding it. Also once sitting around here was the large coal shed, superintendents office, and a series of trestles and rail lines. Sitting …

The Silo

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the towering and mysterious Quincy Silo; purpose unknown Standing only a few dozen feet from the smokestacks was what first appeared to be yet another smokestack. This one concrete, half the height of the previous concrete tower, and much thicker at the base. Approaching it, however, we quickly noticed the …

Boiler Stacks

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the boiler house stack at Quincy Mill Until the completion of the on-site turbine generator in 1923, steam was the principal means of power at the Quincy mills. This meant that there was need for boiler houses on site, one for each of the mills. While we couldn’t find any …

Pump House (no2)

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an old water tunnel built to feed the mills pumps Stamp Mills required millions of gallons of water – every day – in order to operate. This enormous thirst necessitated a nearby water source and the construction of large steam-powered water pumps to transport that water to the mill. At …

Coal Dock

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the remains of the Quincy Mill’s coal dock Torch Lake sits at the southern end of the Traprock Valley, butted up against the rising ridge-line forming the Keweenaw’s spine. The 2700 acre lake is over 100 feet deep and home to over 200 million tons of stamp sand, dumped into …

North Kearsarge Redux

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another look at an old ruin… It has been said many times before but perhaps is in need of restating that I am not a historian. I don’t pretend to know everything about the Copper Country and the ruins that we find. I consider myself an explorer first, simply heading …

Loose Ends…

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As we wrap up our exploration of the Champion Mine, a few last things to take a look at. One of them is this old concrete trestle, which runs behind the No. 4 Hoist building. The once held the Copper Range Main line, and extends a good distance to the …

More Hoist Views

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As we have seen time and time again, copper country engine houses and the foundations that remain share very similar. Looking at what remains at the No. 4 hoist today, we can clearly see evidence of the hoist engine that once sat on top of it. The “H” shape so …

New Becomes Old

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As we take a walk behind the old hoist building and underneath the concrete trestle atop which the main line for the Copper Range Railroad once ran, we find ourselves in view of a large ruin just up the hill. It was a ruin that we had seen before, in …

Hoist and Pulleys

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The No. 4, like all shafts of the Champion Mine, were serviced by two hoists during it’s lifetime. As the shafts became deeper, larger and more capable hoists were needed. The hoist building that currently stands at the No. 4 is in fact the original hoist, built around 1902. The …

In Support of No. 4

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keeping the Champion Mine safe from fire… Most of the time at Explorer we deal with “the big three” when it comes to ruins: the shaft house, the rock house (sometimes combined), and the engine house. Lately we have become accustomed to finding more and more ruins from buildings that …

Oil House

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We haven’t yet come across too many ruins of oil houses in our explorations. I’m not sure why that is. Oil was used as a lubricant in almost all machines and equipment used at the mine, and was essential to its smooth operation. Oil houses were buildings that stored and …