Heading northward along US41 outside of Hancock will bring visitors alongside one of the region’s most famous landmarks – the Quincy No.2 Shafthouse. Yet continue on a mile further and a second towering remnant of the old copper empire can be glimpsed rising up from the trees. Unlike its brethren down the street, this particular structure was a more modern addition to the landscape having been built around 1976. It’s purpose was to explore the abandoned Quincy No.8 shaft in hopes of finding new copper deposits to pillage in the old Mesnard Mine.
Mesnard Mine had its start in 1859 as it began sinking a single shaft into the northern reaches of the Pewabic Lode. The scrappy upstart was hoping to take advantage of the same copper riches the Quincy was pillaging just a mile to the south, yet similar fortunes would not be forthcoming. For over a decade the mine would make a go at it, unearthing just some 84,000 pounds of copper for the effort. Yet in the end the mine would close its doors fortune-less and its remains snatched up by the neighboring Pewabic Mine in 1876. The Pewabic would do little with the property and it would be another decade before any serious attempt would be made to mine copper again at the site. This time, however, it would be the Quincy that would make a go at finding those elusive copper riches.
The old Mesnard shaft was thus re-opened around 1897, complete with a brand new surface plant. Known as Quincy No. 8 officially, the shaft would more commonly be known simply as the Mesnard shaft. For the next few decades the Quincy would work the shaft on and off, though no great copper riches were ever discovered. The shaft would be abandoned along with the rest of the Quincy after the Second World War, its surface plant allowed to crumble away. It would be another thirty years before any attempts were made again, this time resulting in the scrappy surface plant found at the site today. The endeavor, however, proved ultimately futile and the project was soon abandoned leaving behind the iron skeleton as a memorial to the attempt.