A Modern Mesnard

After Quincy bought up the defunct Mesnard Mine in 1896 it re-opened one of its original shafts, which became Quincy No. 8. Quincy then erected atop of it a modern shaft-rock-house – but not as modern as the one that currently stands there today. The iron head-frame that stands over the shaft today is the result of a later exploration, conducted around 1976. The original shaft-rock-house and hoist building erected by Quincy were demolished and replaced by more modern (and temporary) steel structures. Th exploration no doubt proved futile, as no further improvement to the site was done. In fact, it looks like they simply gave up and left right in the middle of the day.

Still sitting on the skip-road is what appears to be a large rock car. However, the headframe above it looks to lack the equipment necessary to handle loads of rock (no chutes of any kind for instance) so I’m figuring that this car must have been used to bring men down into the mine.

Here’s a couple of closer views of the man car. Another reason I think it hauled men was the use of what appears to be an “emergency” chain supplementing the car’s main attachment to the skip rope.

Between the man car and the headframe is a high fence surrounding a pile of dirt which I assume covers the shaft. The fence might have been to keep people out of the shaft while it was in operation but now one whole side is wide open – hardly keeping people out now. The cap appears to of been done quite hastily, and I wonder how safe it really is. Needless to say I didn’t go near it.

Sitting rather close to the head-frame is the “new” modern hoist building. Due to the size of the building the hoist must have been really small. You can see the skip cable coming out of the top of the building, where it makes its way up to the single sheave still attached to the top of the head-frame. The steel construction looks very similar to what we found at Kingston and Centennial – quick and cheap. Not nicely laid poor rock and sandstone here. A small electric sub-station next door makes me believe the hoist was electric.

Sitting nearby was a third structure, a large two story building with concrete walls and a metal roof. Sanborn maps from the turn of the century show a combination dry house and captains office in this spot, but this building looks to be a a tab bit more modern. Whatever it use to be, it was converted to a garage at some point recently, due to the amount of empty contained of various engine fluids scattered about the building’s remains.

Here’s the rear of the structure, which is in rather good shape if it is indeed a century old. Interestingly this building apparently had no running water, as sitting just behind me in the photo is a crude outhouse, which looks to of been built more recently.

Hints of an early use, these filled in windows and doorway suggest the building changed uses in its lifetime. The concrete block used to fill in the openings dates this change in much more recent time. Perhaps this doorway was the original entrance to the dry house? Who knows.


  1. Using maps.live.com I noticed a structure SE of the hoist and NE of the storage building(dry house). off topic do you know anything of the white pine location the aerial photos show train cars and regular cars there.

  2. Geoff, you’re probably looking at the ruins of the old (Quincy-era) Mesnard hoist and boiler ruins. Of course, I might be getting ahead of Mike here — this is just the first day of the Mesnard series!

  3. Geoff…

    As far as White Pine I’m not sure, although I know a few of the old mine buildings are currently being used. One is the power plant, which had recently been brought back on line, and the second is some time of machine shop or mill of some type. The mine itself is still being used for a variety of environmental and science studies, including an underground hydroponics garden i think.

    As far as those ruins to the east of these structures – it is the remains of Quincy’s hoist and boiler plant. And dcclark is right..

    …I’m going to feature those ruins tomorrow.

  4. They still refine copper at White Pine. Its hauled in and out by railroad.

  5. Don’t know if this is the same Quincy #8, but the Tech Archives has this photo of #8, more of a distant overview.

  6. I believe the head frame was built by Homestake, more looking than digging if I remember right

  7. I believe the history is:

    – Original mine — named Mesnard
    – Acquired by Quincy, becomes Quincy #8
    – Reopened by Homestake, called Mesnard again

    Homestake left the metal frame pictured here — the link from Gordy is from the Quincy era, apparently.

  8. I’m back from the dead… ERR more like the over worked, putting in 12’s with a little one at home makes it hard to get on but I digress…

    The shaft is capped with rail and steel plate, which lies underneath the dirt, the same as No. 9 Shaft is capped. The hoist is electric and still resides in the hoist house, it is a single drum and came from one of the Osceola shafts as did the head frame, which is a single compartment head frame used only for hoising men (as you guessed from the man cage on the landing). Homestake rehabed the shaft to about the 2200 level (+/-) and reestablished compressed air and water. Their goal was to find the offset for the Pewabic lode, as it pinches in the shallow workings inbetween No. 8 and No. 9 (Mesnard and Pontiac), coincidentally the pinch corresponds to a fault which is the northern control for the lode… The idea was that the lode was offset, Quincy never explored this option and Homestake only had one drill hole in it before they pulled the plug (managment change), which is also when they pulled the plug on Centennial, S543, what little work they were doing at Kingston and the other defunct C&H operations…

  9. S543?

  10. oops, it was 543-S, it was the largest of the sulfide deposits found by homestake copper, there were several others (5 total I think) as well, including a small one under MT. Bohemia, which I am sure is why IP didn’t sell the mineral rights to Mt. Bohemia.

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