Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Cliff Churches

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Today we take a leisurely cruise down a stream of consciousness, more specifically mine. So try to follow along if you can. It all started as I was browsing through some Phoenix photos at the Keweenaw Digital Archives in preparation for a post I was going to write today. It …

A Mill at Delaware

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The Delaware Mine is the mine of a thousand faces, having a long and sordid history under the guise of several different names and owners. Over the years the mine has been under the corporate umbrella of several companies including the Pennsylvania, Conglomerate, Northwest, and Lac La Belle. With each …

Sturgeon River Trestle

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The Copper Country’s rail connections to the outside world was controlled by two railroads: the Copper Range and the DSS&A (Duluth South Shore and Atlantic). The Copper Range’s route took it south through Twin Lakes on its way towards Greenland. The DSS&A route followed the Portage lakeshore, down through Chassell …

Powderhouse in the Woods

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Man’s pursuit of the Earth’s mineral riches is yet another violent expression of his dominion over the natural world – practiced with the destructive force of explosives. With these powerful weapons we’re able to extend our influence into the Earth itself, thousands of feet below the surface we were meant …

Downtown South Range

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While mines flourished and cities bloomed along the Keweenaw from Houghton to Copper Harbor, the great mineral lands to the south were relatively ignored. It wouldn’t be till near the end of the nineteenth century that any serious attempts at tapping the southern range’s copper riches would be undertaken, accelerated …

The Stamp Floor

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Leaving the engine house, we take another short climb up to the Mohawk Mill’s final floor. Here is where the mill’s four stamps would have been located, along with the massive rock bins that would have sat behind him. Today this floor reveals almost no sign of either, consisting entirely …

The Engine House

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For a time I was under the impression that the wash tables and jigs inside a mill were run off of a belt and pulley system powered (somehow) by the stamps themselves. After doing a much more thorough investigation of stamp technology I realized that wasn’t the case. The valve …

The Upper Floors

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Playing the role of both friend in foe in the tale of the Copper Empire is the omnipresent force of gravity. Out at the mine this ever present force required the installation of large and powerful machinery to properly overcome – at a large cost to the company. The deeper …

The Wash Floor

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As I left off during my Anatomy of a Mill series I was turning towards the last stage of the process: the wash floor. Here an attempt was made to separate the smallest copper particles still left in the slimes using pieces of equipment known as “slime tables”. In most …

Weekend Bonus: CCE in the Fall

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The best time of the year – by far – to explore the remains of a Copper Country Empire is the fall. Not only is the fall the best time of year to be in the woods, the vibrant colors add an extra dimension to every photo you shoot. As …

Scrapbook VI

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As I requested, Gordy came through with those photos of Gay that I had so embarrassingly called for a few days back. I thought we’d wrap out the week by sharing them with you all. The photo above was taken in 1953, which I deduced from some extensive research. At …

The Mineral House

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After leaving the enigmatic concrete tub behind, we took a short stroll over to another large concrete remnant sitting atop the sands nearby. We had featured this before on our last trip here, but I had failed to take very many photos of it. Back then I resorted to drawing …

The Concrete Tub

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Approaching the Mohawk Mill from the direction of the sands we began running into ruins a good distance from the old mill’s foundation. The first was what you see above, what I like to call the concrete tub. We found this baby on our first outing here – but I …