Scrapbook VIII

Its that time of the month once again when we take a look at all the interesting things I find in my inbox from other copper country enthusiasts. Lately most of that has arrived from Bruce Groeneveld, who has had the fortune of exploring the copper country when most of the mine ruins were fresh and new (as new as ruins can be I suppose). Most of his pics were taken in the 70’s well before I was even born. Its always great stuff and I look forward when his pics come in.

We start at the Gratiot Mine, which for CCE is an oldie. Last time I was at Gratiot was near the beginning of CCE in 2006 and perhaps a return trip is in order. Bruce brings us the remains of the rockhouse which looks almost the same as it did the last time I saw it. Unlike my photos, Bruce was kind enough to include a person in the shot to provide some perspective.

Bruce also brings us a look at the old hoist house, or at least its foundation. Great fall color in this photo and I’m amazed how open and available the ruins are here. When I arrived it was rather overgrown and I almost missed it hiding out in the trees and brush.

Next we turn our attention to the Isle Royale Mine which sits atop the hill above Houghton. The mine had several shafts and was rather productive, creating a good deal of poor rock during its run. Here are one of those piles, as seen from atop a neighboring pile. The piles did not last too long however, as they were quickly shipped out for road projects.

Here’s a second shot, this one from across the valley atop the Quincy Lookout. If you read the annotated map that sits at that scenic turnout now it actually points out these piles and identifies them. Problem is that the piles are no longer there today, but the sign still mentions them. Bruce notes that a great deal of these piles ended up being used in the rerouting of M26 near Houghton’s waterfront park.

Then there’s this shot of a cluster of ruins near an un-identified road. Bruce didn’t even tell me what this was of, trying to keep me guessing. My guess is that these ruins belong to the Tamarack No.5 and the road in question is Tamarack Waterworks Road. The poor rock pile in the background would belong to the Tamarack Jr, with the water tower looking thing to the right sitting atop Centennial Heights hill. On the far right is the outline of the Centennial No. 6 rock house. Today the new armory would be along the road to the right of the photo. But I could be wrong. Bruce will just have to chime in and give us the answer…

In order to keep this from an all Bruce edition, I thought I’d include this gem sent to me by long time reader Rob Grice. Its a sign from C&H detailing the bell system in place at the mine. I love how it took 12 rings to alert for a fire. That seems like a lot of bell ringing when the place is going up in flames.

Thanks to both Bruce and Rob for the photos. Until next time everyone….

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  1. Very nice. The first photo just gave me an idea for a new photo series: “Massive Freaking Rockhouse Foundations of the Copper Country”. I am always amazed at just how HUGE those foundations are.

  2. Actually, having 12 rings for a fire kinda makes sense. You would want it to be a signal that definitely wouldn’t be confused with anything else. And even though it seems like a lot of rings, fire’s were a pretty rare occurance in the mines.

  3. Mike , Yes this picture without an id is at the Tamarack #5 Location.I have another oic of the tam#5 to pass on,but will have to dig it out & scan it in the next day or 2.

  4. Are there anymore Isle Royale Mine and or Mill pictures? I am trying to identify mines, but live nowhere near houghton.

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