Continuing from where we left off yesterday, here’s a few more panoramic images taken by the Detroit Publishing Company back at the turn of the century. Remember to click on the picture itself to view the annotated panoramic!
Here’s an interesting look down the Portage from the vantage point of the hill across from Cole’s Creek and the Michigan Smelter. The smelter itself is not visible, save for its office building in the middle right. (This building is still standing by the way). In the foreground can be seen the Houghton Co. Poor house, or at least a part of it. Most interesting in this photo is the glimpses of the Atlantic Mill’s launder running out from its Portage Lake mill site towards Cole’s Creek. The long thin line running across the top of the water was installed by Atlantic to comply with the governments order to stop dumping tailings into the navigable waterway. They built this launder instead to dump their tailings down to the mouth of Cole’s Creek, a good distance away from the ship channel.
This shot is of the Lake Superior Smelter at Dollar Bay, a facility operated by the same Clark-Bigelow interests that were responsible for the Tamarack and Osceola Mines. Here ore was smelted from both mines along with a few other smaller independent firms. It replaced the Detroit and Lake Superior Smelter that originally existed down along Hancock’s waterfront. The picture is looking north-west, with the smelter furnaces sitting off to the right. The train spur in the foreground would have continued on to the Wire Mill next door, also run by the Clark-Bigelow syndicate.
In the most unique and interesting shot in this collection you can see a Mineral Range rock train steaming around the Dollar Peninsula on its way from dropping off rock at the Pt. Mills stamp mills. The photo is looking west down the Portage Canal, with the mills along Dollar Bay’s waterfront visible to the right. Most interesting to me about this shot is the glimpse it offers of Snowshoe Island on the far left. This island was later covered by the stamp sands from the Isle Royale Mill, and no longer exists. At this time, however, it was still water locked.
Our last panoramic in this list is this interesting angle of the C&H Mills in Lake Linden. This is the mills’ first incarnations, built entirely from wood. They would be later replaced by steel framed structures after the turn of the century. The Hecla mill is to the left, with its Calumet sibling sitting to the right behind the pump and sand houses in the foreground. The two sand houses – one for Hecla and one for Calumet – consisted of large water wheel like contraptions that raised the mill sands up to the level of the wooden launders before being washed out to the lake. These launders were extremely long, a fact this photo expertly demonstrates as it shows the Calumet launder fading off far into the distance.
There are more photos in the Detroit Publishing Company’s holdings at the Library of Congress besides these panoramic images. The LOC provides a way to browse them in various ways, the easiest of which is by location. Click Here to browse the collection yourself.