Delaware Revisited

Last week we wrapped up our exploration of the Delaware location, including the Amygdaloid, Northwest, Delaware, and Conglomerate mines. Today we’ll take another look, but this time through the eyes of fellow CC explorer Paul Meier and his grandfather Fredrick Haun. We’ll start with Paul, who snapped the photo above sometime in the 1960′s. The building is the old superintendent’s house at Delaware, the very same building in which you can still find an intact boiler still today. The reason for that discovery can be seen here, as the building was still standing and being used up until C&H’s takeover by UOP. C&B acquired the building along with the rest of the old Keweenaw Copper Company holdings, and leased the building out to a sportsmen’s club. The ruins in the foreground belong to the old Delaware Mine’s office, which unfortunately didn’t fare as well.

Next up is something a little less historic, but interesting none the less. At one point the Delaware area was home to dozens of homes, most built originally as miner’s houses for one of the many mines that called the area home. Since the mines closed down most of these houses were abandoned and left for ruin. This shot by Paul – another one taken in the 60′s – showcases just one such home along Delaware Road that had managed to survive to a point. The house no longer stands today, however.

Now we turn to Paul’s grandfather, Fredrick Haun. Apparently Paul’s grandfather was an aspiring photographer as well, taking up the hobby in his youth and sticking with it all his life. Lucky for us Mr. Haun’s subject of choice was old mine ruins as well, as evident by the photo above. This particular shot was taken sometime around 1910, shortly after the Delaware region had been abandoned for the last time. This is the ruins of the old Delaware / Northwest stamp mill – specifically the mill’s boiler house. Today this building has been reduced to its foundation, but the stack base has managed to survive. (check out the remains HERE.

This photo seems to answer the question as to where the Delaware Depot was located. The building seen on the right (a Delaware warehouse I believe) in this photo seems to match the building seen behind the old archive photo of the depot used in my previous post. Here’s that old photo again for comparison:

In addition to that warehouse seen in the background, you also have the presence of that ruin just to the left of the depot, a ruin that looks eerily similar to the photo Paul’s grandfather took. When you take these two pieces together with what Gordy had noted earlier in a comment I would strongly suggest that the old Depot sat just to the east of the old mill, possibly just to the right of where Paul’s grandfather took that photo.

Now a contentious one. This shot was again taken by Paul’s grandfather sometime around 1910. It showcases the remains of an old boiler house and townsite, a boiler house and townsite Paul suggests belongs to the Amygdaloid Mine. I had a different idea. I think it belongs to the old Northwest / Delaware property, specifically the property sitting right above the Delaware fissure. In fact I’ve mentioned this very boiler house in passing during my Old Delaware exploration (see HERE. It can also be seen – highlighted by myself – in the first photo of my Delaware Mine Tour series. That photo is reprinted below for comparison.

I’m pretty sure both these buildings – the one seen above in highlight and the one photographed by Paul’s Grandfather – are the same. Paul’s not the only person to identify this structure as belonging to the Amygdaloid, so too does the archives which labels this photos as looking over the Amygdaloid and Conglomerate Mines. They’re probably both right, but the geography doesn’t make sense to me. This is for a few reasons, and I’ll mention them briefly here and let the ensuing comments help wring out the details:

1. The building sits in the wrong section. According to the Mine Register the Amygdaloid Mine was located in section 16 and west, this particular building sits squarely in section 15.

2. The building sits atop the wrong fissure. According to the USGS Geologic Quadrangle of this area, the building in question sits atop the Delaware Fissure.

3. The building leaves no room for the Delaware / Northwest mine. In the photo above you can see how close the building in question is to the Conglomerate Mine (off to the left alongside the hill). If the building did in fact belong to the Amygdaloid, that meant that squeezed between it and the Conglomerate property would had to have been the Delaware / Northwest mine.

9 comments

  1. The house in the second photo I remember still standing when I was a child. My father took a picture of me next to it every year we went camping up there. It has in fact collapsed though, I was just there two months ago.

  2. Great older photos!

    I agree the second one of the house in autumn time is very evocative of the season and the Keweenaw mystique. Has anyone seriously gone ghost hunting up there? It would seem to be a promising location for that endeavor.

    I know a haunted house when I see one!

  3. Paul, I’d like to second what Karl Sabich said. Your articles in the June, July and August, 1985 RMC were great. Thanks to Karl for letting us know that you were the author.

  4. It is great to see the photos from Paul Meier. I do not know Paul personally but I remember reading his articles in Railroad Model Craftsman magazine in the eighties. In fact, Paul’s articles and those by Wayne Wesolowski are what introduced me to the Copper Country and I am still very interested in the area to this day. I visit the area as often as I can but the lack of time prevents me from doing much exploring. Fortunately I can explore through Mike and this website.

  5. No problem!

  6. Paul…

    Thanks again for sharing these great photos with us, and I hope you didn’t misconstrued my questioning of the Amygdaloid Photo’s identity as any sort of judgement on your knowledge of the subject. That was not the case at all, I was mostly questioning my own interpretation of that site, especially in the light of both you and the archives (and now apparently the counties) labeling of the site.

    I was just airing out those concerns here to see what others might contribute.

    As far as those signs disappearing, I know from experience that fellow tech students liked to take the Miami sign at the end of 41. Now I see they’ve moved it back up into Copper Harbor instead of leaving up at the end of the highway where it was easier to snatch.

  7. Thanks for the compliments. I have called the boiler house in the second view from my Grandfather as belonging to the Amygdaloid Mine mainly because once upon a time Keweenaw Co. used to have signs out marking the various mine sites, including dates, and other geographic features. The poor rock pile from which that photo was taken was posted as the Amygdaloid Mine. That plus the poor rock being trap rather than conglomerate led me to believe this was the Amygdaloid Mine. The section maps are undoubtedly more accurate. My Grandfather labeled the negative as “Delaware Scene”.
    The signs are now rarely posted. The County had problems with keeping some of them out of the Tech dorm rooms and frat houses. The sign for Wyoming used to be the nick-name Helltown. The creek the road crosses between Eagle River and Five Mile Point used to be named Schlitz Creek, a sign that disappeared as fast as they could make a new one. So they renamed the creek.

  8. Cool, a family tradition of copper country photography!

  9. Wow, VERY nice photos (bouth Paul and his grandfather!). The old house in the fall is especially beautiful.

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