Calumet-opolis: A Guided Tour (p6)

Well after more then a few weeks of exploring the greater Calumet metropolitan area we finally come to the end, with the final frame of our high-res panoramic image. This particular frame looks out across the surface plant of the Hecla and South Hecla Mines along with the sprawling railroad shops belonging to the Mineral Range railroad; and in the far distance, the community of Raymbaultown. While we’ve generally begun our tours up along the horizon, this time we’ll take a look at the bottom of the image and those MIneral Range shops.

This sprawling complex belongs to the Mineral Range railroad, and features the railroad’s impressively sized 16 stall (!) roundhouse. But at the time this photo was taken this particular structure was rather new, and just a few years earlier would have consisted only of the pitched roof section of the building seen on the right. That’s because just a few years earlier it would have been the Hancock & Calumet Railroad that had itself a roundhouse here, not the Mineral Range.

If you look to the left of that new massive roundhouse you’ll find what looks to be yet another locomotive house. In fact it was this building that served the Mineral Range railroad just a few years earlier, and not that massive 16 stall beauty that can be seen in the photo. Thats because at that time the competing Mineral Range and Hacock & Calumet railroads ran through this corridor together side by side. On the east side ran the Mineral Range line, and it was there that they built their Calumet locomotive house. On the west side was the Hancock & Calumet line, and they too built themselves a locomotive house along the tracks.

But fast forward a few years to when these high-res images were taken and you have a slightly different story. By then those once competing railroads had merged, and built themselves the massive roundhouse you see in the photo to store their combined fleets. In a few more years the complex would grow substantially, and that old Mineral Range locomotive house would be demolished.

Here’s a shot of that original H&C RR roundhouse, before the Mineral Range moved in. From this angle you can fully appreciate what beautiful craftsmanship and stonework was afforded such a utilitarian structure.

Heading back up to the top of the frame we find ourselves once again looking across C&H’s sprawling surface plant along Mine Street. Here we find the massive stone buildings housing the mine’s Houghton and Seneca engines, along with the accompanying boiler house. The structure was locally known as the G.H.&S. since it had originally housed a third engine – the Gratiot. The Gratiot engine would end up being removed and shipped down to Lake Linden for use in the mine’s mills. By the time this photo was taken only the Houghton and Seneca were still operating. From what I can tell these engines supplemented the work of the Frontenac at the mid Hecla shafts (3 & 4), and didn’t drive any hoisting equipment.

In the background we have the last Calumet region Catholic church – the Sacred Heart. This beautiful sandstone church on Rockland Street was destroyed by fire in 1982 and replaced by a structure with more modern styling. Next door can be seen the spire of the Bethlehem Lutheran church, labeled in the Sanborn map as a Finnish Lutheran church.

Continuing just a short distance to the south we come across yet another massive hoist building belonging to one of C&H’s Osceola shafts – this one attached to the No.14. The No.14 sat on the corner of Calumet Ave and Division Street, alongside the curve in US41 as it approaches the stop light at Lake Linden Ave and Sixth Street extension. You can still see the breather pipe for the capped shaft in a vacant field next to the road. The rest of the structures seen here were demolished however.

Incredibly, the land occupied by that shaft is shared by two of the most unlikeliest companions – grade schools. Sitting alongside Division Street just east of the mine stand the Hamilton and Rockefeller schools.

Here’s another look at those schools, this time taken from a slightly closer angle. (you can see the no.14 hoist building off to the right) These schools served the neighboring Hecla and Raymbaultown locations. The Hamilton School (on the right) featured a total of six classrooms and a student body of 240 students. The Rockefeller school was not on my 1916 school listing, so it must have been closed (or burned down) at some point after this photo was taken.

Down the line we find another conglomeration of stone buildings, these belonging to the Hancock and Pewabic engines. These engines powered the neighboring Hecla No.7 and 8 shafts, including a pair of 25 foot diameter hoisting drums. The neighboring boiler house was 120 feet long and housed a battery of ten boilers. In addition to those two engines, a third Levitt designed engine was also housed here in the smaller stone building in the center of the image. This engine operated the south Hecla’s man engine. In front of that man-engine is another beautiful stone building that served as a Hecla dry house.


Amazingly two of these stone structures still stand. The boiler house (top) can be viewed behind the homes along Calumet Ave in Raymbaultown. Though standing, its currently in sad shape as its roof is in immediate danger of collapsing. The dry house (bottom), however, is in almost pristine shape. It sits just west of Mine Street.

Last, but not least, we come to the end of the line. Here stands the shaft / rock houses of Hecla No.8 and C&H No.13. The No.13 shaft was later replaced by the iconic steel giant still standing up behind the Holiday gas station. Hecla No.8 marks the end of the Hecla Mine and the beginning of the South Hecla, which would continue off to the right end of this frame. The buildings seen behind the No.13 would be part of Osceola Location, which sprawls out south of here on the doorstep of the Osceola Mine. There the sprawling C&H surface plant ends and so too does our tour of the metropolis that it spurned.

33 comments

  1. Ian, sorry, didn’t see the post on the depot shot, I believe that is the original MR depot on the line that went straight across OSceola Jct. This would be the end of the line, then eventually extended around town to compete with the H&C depot.
    When you get a chance, go over in the forum and find a post of mine and sned me either a private message or an email.

  2. Hmm, I may have to check that out; the main Michigan campus is only a 40-minute drive from my house; thanks for the tip!

  3. Ian,
    Not sure where you are located, but the universtty of Michigan library has a set of Sanborn maps on microfilm at the graduate library. these include a lot of the keweenaw maps.

  4. It was abandoned at some point early in the century; at least, by the time of the 1938 aerial view, there was only one line present. Interestingly enough I’ve seen pictures of Milwaukee Road diesels (leading the Copper Country Limited) passing the ruins of the MR’s stone roundhouse just south of its yard, on the single track line, from the 1950′s.

    You’re correct about that line north of Calumet being H&C; it was built by that company in 1887, supposedly. I was using a general name, but I guess I shouldn’t do that, history is all about specifics.

    If that second MR line was built during the standard gauge years, it’d be interesting to see a photo of that diamond crossing. It’d be at a pretty steep angle, but it probably looked cool.

  5. Ian, I don’t think that second main was built that much ahead. I would bet it was the same year the main was widened to standard gauge and it was probably gone once the H&C was standard gauged or for that matter the H&C main was removed since it would need to be regauged.

    What Mike said is exactly right, the MR was the east track. That would make it more convienent by Tamarack for the H&C.

    I think the Franklin RR was the tram way that Franklin used.

    Also remember, what was MR stayed MR and what was H&C stayed as H&C, even the later line extension to the north of Calumet up to Alloeuz/Kearsarge was H&C.

  6. And, while we’re on the subject, I figured i should post this picture of the “Depot at Red Jacket”, and since it doesn’t look like the MR’s I’m assuming its the original H&C depot. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought it was an interesting photo:
    http://updigit.uproc.lib.mi.us/cdm/singleitem/collection/hcrr/id/334

  7. So Mike, you said the MR track was on the east and the H&C track sat on the west? I guess that’d make sense, seeing that the H&C was built to access the mines, and both sat to the west/southwest of the MR line. I still wonder when the second MR line was built; if it sat there before the H&C’s construction, their orientation would make sense; however, i share your confusion over the MR crossing the H&C on its way to Red Jacket with its (probable) new main line – would make for quite a headache of an interchange.

    Gordy, perhaps they got the Q&TL confused when they listed the Franklin R.R.? That’s really odd… I hate it when older books confuse names and such; it makes things so hard to figure out. By the way, I think I may have to search more on that Upper Peninsula Digitalization website? I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never really paid much attention to it… those are some great pictures.

    My whole point in starting this debate was to try to figure out a last few dates for a map of the MRRR (at least in it’s narrow gauge years, 1873-1897) I’m going to try to make. It was going to be a map of the whole line, up until 1897, with each line, the shafts it served and various railroad structures (stations, roundhouses, etc.) labeled, with a date of when they were built/operated. I’m pretty sure I have the rest of the line sorted out, but that second main line up to Red Jacket isn’t letting its secrets out. Once I got the narrow gauge years sorted out I figured I could move on to the 20th Century, which is a little easier, since the line seemingly was abandoned in large swaths (the entire line north of Calumet was reportedly sold to C&H in 1926). I wish I had access to the Sandborn maps, they seem to be so helpful in so many situations…. Either way, I came here looking for dates; the more I have, and as soon as I can find a list of structures and such along the line, I can combine it with a timeline of mines along the route I made and call it a day.

  8. Completely forgot about the Sanborns, that is interesting about the MR being on the far side.
    I looked through Michigan RR Commision reports, up until 1898 MR crossed 2 railroads at grade, H&C at Osceola and H&TL at Calumet, both showed having interlocking plants.
    However in the 1899, they mention that the interlocking machine at Osceola was not installed even though an order had been issued years before to be done.
    As for MR crossings at grade, it jumped up, now it had crossings at H&C at Osceola, H&C at the Osceola Coal Shed, H&C at the Calumet roundhouse, and the Q&TL at Franklin.
    1901 the H&C was standard gauged, the Michigan RR commision reports for 1900 and 1901 used a different format so nothing was shown, 1902 though, MR crossed the Q&TL at Franklin, the Franklin RR?? at Quincy and the Copper Range at Peppard.
    SO I guess I was wrong about them not installing the second track and it had to be when they standard gauged, although they could have had that installed before hand since it would not interfer with anything. Although I noticed on the Sanborns that somehow the MR wedged itself up next to the Osceola depot. Also I think the Osceola Coal shed was just a short distance past the Osceola depot but on the other side of the track, so that would make sense what you said Mike.
    They must have come around the corner at Osceola Jct and either a diamond was installed or they had dual gauge switches so the MR could cross over.
    I found this photo on the Michigan digital photo site, its a MR rock train stopped at a Safety Switch, hard to place the location. Its standard gauge, this switch would be to protect a jct/bridge, it would normally be left open, the train would derail if it attempted to pass here unless the switch was lined. Once permission was obtained from the dispatcher, they could line the switch and proceed.
    http://updigit.uproc.lib.mi.us/cdm/singleitem/collection/hcrr/id/341/rec/78

  9. Since Ian brought up my maps I suppose I should enter the fray here. There are two pages of Sanborn maps that cover the MR/HC entry into Red Jacket. The first is at the south end of the rail yards along ninth street, where it clearly shows two parallel lines. While it doesn’t label the lines it does label the adjacent loco houses. The house to the east is the MR and the house to the west is the HC. I would assume that would mean the west line belonged to the HC and the east line the MR.

    The second page shows the two lines as they make their way north-west past the Osceola Mine. Here the lines are actually labeled, with the east line labeled as the MR and the west line labeled as the HC. While this labeling matches up with the loco house placement later it creates a rather interesting conundrum. It would mean that the MR mainline crossed over the HC line before turning northward towards Red Jacket. This just seems weird to me.

    I sense a future post topic here….

  10. I was just wondering why, in maps I’ve seen of Calumet and in Mike’s Copper Empire book, there are two tracks along the MR’s western main line going into Red Jacket. I now agree with the idea that MR dual-gauged the H&C main in 1897, but I’m still just trying to figure out how and when this MR – H&C parallel setup was built.

    What’s interesting is that in the 1938 aerial view there appears to be only one track extending west from the old MR – H&C junction and up to the new Red Jacket station.

    Love the photo of the H&C train, interesting to see. And I’d have to agree with the new alignment. That old crossing would be especially perilous to passenger trains; imagine trying to run an 85-foot 1950′s passenger car through that interchange.

  11. I found the new track built at Osceola by looking at Earth Explorer. The 1938 still shows the old alignment with its sharp curve at the old crossing, while the 1944 shows the new alignment.
    That sharp curve is probably the reason the new alignment was built, to speed up the operation. It was probably 10mph at best.

  12. http://updigit.uproc.lib.mi.us/cdm/singleitem/collection/hcrr/id/262/rec/33

    Nice shot of a H&C empty train coming up to the MR/H&C crossing

  13. How, then, did the second MR line be built on the second side of town then? If the H&C was the first railroad to lay a line up the side of Red Jacket to Tamarack, and it was bought up by the MR just a couple years after, when was that second line built? Did the H&C lay two tracks originally? Or is the old MR-came-first and the H&C paralleled it theory still valid?

    Not quite sure what your asking.
    Are you talking about the line MR built to access the H&C’s Calumet/Red Jacket depot?
    If you are, I don’t think they built anything, the just dual gauged the H&C.
    Since both were 3ft gauge, they would have had a connection already there at Osceola.

  14. Allot of went on with the railroads was done at the command of the mining interests. The H&C was a child of the Clarke, Bigelow, and Lewisohn interests which was, in effect, the Osceola and Tamarack mining companies. The H&C was built to haul their rock and get it to the new mills on Torch Lake, the original Osceola mill was in Hancock on Portage Lake and was served by MR. Like the other mills along that part of Portage Lake, the Feds wanted them gone. Mineral Range, on the other hand, was independent. Once the H&C was built, the MR was almost out of the rock hauling business, but the H&C people wanted a management team so they struck a merger deal with MR. In theory MR was the senior partner, but the money was in the H&C. Once the deed was done, track and equipment became community property and they did as they pleased with track and equipment. The standard gaugeing of the original MR line was due to the bridge and the arrival of the DSS&A and was done for general freight and passenger service to Calumet. In later years the Canadian Pacific came to own a share of the MR/H&C and the DSS&A. Once C&H completed its hostile take over of the Clarke, Bigelow, & Lewisohn properties, trackage and property rights became more blurred as far as the MR was concerned since C&H owned a large share of it. Copper Range and Keweenaw Central were in the Stanton/Paine camp which added to the games and parallel tracks.

  15. Okay, I wasn’t aware that that cutoff wasn’t built until much later… and I understand your three-rail idea. You have a point: supposedly they got the whole Mineral Range main line standardized within a few days, and to get that kind of speed they probably did just lay a third rail along the H&C line.

    How, then, did the second MR line be built on the second side of town then? If the H&C was the first railroad to lay a line up the side of Red Jacket to Tamarack, and it was bought up by the MR just a couple years after, when was that second line built? Did the H&C lay two tracks originally? Or is the old MR-came-first and the H&C paralleled it theory still valid?

  16. That new line between #3 and #4 was much later, between 1938 and 1944.

    I’ll give you a reason for thinking they used dual gauge track into Calumet. Between Swedetown and actually past Swedetown was all yard tracks, they would not have had room to add another track through there.
    Much easier to spike down a 3rd rail. Other than having to do some work on switches, adding another frog and switch point, that would have been the hardest part. Thats why I think they got done so fast into Calumet. They could have been working on the Calumet portion before it was needed. All they had to worry about was the open track south of Osceola. There are several photos off the Swedetown water tank that you can see the rock cars sitting in the yard.
    Then of course the C&H bridge, you could only fit two tracks underneath.

  17. The whole point I was trying to get at is that the MR tracks sat to the west of H&C, like you had thought in an earlier post. I had just figured that these tracks weren’t there, however, before the gauge change, and that when the MR laid its new line turning west between the Osceola #4 and #3 shafts, it continued to lay its tracks on the west side right up into Calumet. Why I’m bringing this up so late: i just figured I’d add a little confusion to the site, haha.

  18. Not necessarily; If the entire northern branch around Calumet really was abandoned, the line would have only had to cross twice – assuming they also had abandoned the wye at the interchange with the H&C – at the point where the H&C’s track branched to the west, crossing the new MR mainline, to get to the Tamarack, and in Calumet itself, where the tracks may have been converted to dual-gauge so the MR could access the H&C depot. It makes sense, although you’re right about it being quite a confusing railroad scene.

    The MR was standardized in only a few days in 1897, while it wasn’t until 1901 that the H&C was completely standardized (the DSS&A report from that year finally states the H&C as being standard gauge).

    If you ever find that diagram of the MR-H&TL crossing again please share; that would be really interesting to look at.

    The whole idea of laying a second standard gauge line in 1897 was simply a theory to describe the tracks being laid side-by-side into Calumet, as now I can’t help thinking that a line there didn’t exist until the H&C was formed and built to the Tamarack. We’ll never know for sure unless there’s some source out there that describes the route change in detail. At least research is fun.

  19. I would almost think the H&C was formed about the time Tamarack was formed. Being it was owned by Tamarack and Osceola. The earliest Stock Holder Report for Osceola 1887 I have looked at has the stock for the H&C listed. Same as the Tamarack.
    I also found in the 1890 Michigan Railroad Commission they commented, No interlocking machine was provided at Osceola Jct where the H&C and MR crossed as had been ordered per the crossing board.
    Other than the DSS&A book, I have never seen that it had been installed.
    The crossing with the H&TL I have seen a drawing for that.
    A map I have of C&H in the 1920′s, shows the mainline used both to the north and south., south only a short way, the north end went all the way up past Osceola #21 shaft.
    Funny as it is, that was not Laurium that the train went through, but Calumet then to Red Jacket. My dad used to live on Hecla St, but it was a Calumet address, not Laurium, there are two Hecla Sts, only a few blocks apart.
    I also have a feeling that when the MR laid the new track to Calumet, they did not lay another track alongside, they laid the 3rd rail to the proper gauge and both the narrow gauge and standard gauge trains could run on the same track. That area would have been a mess at Calumet with two separate right of ways, they would be constantly crossing over each other. I have seen
    photos of the Calumet yard with dual gauge track.

  20. I remember reading somewhere else, though, that when the MR was converted to standard gauge, C&H took over the railroad’s abandoned old main line into Laurium curving around the mine and into Red Jacket (which couldn’t be standardized because of the tight curves), changed the gauge, and used part of the line for its own needs. Quite handy having an old main line at your dispense.

  21. The book lists that there were two mechanical interlockings, the second one over the Hecla & Torch Lake was installed in… 1898? I’m not sure on the date, but the H&TL crossing was the second crossing installed, the book I got all the earlier information from lists both.

    Hmm, I knew that the Tamarack #1 shaft didn’t hit the conglomerate until 1885, but I was going off the earlier assumption that the MR already had tracks to the site by the time the H&C was built, since they could have been delivering materials to the site as early as 1882, when work started. Possibly, then, the H&C was the first line to service the Tamarack? Either way, that solves the issue of which track was which during the narrow gauge years, since it’s probable that the MR didn’t build its parallel track until it ran its new standard gauge line into Red Jacket in 1897.

  22. I think that mechanical interlocking was where the Mineral Range crossed the Hecla and Torch Lake. I have seen a track layout for it at one time.
    Of course now that I want the info, I can’t find it.

  23. Actually Ian, Osceola would have no big deal for the H&C to service since they probably just rearranged the tracks to connect to their own main. Chances are Osceola Mine owned the spur tracks already there.
    As for the Tamarack, they would have just been starting when the H&C was built. The first shaft was into the conglomerate in 1885. Second didn’t hit it until 1889.
    Then of course, I found in a 1885 Tamarack Stock Holders report that Tamarack was being serviced by the Hancock and Calumet and they were quite happy with the service.
    H&C was originally built from Osceola to Hancock with a branch off to Lake Linden at Lake Jct.
    C&H pretty much forced Mineral Range out of Calumet since they did not like their rock trains being delayed by those passenger trains

  24. According to The Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic: a History of the Line (available on Google Books; just type “Mineral Range Railroad” on their search engine and it’s one of the first results), the MR, in 1892, only a few years before its standard gauge conversion, built a new roundhouse near the Tamarack mine. No mention of materials or capacity was stated. However, a little later, after the MR was converted and the Hancock & Calumet was still narrow gauge, the latter line built a new 3-stall roundhouse near the same location. This makes me think the smaller, wooden roundhouse in the photo above, on the east side of the tracks, was the H&C’s.

    The Mineral Range was converted to standard gauge sooner than the H&C, the MR conversion being finished in fall in 1897, while it sold all its narrow gauge equipment to the H&C, which used it for a few more years. On page 123, it describes that the MR, when converted to standard gauge, abandoned its line into Calumet serving two depots extending north and around C&H property, and built a new standard gauge line into Red Jacket paralleling the H&C’s narrow gauge. Apparently, the new MR took over the old H&C depot and built a coach yard for its passenger trains beyond it.

    Also, interestingly, in the book, there is never any mention of the H&C building a new track to the Tamarack mine when it was constructed in 1885, it simply states that a main line from Osceola to the mines’ mills and beyond to the Lake Superior Smelter was constructed. This description makes me think that when the H&C was built, it bought the MR’s narrow gauge line to the Osceola and Tamarack mines and simply extended it down to the mines’ mills on Torch Lake.

    This whole thing is a mess, but I’m betting that the H&C simply took over some of the MR’s tracks, already connected to both the mines the H&C was built to serve, in 1885, instead of constructing a whole new line.

    As a side note, where the two lines crossed, in 1885 a mechanical interlocking built by the Pennsylvania Steel Company was installed, only the second in the state of Michigan, and the first in the entire UP.

  25. Sorry Mark, nothing that far north. You are right, however. The Copper Range depot (which was shared by the Keweenaw Central) was up in that area, but not along pine. It was closer to Spruce, one block further north.

    and Darrell, sorry no swedetown stuff anytime soon. I did do a write up on the swedetown bridge however. You can view it HERE.

  26. Do you have anything showing the area of Pine and 6th? If my memory serves me right the Copper Range depot was in that area

  27. The H&C did cross the MR at grade in the Osceola area. This was busy enough to have one of the first mechanical interlocking plants in the state. I have a copy of a MTU archive photo of a H&C train on the diamond. The MR did have the Osceola mine traffic while their mill was in Hancock, the rise of Tamarack and the need to move the mills to Torch Lake created the need for the H&C. Between those two and C&H, the Calumet area was laced with rails.
    It is strange that Sanborn shows an old roundhouse the other side of the embankment. I remember the stone ruins of the Calumet roundhouse way back in my younger days, don’t know when they were knocked down.

  28. Gordy…

    I’ve had this same debate with myself several times over the last couple of years, starting back when I first wrote up my map book. Back then I just skimmed the whole thing by being purposefully vague in my naming the railroads that went through here. I’m still not sure, but decided to go with what the Sanborn maps show. I suppose all we know for sure is that both the H&C and MR both ran parallel to each other through this corridor, from Osceola up to Red Jacket. The question is, as you note, who was on what side?

    There’s two geographical issues to take in consideration when trying to figure this out. The first is the H&C depot. The depot on Oak Street was first the H&C depot, since as you noted the MR depot was on the other end of Oak Street (near present day agassiz park). This would mean the H&C tracks should be on the east side of the corridor, next to the depot.

    But then there’s a second issue: the H&C branch line to the Tamarack Mine. This spur of the H&C served the Tamarack Mine, and sits on the west side of the corridor. This would seem to suggest that the H&C tracks were on the west side of the corridor.

    But if the H&C was on the west side, that means it would have to cross the MR line to get to its depot on Oak Street (or conversely, if the H&C was on the east side it would have to cross the MR tracks to get to the Tamarack spur). Either way, the MR and H&C would have to cross each other at some point for the whole thing to work.

    But to confuse the issue even more (if that’s even possible) we have to consider who was here first. That would be the MR, which served both Tamarack and Osceola. That would make that Tamarack spur part of the MR line originally, and not the H&C. This would seem to support the notion that the MR was on the west. But at some point the H&C would be using that spur and would have to get to it.

    What most likely happened is when the H&C was built, it simply bought up the already existing MR tracks from Osceola to Tamarack (considering those tracks were probably on land owned by the mines anyway) and then extended those tracks south out of Osceola towards Tamarack Mills. This forced the MR to makes its own run up to Calumet out around the C&H mine and back to the east end of Oak Street.

    But what you were really questioning was the labeling of those loco houses. I suppose its all academic since at the time the photo was taken it was all part of the Mineral Range / H&C conglomerate operation. I probably shouldn’t have tried to break them down like that.

    As far as that old loco house picture, I still think its the stone portion of the larger roundhouse seen in the image (the hipped roof part at the far right side) before the addition was added. The number of stalls match up, the only difference being those front stacks were removed. But it really could be any loco house, the photo wasn’t labeled.

  29. I could have swore the Mineral Range was built to the west of the H&C being the H&C was on this route to Calumet first. Mineral Ranges original route was straight through Osceola across US41 and crossing C&H behind Sacred Heart Church to the Calumet Depot at Depot St, then later extended to Red Jacket via a long curved track around the north end of town ending up around 4th St & Oak? C&H later had Mineral Range abandon those tracks to cut delays to its rock trains at the crossing, C&H took over most of that track to service its Osceola lode mines.
    When Mineral Range ran its new route at Osceola to Calumet, it would have had to continue to cross over the H&C to get on the east side. I can’t picture them wanting to do that, even if they controlled both roads. H&C stayed narrow gauge for a while after being leased to Mineral Range.
    I see the Sanborn maps show the Mineral Range and Hancock and Calumet with the Mineral Range to the east. But then I also noticed that somehow after 1900, the smaller enginehouse somehow jumped over C&H’s overhead track to the north side of the embankment.

    That second photo with the steam engines in the door, I really don’t think that enginehouse is either of those in the bigger photo, it may have been there before.

  30. I believe that old MRRR locomotive house was actually the H&C locomotive house when built.

  31. I sounds like they need a highly skilled grant writer to get money to do restoration projects and put some people to work before we loose anymore of this area, once its gone its to late and thats all she wrote.

  32. do you plan to do anything with Swedetown history or have you already covered that.

  33. The small building with the stack and bins in the 1st view looks like an early day recycle operation converting Tamarack poor rock to aggregate. That may have been the start of Calumet’s “paved in copper” streets.

    The Mineral Range at the start was an independent 3 ft. gauge common carrier – one of the first of its kind in America. The H&C was built to 3 ft. gauge by the Clarke & Bigelow interests to haul Osceola and Tamarack rock, the merger was instigated by the H&C because Clarke & Bigelow really weren’t interested in running a railroad, the Mineral Range was a quick way to get a management team – a case of the tail wagging the dog. The H&C had much more traffic at the time. Once the DSS&A arrived in Houghton and tracks were laid across the bridge, both lines were gradually standard gauged as seen in these panoramas.

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