Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Beast of a Hoist

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The relationship between a shaft and its hoist is a complicated one, and by no means monogamous. In fact the very nature of a shaft is to be polygamous and take many hoists during its lifetime. In the beginning a shaft is first paired with a rather small and diminutive …

Cable Stands and More

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Ahh cable stand footings. These things are a dime a dozen, and I’ve probably got a Benjamin’s worth in my pocket after five years of exploring mine sites such as the Tamarack No.3. For the uninitiated the concrete block seen above would have once held the support post to a …

Tamarack No.3

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When the Tamarack Mine undertook the ambitious plan of mining the Calumet Conglomerate at depth, it was an incredibly risky and ambitious plan that had no contemporary counterpart. It was only blind faith that encouraged the investment in such a ludicrous scheme, faith in the experience and expertise of the …

Along the Shore of Tamarack Dam

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The great copper mining empire that once dominated the Keweenaw landscape was powered by steam, and therefore required great amounts of water to survive. While mines near Lake Superior or the peninsula’s major inland lakes could find all the water they needed rather easily, those mines that sat far inland …

Anatomy of a Trestle (p2)

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While all the action on a train trestle may have occurred atop the rail deck and attached girders (the trestles superstructure), the real work occurred down on the valley’s floor, where the bridge’s compliment of steel piers (the sub structure) worked to hold the train and its cargo high above …

Anatomy of a Trestle (p1)

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The three Firesteel Trestles found along the old Copper Range line north of Lake Mine are messages in a bottle, a living example of the kind of turn of the century technology that helped transform the Copper Country into one of the country’s premier mining districts. While trestles like them …

The Firesteel Trestles

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The Copper Range Railroad began its journey to the Keweenaw from the small town of McKeever, at an intersection with the Chicago Minneapolis & St. Paul Railroad known as Range Junction. From there the line headed first northward towards Lake Mine before turning to the northeast to follow alongside the …

The Taylor Compressor

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The Victoria Mine’s geographical isolation caused a great deal of original thinking when it came to how the mine would be powered. With no rail lines and only a narrow bridge and rugged road connecting the mine to the rest of the world, the usual ways of powering a mine …