A Trimountain Postscript

Though I was technically done with our tour of the Trimountain Mine after leaving the No.4′s hoist building, once again thanks to fellow explorer/historian Bruce Groeneveld we have a few more interesting views of the old mine yet to enjoy. These photos are a continuation to those I featured a few weeks back, and focus on the Trimountain No.2 and its 1922 remix. There was quite the lively discussion involving that shaft back then, most of it regarding whether the shaft was still in use while the surrounding shaft / rock house was being dismantled and replaced. Bruce provides a few more images of that dismantling process that strongly suggests that the shaft was still in use, though most likely for just transporting men and materials.

Here’s the old Trimountain No.2, as it was being demolished to make room for its reincarnated self. This is a great image for a variety of reasons, most of which is the interesting detail of that squat head frame seen on the right side of the building. That shouldn’t be there, but should instead be a few more stories higher in the air roughly centered over those two rail openings seen down on the ground. The sheaves seen here were added while the building was being torn down, most likely to allow for the continued use of the shaft itself. But the size and placement of those sheaves meant that you weren’t going to be hauling any rock up with them. Anything being lowered to and from the pit would have to egress at collar level. While this would be fine for men and materials, it would be challenging for any copper or poor rock (especially since the poor rock tram sits high above the head frame to the right).

In addition to what was said above, the image is also amazing for what it shows of the building’s interior….

Here’s the old photo once again, but this time I’ve noted a few other interesting details including the rock bin base and drop hammer pillar. Half demolished like this, the building offers a rare glimpse into its inner workings, and the inner workings of most rock houses of the same era. I couldn’t resist to take a more detailed look.

Now we turn to a later point in the No.2′s resurrection, this time at some point after the installation of the new steel rock bin. Those same temporary sheaves discussed earlier can still be seen to the right along with the hoist cables which still makes their way down the shaft and out across to the hoist house on the left. The coolest thing about this pictures is the large slot that was left in the rock bin, a slot through which the hoist cables are being run. That’s some outside the box thinking (or should I say through the box thinking?).

Last but not least we have this third image of the old Trimountain No.2, except here it’s actually the new No.2 as most of the work on its rehabilitation has been completed. From this angle you can see that steel rock bin discussed previously (now slot-less I would assume), as well as its concrete foundation walls which continue to stand to this day. You can also see the poor rock tramway, which as been re-attached to the building. At this point the hoist cables would have been running over the building’s permanent head frame, which would have stood far above the image at the top of the rock houses massive structure.

Though generally finished, there still appears to be a good deal of work left to do, however, as several windows seem to be missing and a large opening can still be seen up on the rock house level. But even with these jarring omissions, the new No.2 looked to be a serious infrastructure investment. Especially considering the mine didn’t last too much longer.

Thanks Bruce again for the photos!

6 comments

  1. Ditto to what everyone else has said, those are such awesome and unique photos! Thanks for sharing Bruce!

  2. Wow, awesome! What an unusual view of these buildings. Thanks again, Bruce!

  3. Mike & CCE readers
    Am glad to contribute to this great site and all the great topics that are posted to keep the history fresh of the local copper industry.

  4. Really nice photos Bruce, glad you let everyone view these. So hard to find things like this unless you go to Michigan Tech.
    So hard to think how work like this was done years ago without the power operated equipment we have in this modern world.
    Thanks again Bruce and CCE of course for show casing them..

  5. Wow, in the last picture it looks almost exactly like the Quincy #2.

  6. Thanks Bruce and Mike for the rare look at how those rockhouses were constructed.Nice pitures.

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