CCE Notes

CCE Top 100 (p1)

In commemoration of my 1000th post, I thought I’d take some time this week to delve back into CCE’s rather extensive archives and highlight some of what I feel are CCE’s best posts – a full hundred of them. These posts represent some of my best work and more interesting discoveries, and are a great way to explore the Copper Country’s most intriguing ruins and historical points of interest. Its also a great way to explore CCE’s rich and expansive content without getting lost in an overload of information. So without further ado I present my top 100 CCE posts – part one.


100. Brick


This makes the list solely for its novel subject matter, a little post about something other then the typical “ruin of the week” I was writing up to that point. Here we take a look at a common component to most CC mining structures – the brick. Read More


99. Cedar Fort 1957

A nice little treat discovered at the base of the Tamarack No.4 rock pile, and old children’s fort from the 50s commemorated with its own little plaque. Read More


98. From The Road

This little post introduces CCE readers to one of the Copper County’s most iconic ruins – the steel dam at Redridge. Read More


97. Three House Town

One of my first pre-CCE explorations was of a trio of old homes left abandoned and in ruin at the old mining location of Gratiot. Though those houses were long gone by the time CCE came along, this post does a good job of setting the scene of the old town as I remember seeing it. Read More


96. Where Stamp Mills Roam

Not a particularly exciting post, but one that began to put context into the ruins I was documenting. Why were these ruins here and what purpose did they serve? Well here we started answering those questions for the readers. Read More


95. Anatomy of the Underground

About a year into explorer I discovered with much joy the Keweenaw Digital Archives, an online repository of Copper Country photographs created and curated by the folks over at the Michigan Tech Archives. It was a great resource, and thanks to their generosity I was able to began incorporating those photos into my posts. This was my first post to feature nothing but archive images, relying not on my ruin photography to tell a story but those archive images instead. Read More


94. Finding 27 Holes in the Ground

For a brief time I began to experiment with more investigative writing, comfortable enough with my acquired knowledge of the Copper Country to began making some deductions about the ruins and mines I was exploring. This particular post is a good example of that, as I try to find where each of C&H’s 27 mine shafts were located in and around the village of Calumet. Read More


93. Prosperity to Ruin

For a good portion of CCE’s early posts I refrained from making too much commentary on the ruins and history I was sharing, attempting to stay clear of any controversies or arguments. This post is one of my early attempts to do just the opposite, commenting on the sad state of downtown Laurium. The comment garnished some negative comments in return, and as a result I shied away from such opinions for some time after. Read More


92. Stamps, Jigs, and Wifleys

Another great resource at my disposal was the catalogue of information collected on the Quincy Mine by the US Government as part of their HAER documentation. This provided a treasure trove of public domain images, maps, and illustrations – a few of which I used for good effect in this post about the Mill process. Read More


91. Water Tower

I love to find particularly unique and hard-to-find ruins, and I especially love to showcase them on explorer. This post documents the discovery of an underground mechanical room for a long demolished water tower at the Quincy Mill property. Read More


90. Went to Crestview and Only Got Some Lousy Ruins

While this post may be one of legend here on CCE (as is the whole Crestview tale), it isn’t particularly effective and as such scores low on my list. It’s especially ineffective in conveying sarcasm resulting in my assertion that Crestview was a myth being represented on other web-sites as delusional thinking and naivety on my part. Read More


89. Railroads of the Copper Country (Series)

CCE isn’t just an album of pretty ruin photographs, it is also a serious historical publication intent on sharing the area’s rich history with the world. These series of posts on the Copper Country’s railroads are an excellent example of this, providing a good overview of the peninsula’s transportation system at the turn of the century. Read More


88. Quincy Mine Ruin Maps

I love maps, and for my lengthy series on the Quincy Mine I decided to put together a rather expansive map of the entire Quincy Mine from south to north overlaid atop current aerial images. Read More


87. To All the Hoists I’ve Known Before

After a few years I began to pick up a few patterns in the ruins I was documenting here on CCE. Here I note some of those similarities, as I describe the common characteristics of a hoist foundation I now refer to as the “Gratiot” style. Read More


86. Red Sands

Sometimes I feel like being a historian, doing some research and telling a story about the past. Other times I just like posting pretty pictures, as was the case when I documented the tailings from the old Allouez Mill. The sands have a beautiful red color there, and to help emphasize that color I desaturated everything else in frame. The result is some particularly haunting imagery of mining’s effects on the world around it. Read More


85. Crates in the Sand

Another remarkable find, sitting half buried in the reclaimed tailings at the Quincy Reclamation Plant. Accompanying the dredge in its efforts across Torch Lake were a line of pontoon platforms over which the reclaimed sand and power were transported. These boxes are what remains of those pontoons, buried by the very sands they once transported. Read More


84. Of Architectural Interest

Its not secret to long time readers of CCE that I have an interest in architecture. I decided to create this little glossary of terms to help readers better appreciate the architecture around them. Read More


83. Keebler’s Bumper

This post is what I consider the perfect example of the type of posts I’m most interesting in writing as of late. Take a simple object or ruin, and humanize it by giving it a backstory. In this case this small railroad bumper introduced me and my readers to a certain inventor and innovator by the name of Mr. Keebler. Read More


82. From the Same Mold

Here I discover some striking similarities between two sets of ruins, in this case those ruins being the Centennial and Kingston rock houses. Read More

81. Agassiz Park (series)

The great promise but eventual desecration of C&H’s gift to the Calumet community is a story I have always been fascinated with, and in this series of posts I was able to illustrate that tragic story by showcasing the great park as it was intended to be and what it had become. Read More


80. Trash To Treasure

When does trash fail to be just trash and instead become an archeological treasure? This was the question I posed in this short post, showcasing some of the junk we end up finding on our explorations into the Copper Country. Read More


79. Industrial Footprints

At the heart of CCE is an idea of a place, and the essence of what makes a particular spot on the earth unique to itself. Here I explore that concept by superimposing onto modern aerial images the location of the old mills and industrial centers that were once located along Torch Lake’s western shore. Read More


78. The Quincy Shafts

Context is important when you’re showcasing a collection of ruins from a particular mine site and in this post I give a detailed and comprehensive overview of what we were about to explore in the posts to follow, utilizing the great collection of archive photos from the Keweenaw Digital Archives of course. Read More


77. Crushing and Sorting

I bring out the old HAER illustrations once again to help explain what goes on inside those soaring rock houses. Read More


76. A Buffalo Connection

Early in my education I was blessed with a history teacher that instilled one important concept into the mushy brain of mine – interconnectivity. History is essentially a story about relationships; about causes and effects, trailblazers and followers, inventors and innovators. So when I discovered the connection between a popular brick used here in the Keweenaw and a manufacturer out east, I quickly jumped on the topic for a quick post. Read More

Tomorrow: Posts 51-75

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