Michael Forgrave

Lakeview and its Brewery

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As the Copper Country reached the end of the 19th century, the booming village of Red Jacket and its surrounding communities had begun to reach their limits of expansion. Surrounding on all sides by mine property off limits to development, any new businesses or residents hoping to make the mining village …

Behind a Green Veil

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Though only early June the air was thick and heavy – the relief given by the passing breeze now blocked by the dense collection of trees we found ourselves in. The trees were relatively young, with only a select few protruding through the low canopy of green just a half …

The Quincy Method (p4)

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As we’ve explored the soaring frame of the Quincy No.2 Shaft / Rockhouse we’ve largely concentrated our efforts on the rock handling components of the grand structure. Yet as its name implies the building has a secondary purpose as well, something a bit less extravagant as rock handling but important none-the-less. …

The Quincy Method (p3)

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Mining at its most basic level is nothing more than an exercise in transporting rock from one point to another. This process begins underground soon after the rock is blasted free from its subterrarian home as it is loaded into tram cars for transportation towards the nearest shaft. There it is transferred into skips …

The Quincy Method (p2)

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The Quincy Mine’s first foray into placing a rockhouse into its shafthouse was at the old Pewabic No.6, a shaft Quincy had acquired when it purchased its old neighbor in 1891. Known as the “North Quincy”, this shaft was far removed from the rest of the mine’s surface plant including its …

The Quincy Method (p1)

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In its infancy, copper mining in the Keweenaw was an especially labor intensive enterprise. In its most simplest form, mining was nothing more then hole digging and with little technological assistance available at the time those holes were dug primarily with men with shovels and wheelbarrows. When rock was encountered the shovels gave …

The Life and Times of Quincy No.2

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She came into this world in 1856, offspring to a struggling mine trying desperately to make ends meet. She was a twin, her sister next door erected the same year. She wasn’t the mine’s first, and despite her name wasn’t its second either. The Quincy Mine at the time already …

Mining Moderne

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The Copper Empire lasted for over a century and a half – its dominion covering several major periods of American history. It was front in center in the country’s Gilded Age of industry, provided copper for two world wars and the war between the states, limped its way through the …

See You Next Year…

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A Winter’s Nap Winter has once again laid its cold hand on the land, its harsh winds and heavy snow leaving its mark on the old Copper Country, both in this old postcard and currently as the region has received over 40 inches of snow in just the past few weeks …

The Mystery Stone Buildings of Mohawk

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Perhaps one of the Keweenaw’s more impressive sights are the stone buildings scattered across its cities and old mining locations. These artisticly crafted masonry masterpieces are beautiful to behold, and even in ruin gleam with a majesty and awe reminiscent of the great castles and cathedrals of the old world. While some of these grand …

The Lands of the Phoenix (p2)

Lands of the Phoenix Part Two

As with most Keweenaw mining towns, the community of Phoenix along the Cliff Range ebbed and flowed along with the fortunes of the copper mines at its doorstep. The town’s overseers – the Phoenix Mining Company – toiled away at its trio of mines on and off for nearly forty years until …

The Lands of the Phoenix (p1)

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The Eagle River is one of the Keweenaw’s longest natural waterways, running over 10 miles from its marshy headwaters deep inside the peninsula’s interior to its Lake Superior outlet along the sand dunes of the identically named town of Eagle River. While unremarkable for most of its length, it grandeur …

A Note of Thanks…

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Dear CCE Readers… As we enter the Holiday season I thought I’d take a break from our usual programming to send a heartfelt and well deserved thank you to all of our wonderful readers! For the past five years I’ve humbly asked for your help in keeping CCE on the air, and …

Vaughnville and Robbins

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The Cliff Range is perhaps most famously associated with the Cliff Mine, but the rugged precipice was home to more then just one Copper Empire settlement. The same copper bearing rocks which brought the Cliff to the scene attracted other people looking for riches of their own, and after the …

The Cliff Range

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“The spot where I stood was a bare flat rock, the highest peak of the Keweenaw Point, upon Lease, No. 10, belonging to the Albion Mining Company. I had heard this view glowingly described, but my imagination had formed no conception of its grandeur. I have stood upon the hills …

In Honor of Verna

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It almost seems like an afterthought – a last minute addition crammed into the landscape wherever it could fit. For most its passed by without even notice, a small largely unmarked sliver of green space tucked up against the highway. Only a small hardly noticeable sign marks its existence – …

DHH

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By the time the dark cloud of the Depression descended upon the Copper Country the Michigan College of Mines had grown out of its diminutive first home on the top floor of Houghton’s fire hall and moved into an expansive campus of a half dozen beautiful masonry structures at the east end of …

Making Memories with CCE

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As a student in his first few years of coursework at Michigan Tech there were two things to do in place of studying or attending class. The first of these requires no explanation for those who also attended the old mining college. Since I didn’t drink, it would be the …

At the End of the Line

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It was 1864 when the Mandan Mine took its first baby steps into the world. The mine took up residence along a marshy stretch of land past Delaware, hoping to strike it rich along a narrow fissure lode. Along with the mine came a collection of worker housing built atop higher ground to the …

The County Seat

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Before the rise of the great C&H and the sprawling metropolis of Red Jacket it spawned – the heart and soul of the Copper Country was located a bit farther to the north – in and around a small port town situated at the mouth of the Eagle River. Known as …

The Trestle Brothers

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The Falls River is an aptly named ribbon of water which tumbles and cascades its way to Keweenaw Bay from the rugged foothills of the Huron Mountains. There are dozens of waterfalls along the route including four named falls – Powerhouse Falls, Lower Falls, Middle Falls, and Upper Falls. Of …

Please Support Your Local History Website!

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Ten years is a long time. In such a span of time our planet has traveled over 5 billion miles through the cosmos, and the humans that ride along have seen the sun rise and set nearly 4 thousand times. During that time we have all lived an eighth of our …

Scrapbook Fridays: Roadside Edition

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Its Friday once again, and that means another Scrapbook Friday. This week we delve back into our old postcard collection, this time taking a look at a few of the Copper Country’s roadside Americana including old bars, restaurants, stores, and motels. Most of these are no longer with us, but …

Ye Ole’ Swimmin Hole

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As the old Copper Empire’s power and prestige began to wain in the 30s, a great deal of investment was made in securing a future for the Copper Country not reliant on its copper riches for its survival. Towards that end a great deal of new parks, attractions, and scenic …

The Parks of Cliff Drive

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The road began its life as a mine access road, a rather narrow and rugged trail meandering its way from the port of Eagle River up to the mines cropping up along the rugged cliffs of the peninsula’s bony spine. Luckily one of these early mines – the Cliff – …