The ruins at Mohawk No. 6 – especially the impressive remains of the hoist building – have never been given the chance to adequetely shine here on CCE in the past. My first foray through the site resulted in only ... More »
For most of the Copper Country’s history the milling process has been very inefficient. For every ton of copper recovered, dozens of pounds more slipped past and found its way to the waste laund...
What we found in the woods along Tecumseh road is a common ruin we encounter on our explorations of the Copper Country. Copper mining had grown far past it’s infancy by the time the lake mines began p...
Copper mining across the Keweenaw shared a uniform approach toward surface infrastructure. Specifically, every mine across the copper country had within it surface plant three main buildings: the shaf...
While doing some spring cleaning around here I stumbled across a collection of drawings I did of the Quincy Stamp Mill Turbine Building. This building was built in 1921, to supply electric power to th...
While James Watt’s improvements to the steam engine may have been responsible for giving birth to the industrial revolution it would be the contribution of George Corliss that made it profitable. Watt’s contribution to engine design was one of practicality ... More »
An automated casting machine at work In the beginning, the finished copper from the Quincy furnaces were molded into ingots using a very labor intensive process. In essence workers would scoop out the copper with long handled ladles and then ... More »
The copper that arrived to the smelter was anywhere from 70 to 90 percent pure. Due to the unique nature of Lake Superior copper, most of those impurities manifested themselves as pieces of foreign rock imbedded within the copper itself. ... More »
Before the application of electric generation to the Copper Country landscape, all of a mine’s mechanical power was only obtainable from steam. While this form of power was convenient for a mine’s surface plant where large boiler houses and smokestacks ... More »
The Stella Cheese Factory? Before leaving the Stella Cheese Factory behind for good, there’s still one last mystery that I feel the need to explore. It has been said that when Stella moved into Baltic it made the decision to ... More »
A long line of refining jigs at the Quincy Mill After leaving the final stages of the sizing process, the copper ore that entered the mill as pieces of rock have been reduced to a coarse gravel and mixed with ... More »
The process of ore production neither begins or ends at the stamp mill, but instead stretches from the dark drifts of the underground right up to the smelter docks. This process consists of three main stages: sizing and sorting, separation, ... More »
&oiDuring the Copper Empire’s peak, over 100 steam stamps were in operation across the peninsula. As mines and their mills succumbed, these massive stamps were quickly sold or scrapped for quick cash. With the arrival of the Second World War ... More »
The first stop for any rock entering a Copper Country stamp mill is one of several large storage bins that sit up and behind the mill’s stamp batteries. Since the rock will be transported through the mill primarily by gravity, ... More »
In the beginning of the Copper Empire, very little importance was put on milling. It was the mines themselves that produced copper, usually in the form of large pieces known as mass (or barrel) copper. These large pieces required no ... More »
While doing some spring cleaning around here I stumbled across a collection of drawings I did of the Quincy Stamp Mill Turbine Building. This building was built in 1921, to supply electric power to the Quincy Mills. Housed inside was ... More »
The prevalent use of steam power for most of the Copper Country’s history meant the need for a boiler house to provide that steam. That in turn meant the presence of a smokestack. Up until the installation of electric hoists ... More »
In order to further improve the milling process along the Copper Country mine companies began to turn to newly developed chemical processes for use in their mills. While the purity of Copper Country Copper did not necessarily require such measures ... More »
For most of the Copper Country’s history the milling process has been very inefficient. For every ton of copper recovered, dozens of pounds more slipped past and found its way to the waste launders. At the Quincy mills the process ... More »
EDIT: According to several readers with more knowledge on the subject then I, the machine remains pictured in the following post is not a frue vanner after all. Instead it seems that it most likely was a classifier used to ... More »
part of the collection of buildings that make up Quincy’s surface plant A mine itself is only a collection of tunnels underground, connected in a honeycomb maze of drifts and shafts. (see “Anatomy of the Underground”) From the surface the ... More »
It has been said many times here in these pages that the hoist was the heart of a mine. The life blood of copper flowed by the power of these steam behemoths. Often a mine’s most expensive purchase was their ... More »
As you progress along the foundation of the Redridge Dam, you drop level after level via a series of concrete staircases built into the floor. It’s about 30 feet from the gorge rim where the dam’s wing sections are, to ... More »
In its simplest form, the Redridge dam is a steel wall built across a ravine – 464 feet wide and 74 feet high. This wall is built from a series of steel I-beams set on 8 foot centers that support ... More »
Steel dam construction was flirted with only temporarily at the turn of the century, a time which the Redridge Dam owes for its existence. By 1900 the wood crib dam that had been built on the Salmon Trout River to ... More »
a rare brick structure in the Copper Country. This one belongs to the Atlas Powder Company, at Senter. When mines were first built along the Keweenaw it was done with materials that could be commonly found within the Peninsula itself. ... More »
Mining is simple. You drill holes into rock, you stuff explosives in those holes, and you blow the rock up into smaller pieces. From that point on everything at a mine – people, machines, buildings, and railroads – all work ... More »
The adit we discovered at Copper Falls in only part of a much larger labyrinth of tunnels and shafts that comprise a Copper Country mine. The copper rich rock that mines sought were localized and concentrated into areas called lodes. ... More »
The purpose of the Mohawk Mill – as with any stamp mill – was to separate the copper from the rock that incased it. The process relied on the differing physical properties of the two substances, specifically the weight and ... More »