Centennial Mill

“The Centennial Mill was actually not built by the Centennial Mine. The facility was instead built by the Arcadian Copper Company around 1900 in preparation for the mine’s anticipated copper windfall – a windfall that never materialized. Besides the mill the ill-fated mine had also erected for itself one of the region’s most impressive surface plants that included modern steel rock-houses, massive stone hoist buildings, as well as a sprawling collection of support buildings and utility infrastructure. Unfortunately the mine managers had forgotten to actually make sure their mine had copper, which it didn’t. Within only a few years the entire operation was scrapped, and the mine’s impressive array of support structures were sold off – including its mill at Grosse Point. Luckily the Centennial Mine was in the market for just such a item and bought the old mill for its own use.”

The Shore Plant (p2)

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After a few small discoveries – including the remains of the original boiler house – we continued onward towards shore in the hopes to discover more remains of the Centennial Mill’s surface plant. It wasn’t long before we came across more remains hidden in the forest, remains belonging to the …

The Shore Plant (p1)

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Before the Arcadian Mill had become available, the Centennial Mine was desperately in need of a new stamp mill. Its original inland stamp mill at the mine itself was a relic of a earlier century and could no longer serve the mine’s growing needs. In desperation the mine bought up …

The Mineral House

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Once the copper rock has made its way through the stamp mill’s collection of stamps, jigs, and wash tables the resultant separated components are sent their separate ways. For the waste rock this meant a long ride atop a water filled launder, ending in a short drop into Portage Lake. …

The Outer Walls

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Finished with our exploration of the grand concrete plateau that is the Centennial Mill’s wash floor, we headed off to find the building’s outer foundation walls. Being a more modern structure the Centennial Mill would have been built to be as fireproof as possible, featuring a concrete foundation, iron skeleton …

Along the Wash Floor (p3)

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In addition to the lines of pillars and other foundations scattered across the Centennial Mill’s wash floor there were also a few other interesting items to be found. The sweeping concrete floor was also home to a few sets of narrow gauge rails, the most noticeable of which was running …

Along the Wash Floor (p2)

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Looking our across the sweeping concrete frontier that confronted us, we noticed the scattering lines of concrete pedestals and pillars stretched out across the barren surface. These foundations supported the mill’s collection of jigs and wash tables, with the jigs laying up closer to the back of the mill and …

Along the Wash Floor (p1)

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Stepping down from the Centennial Mill’s terraced levels we found ourselves overlooking a vast field of concrete, foundations, and a scattering of trees. The surreal landscape we were looking at was once a bustling facility overcrowded with jigs, launders, mineral cars, and wash tables. Today only the faintest remnants of …

The Terraces

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The milling process involved a series of intermediate steps which worked to liberate copper from its poor rock tomb organized into a series of terraced levels. At the top was the first step – stamping – performed by what are essentially steam driven hammers. Next the rock goes into a …

The Stamp Floor

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A stamp mill is typically set atop a terraced foundation that provides stepped levels for the mill’s rock bins, stamps, jigs, and wash tables. This layout allows for the optimal use of gravity in the transportation of the slime throughout the facility and its subsequent ejection into the launders. At …

A Throne Fit for a Turbine

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C&H’s acquisition of the Centennial Mill occurred during consolidation, when the majority of the Copper Country’s independent mines were absorbed by C&H. In the process C&H acquired several industrial properties in addition to the Centennial mill, including two Tamarack Mills, two Osceola Mills, the Dollar Bay smelter, and the Ahmeek …

Rock Bins

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In stark contrast to the rest of the infrastructure built for the incredibly optimistic company, the Arcadian Mine’s stamp mill was a rather modest facility. As originally built the mill was outfitted with only threes stamps, compliment by a collection of 110 jigs and 9 wash tables. Powering this anemic …

The Stack from 1913

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Soon after the Arcadian’s demise its newly rebranded stamp mill – now known as the Centennial Mill – would become the recipient of a modern renovation. A major component of this refit was the addition of 3 more stamp heads to the mill’s original battery of 3, doubling both the …

Along Grosse Point Shores

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At the north end of Portage Lake nestled between its north and west arms sits the Dollar Peninsula – a large outcropping of land which physically sets Torch Lake apart from Portage Lake. Extending into Portage Lake at the peninsula’s southern end is a protrusion of land known as Grosse …