Quarries

“While the Keweenaw may be best known for its vast treasures of red metal, it was also once briefly home to yet another mining boom – in sandstone. It was in 1861 that a man by the name of George Craig first discovered the peninsula’s stone riches as he travelled along the Superior shore near the mouth of the Portage River. The son of a prominent English quarry operator, Craig knew top quality sandstone when he saw it exposed in sheer cliffs along the shore.

During the next decade Craig attempted to mine the red rock but with little success. He managed to establish one of the region’s first quarries along the Portage River about a mile inland from shore. In the process a short narrow-gauge tramway was built from the quarry to a dock along the river and a small collection of company houses sprung up nearby. This small settlement – known as Craig – was the first along the river, and had the distinction of becoming home to the region’s first post office.”

The Quarry Dock

featured

The great Copper Empire that once ruled the Keweenaw’s shores may have been figuratively built of copper, but it was literally built of another material mined from the peninsula – sandstone. For the last third of the nineteenth century this iron-stained stone was all the rage, and to meet demand …

The Scars of Industry

featured

When the industrial might of the Keweenaw may have abandoned it decades ago it left behind a little something to remember it by, in the form of a scarred and pitted landscape. While some of those scars are rather noticeable, others are a bit more subversive. For the region surrounding …

The Jacobsville Docks (p3)

featured

As I’ve noted previously the Jacobsville region was home to five quarries at the peak of the brownstone’s popularity, four of which sat along the Lake Superior shore. So far we’ve visited the remains of three of these quarry docks, with only one still remaining to find. This particular quarry, …

The Jacobsville Docks (p2)

featured

The Jacobsville dock at its prime was a rather large and impressive structure, extending several hundred feet into the lake along a rather robust man-made peninsula. Along it’s top would have been a small tramway along with several large derricks all used to transport the cut stone blocks from the …

The Jacobsville Docks (p1)

featured

This winter CCE is collaborating with the Keweenaw Heritage Center in the creation of an exhibit featuring the Copper Country’s little known sandstone industry and the structures that industry built all across the midwest. In the course of that work, I was lucky enough to get a tour – via …

Sandstone Quarries of the Keweenaw (p2)

featured

The Kerber-Jacobs Redstone Quarry John Jacobs received a healthy pay check from the sale of his interests in the Portage Entry Quarries, money he subsequently turned towards the establishment of yet another Keweenaw quarry. The year was 1892 and the sandstone market was at its prime. Jacobs – along with …

Sandstone Quarries of the Keweenaw (p1)

featured

Sandstone cliffs near Jacobsville While the Keweenaw may be best known for its vast treasures of red metal, it was also once briefly home to yet another mining boom – in sandstone. It was in 1861 that a man by the name of George Craig first discovered the peninsula’s stone …