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 east. Those riches were no were to be found, however, and both mine and town were soon abandoned. That is until another mine moved into the area with visions of riches of their own – the Medora. The Medora had bought up the Mandan’s old lands and began working a fissure vein of its own just to the east of the abandoned townsite. The new mine meant new promise for Mandan, as its abandoned houses became home to a new generation of workers.
The mine held much promise but once again fell victim to the fickle qualms of the industry. All was not lost, however, as the mine and its commandeered town site was provided yet another opportunity for greatness – this time under the auspices of the Keweenaw Copper Company. A copper mining conglomerate with money to burn, the Keweenaw Copper Company bought up not just the old Medora and Mandan properties but a great majority of the old mines that once occupied the Keweenaw’s northern most reaches. To help support and promote the development of its new acquisitions, the company extended its own railroad – the Keweenaw Central – out to meet up with these new properties. Its last stop – Mandan.