Ahmeek Mine

The Ahmeek Mine began its life as a failure – in an unsuccessful attempt to mine the Houghton Conglomerate lode in 1880. After two shafts were sunk and very little copper was discovered, the mine was abandoned. It wasn’t until almost a quarter of a century later when the copper-rich Kearsarge Amygdaloid lode was discovered on the property that the mine made a second go at it. This time success was more forthcoming, as the Ahmeek quickly became one of the Keweenaw peninsula’s most productive mines and caught the eye of the great C&H – which bought up the company in 1923.

Ahmeek No. 2 gained a rather deserved reputation of being highly profitable, as it set several records in yearly ore production and became the most productive single shaft in Copper Country history. Its skip became known as the “Money Maker” as every trip to the surface meant profit for the mine. The shaft featured an elaborate surface plant, complete with a central power plant and rockhouse which served both it and the No. 1 shaft to the south. The shaft worked well past the C&H consolidation, closing shop along with its siblings to the north in the mid ’60s.

The Summer of ’69

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Paul Meier has been exploring the Copper Country since before I was born, and before the concept of a “website” had even been considered. The Copper Empire that he documented looked a tad different then the one showcased on these pages, due mostly to the fact that the mines had …

More Ahmeek Powder

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As I noted yesterday, most mines utilized only one powder house that served all its shafts. In some cases a mine would have a second powder house to serve shafts set apart from the majority of the mine’s property. But after continuing up the road from the Ahmeek No. 3/4’s …

Ahmeek Powder

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While most mines utilized an identical set of surface buildings for each shaft along their property, they usually only used a centralized powder house to serve them all. But this layout always coincided with a mine property that was somewhat small and continuous in size, which wasn’t the case for …

The Boiler House Next Door

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Wherever you find the foundation to a steam engine (or three in our case) you are bound to find a boiler house nearby. The Ahmeek Mine was born too early to have an electric hoist, and as such required steam to power its surface plant. At the No. 2 that …

A Row of Foundations

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The Ahmeek Mine was the savior that C&H had desperately been searching for. As production began to wane along the great Calumet Conglomerate lode the company began a hectic search for the next great rising star. The new star – it turned out – was the Kearsarge Amygdaloid lode. Through …

Yet Another Powder House

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we find another powder house, this time outside of the Ahmeek No. 2 We have seen a few of these buildings, and we could tell almost right away what it was for once we stumbled across it. The thick walls, lack of windows, and vents over the doors all point …