Centennial Mine

The Centennial Mine has a long and sordid past spanning over a century of Copper Country history. It 1863 it began its life as the Schoolcraft Mine working the northern extension of the great Calumet Conglomerate Lode. A decade later the mine went bankrupt, finding its section of the great lode with far less copper than it had hoped. In 1876 the mine began its second life as the newly formed Centennial Mining Company . This new endeavor re-opened the Schoolcraft’s original workings as well as opening several new shafts along the adjacent Osceola Amygdaloid lode. By 1896 the mine had entered yet another stage, this time as the Centennial Copper Company. The new company shut down all the mines previous shafts and began sinking brand-new shafts into the newly discovered Kearsarge Amygdaloid lode. The third time was the charm as this new lode proved highly profitable. The mine continued operations (later under C&H control) for several decades, closing down during the Depression.

Of all the Centennial’s seven shafts, the No. 2 was by far the most productive. Working in tandem with the No. 1 shaft – which sat less then a hundred feed to its south – these two Kearsarge Lode shafts were able to produce an average of 2 million pounds of copper a year. The unique tandem shaft set-up meant a duplicate surface plant of hoist engines, shaft houses, and compressor buildings. The two shafts were served by a common boiler plant, dry house, and machine shop. While the mine fell victim to the Depression, the No. 2 was able to re-open during the Second World War to help supply copper for the war effort. The No. 2 would continue to serve is new owner – C&H – for another 22 years until it was closed down for good in 1966.

Centennial Mine

Left Behind

The labored and prolonged death of the copper empire had been telegraphed years ahead of time. By the end of…
Centennial Mine

Behind the Collar House

the Centennial head frame high above the collarhouse Sitting on those snow-covered rails, our mystery machine seemed to be patiently…
Centennial Mine

Skip Road

We made our way forward to the front of the collar house. Turning the corner we could see the monolithic…
Centennial Mine

Waste’s End

There are two types of rock underground – the type of rock that makes money and everything else. Copper may…
Centennial Mine

From the Same Mold

It was an odd feeling that washed over us as we approached the base of the Centennial rock house –…
Centennial Mine

Headframe

the Centennial headframe, standing by silent While the similarities between where we currently stood and the Kingston ruins to the…
Centennial Mine

Still Standing

for the first time, cable stands that are still standing We passed the headframe and made our way towards the…
Centennial Mine

And All the Rest…

an empty fire hydrant sits alone in the field in front of the Centennial dry By now it was getting…
Centennial Mine

Outhouse

walking away from the rock house on the old railroad grade ore cars once used It was a bit of…
Centennial Mine

A Monument in the Trees

Centennial Mine, as seen from the Copper Range Line As the Copper Range railroad turns north from Calumet and heads…
Centennial Mine

A Look Inside

As we stepped through the door to the Hoist building at Centennial, we felt like we stepping into a post…
Centennial Mine

The Details

Not a steam engine When we first entered the hoist building at Centennial, we had thought that we had found…
Centennial Mine

In the Way

the half-demolished remains of the hoist house, as seen from the nearby landfill The mysteries of the inside solved, we…
Centennial Mine

Copper Country Scrapbook IV

Today for Copper Country Scrapbook I present the Centennial No. 3 – as seen by fellow explorer Jay Balliet. He’s…
Centennial Mine

Centennial No. 3 Panoramic

click on the image to view a panoramic of the Centennial No. 3 grounds, photographed by a fellow explorer After…
Centennial Mine

Scrapbook V: Inside Centennial

Our discussion of the Centennial here as of late has gotten a lot of attention out there in reader-ville. It…
Centennial Mine

Scrapbook Fridays: Centennial Edition Continued…

This week on scrapbook I feature more old photos of the Centennial No.2 from fellow explorer Paul Meier (thanks again…
Centennial Mine

And So It Goes…

History endures. It cannot be easily brushed aside, erased, or lost. It survives in the books and newspapers that recorded…
Centennial Mine

The Money Maker (p1)

The narrow lands of the old Schoolcraft Mine property were surrounded on all sides by mines of a higher caliber,…
Centennial Mine

The Money Maker (p2)

The old Centennial Mine made numerous attempts to locate copper riches on its property, most of them failures. It wasn’t…
Centennial Mine

Mining Moderne

The Copper Empire lasted for over a century and a half – its dominion covering several major periods of American…