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.