Clark Mine

Copper prospectors first descended on the Copper Country in all earnest around 1845, flocking to the government land office set up on Porter’s Island to make their claims. From there they headed inland through the thick forest and rugged ridges of the peninsula’s interior in search of their fortune. But the great copper deposits were far to the south, and the scattering of small fissure deposits found here in the north were not nearly rich enough to support a mine – much less make a profit. For the years to follow optimistic investors sunk dozens of shafts across the wilderness, all of which were soon abandoned. The costs of sinking shafts, building infrastructure and clearing roads far exceeded the money earned on what little copper was discovered. The regions early copper rush was a failure.

One of the largest of these early failures was the Clark Mine. Established in 1853, a total of eight shallow shafts and three adits were sunk into a small vein of copper discovered a mile south of Copper Harbor. Before long the mines initial investment was depleted without any sizable amounts of copper having been recovered. The mine was forced to close down only a year later. The mine would change hands several times in the decades to follow, and sporadic work was carried on unsuccessfully until 1901 when the mine was finally abandoned for good.

The Other Stack that Clark Built

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Before becoming a French enterprise, and long before the influence of Mr. Estivant, the Clark Mine was just another small start up hoping to discover copper success under its small track of land. It was first worked in 1853, and later in 1855. By 1857 the small mine had only …

The Stack that Clark Built

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The copper rush that descended upon the Keweenaw in the second half of the 19th century was a global phenomenon. While the majority of investors and speculators arriving to the peninsula in search of their copper riches hailed from more native locals – such as New England – a few …