Lake Mine

“In the grand scheme of the copper empire the Lake Mine just east of Mass City was not particularly important. Though it managed to operate for nearly 20 years the mine and its brother to the north managed only a scant couple million pounds of copper; never paid a dividend, and hardly made a profit. Yet if one was to gauge the importance and subsequent success of it based on what remains today you would get the distinct impression that the whole operation was the biggest, grandest, and most important mine in all of the peninsula. ”

Just A Few Foundations More

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From the outside all we could make out was the four tall concrete walls, with nothing else to help us identify what may lie within. It may have been a second hoist house, or it could have been a compressor house. The only way we were going to find out …

A Walk Outside

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After leaving the hoist house ruins we took another walk around the perimeter, this time looking for the cable stands that once brought the hoisting cable out to the distant rock house located far down the hill. Using that notch in the wall we discovered earlier as a starting point, …

Atop the Foundation

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After taking a walk around the old maintenance trenches surrounding the Lake Mine’s hoist house, it was time to tackle the elephant in the room and take a climb up atop the hoist foundation itself. Unfortunately it looked to be a daunting task, considering the size and height of the …

Breaching the Walls

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Leaving the boiler house remains behind, we take a short stroll down the sloping landscape towards that concrete wall we saw down the way. While the remains of the boiler house were not particularly impressive, the concrete wall that soared above us was a bit more substantial, its bulk dominating …

Hot Gases and Ash

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We featured a few of the more impressive structures remaining from the old Lake Mine in Ontonagon country already here on CCE, most impressive of which was the soaring towers of concrete on which the towering old rock house once stood. We also took a quick look at this small …

A Giant Among Giants

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A ruin-scape of such scope and magnitude as we’ve been exploring at the Lake Mine deserve one more look before moving on. It’s hard to comprehend the sheer immensity of these ruins until you’re standing in their shadows, staring high up above you at their soaring reach. The No.2 Rock …

A Portal to the Depths

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While the colossus rock house foundations had deservedly garnered much of our earlier attention at the Lake Mine, our eyes had been redirected to another impressive mass of concrete sitting a bit apart from all the action. Based on its location we knew what it had to be, but the …

The Colossus Returns

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When we last visited the old Lake Mine down in the remote depths of Ontonagon County we had taken a look at a pair of incredibly massive rock house foundations rising up from the earth at the old No.2 shaft location. Yet those towering monoliths were only part of the …

The Colossus

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In the grand scheme of the copper empire the Lake Mine just east of Mass City was not particularly important. Though it managed to operate for nearly 20 years the mine and its brother to the north managed only a scant couple million pounds of copper; never paid a dividend, …

The Stack

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The Lake Mine is a site of extremes, an obscene ruin-scape of boisterous monstrosity. Everything is bigger-then-life from its soaring concrete rock-house footings, protruding shaft collar, and impenetrable hoist house walls. Yet for all its grand showmanship the mine does exhibit a few less obtrusive features, most notable of which …

The Roof Vent

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The great machines of the Copper Empire were powered by steam, a fuel source that by its very nature tends to produce a large amount of heat. This heat would often end up trapped within the massive stone buildings housing those steam powered equipment. Venting that heat would be a …

The Tunnel

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At the turn of the century the heart of any mine operation was its steam plant, a battery of coal-fed boilers which worked day and night to provided the mine’s compliment of victorian machinery with much needed lifeblood. That blood was in the form of steam, and it was transported …