Tamarack Mine

When the Tamarack Mine undertook the ambitious plan of mining the Calumet Conglomerate at depth, it was an incredibly risky and ambitious plan that had no contemporary counterpart. It was only blind faith that encouraged the investment in such a ludicrous scheme, faith in the experience and expertise of the old mine captain that had envisioned the possibility of mining the great C&H’s lode right out from under it.

The craziness wasn’t so much in the plan’s technological possibility as much as it was it’s apparent disregard of any financial discipline. Sinking shafts is the single most expensive undertaking any mine can perform, one that makes absolutely no money but spends plenty. And in the Tamarack’s case, that undertaking would require sinking through over 3200 feet of solid rock before a single ounce of copper could be recovered. To make matter’s worse, the endeavor would take three and a half years to complete. Three and a half years of nothing but massive spending and plenty of red ink. But when it was done and the great Calumet Conglomerate was pierced – and its massive riches just lying in wait for the picking – the plan suddenly made perfect sense. So much sense in fact that it was repeated four more times.”

In the Name of the Father

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After finding incredible success robbing the great Calumet Conglomerate lode from under C&H’s nose, the Tamarack Mine looked to repeat its success at the north-west end of its property. Even though the Centennial Mine – which bordered the Tamarack properties on that end – had little success mining the northern …

Tamarack No.2 in HO Scale

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After featuring Ian’s great line drawings of various Copper Country mine structures last week, I was immediately reminded of another great CC artist that also happens to be a reader of CCE. His name is David Karkoski, and his medium of choice is wood, plastic, and metal. David’s art is …

An Interesting Rock

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Before leaving the North Tamarack behind for good, there remained one last item of interest to feature here on CCE. It wasn’t a ruin, and its wasn’t some old artifact. Instead it was some type of rock. Or I should say it was a rather large boulder, though it didn’t …

Buried Bricks and Concrete Slabs

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There’s an odd item to be found in the picture of the old Tamarack No.3 surface plant seen above, something I missed the first few times going over it. It’s the presence of not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR smokestacks. How many boiler houses did the No.3 …

More to Explore

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Like most mine sites found across the Keweenaw, Tamarack No.3 is much more then just a rock house, some cable stands, and a hoist house. A wide assortment of surface structures all work together to ensure the efficient movement of men and materials in and out of a mine, and …

A Beast of a Hoist

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The relationship between a shaft and its hoist is a complicated one, and by no means monogamous. In fact the very nature of a shaft is to be polygamous and take many hoists during its lifetime. In the beginning a shaft is first paired with a rather small and diminutive …

Cable Stands and More

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Ahh cable stand footings. These things are a dime a dozen, and I’ve probably got a Benjamin’s worth in my pocket after five years of exploring mine sites such as the Tamarack No.3. For the uninitiated the concrete block seen above would have once held the support post to a …

Tamarack No.3

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When the Tamarack Mine undertook the ambitious plan of mining the Calumet Conglomerate at depth, it was an incredibly risky and ambitious plan that had no contemporary counterpart. It was only blind faith that encouraged the investment in such a ludicrous scheme, faith in the experience and expertise of the …

Along the Shore of Tamarack Dam

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The great copper mining empire that once dominated the Keweenaw landscape was powered by steam, and therefore required great amounts of water to survive. While mines near Lake Superior or the peninsula’s major inland lakes could find all the water they needed rather easily, those mines that sat far inland …

Cedar Fort 1957

After making our way down off the rock pile we found ourselves within the col and damp surroundings of a thick cedar swamp. More interesting however was the roughly carved plaque nailed to a tree that announced our arrival to the Cedar Fort. It seemed this old children's sanctuary meant enough to someone to warrant it's commemoration, along with the date of it's apparent construction - 1957.

A Bunker in the Woods

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Nestled deep within the wooded slopes of Tamarack Hill on the outskirts of the Swedetown trails stands a concrete oddity. As we first approached it looked to be a short concrete wall running along the trail, but soon it became clear that it was in fact something much more substantial. …

The Hydrant

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To me some of the most illustrative examples of the Copper Country’s fall from grace is the faded and forgotten hydrants we find sitting alone in an overgrown field or deep in the shade of a forest. It’s a powerful image that seems to singularly incapsulate the fall of a …

Mystery Ruins at Tamarack

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Note to my readers: I’d like to apologize for my lack of posting as of late. I unfortunately caught a stubborn cold/flu/sinus infection that has put me out of action for a while. In the effort to fight the thing I’ve sacrificed some posting here on the site in exchange …