Victoria Mine

When Captain Hooper first took reins of the old Victoria property in 1881 he found a mine in disarray. Not only was it flooded, which was too be expected, but all the mine’s timbers had rotted away, the adit level had partially collapsed, and the shafts were crooked and haphazardly sunk. It was such a mess that Hooper was forced to abandon the mine and work first on acquiring the additional funding required to repair and rehabilitate the mine first. That endeavor would take another 19 years.

Finally in 1899 Hooper returned the Victoria with funds in hand and began the long process of rehabilitation. The most difficult task was repairing the No. 2 shaft, which while the best shaft of the bunch was still horribly crooked and irregular. The process took a full year, but by the turn of the century the Victoria rose again with the No. 2 shaft as the center of it all.

The Taylor Compressor

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The Victoria Mine’s geographical isolation caused a great deal of original thinking when it came to how the mine would be powered. With no rail lines and only a narrow bridge and rugged road connecting the mine to the rest of the world, the usual ways of powering a mine …

An Old Look at Old Victoria

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The Victoria Mine’s final chapter lasted from from the turn of the century to just after the first world war, when a drop in copper prices ultimately led to the mine’s demise. That year was 1921, and as the mine filled with water the neighboring village emptied of its residents. …

A Hoist of a Different Breed

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With the special St. Anne’s series over, we now return our attention back to exploring the old Victoria Mine… The North Country Scenic Trail is the longest scenic trail in the United States, running for over 4600 miles across seven states between New York and North Dakota. Along the way …

Little Hoist, Big Hoist

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Old Victoria’s fortunes were far from encouraging, and it seemed as if the mine was cursed from the start. Besides its inhospitable and secluded location atop Forest Hill surrounded by various branches of the Ontonagon River, the mine faced several disasters early in its career that seemed to doom the …

The Tank

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After the discovery of the cable diverters in front of the Victoria’s rock house we knew that the hoist building would lie to the east. Considering that narrow road running in front of the rock house went in the same direction, we worked under the assumption that by following that …

An Enigma Wrapped In Stone Walls

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It looked to be the ruins of a small building, only perhaps a few dozen feet in width. It consisted of a large stone wall standing about seven feet in height, covered in what looked to be a layer of black paint or possibly even some thin layer of tar …

The Pyramids of Victoria

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Leaving both the rock house and shaft house behind, we went off in search of the next piece of the puzzle: the hoist house. As a general rule (though all rules have exceptions), hoist buildings can easily be found by simply walking in a straight line from the rock house, …

The Number Two

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When Captain Hooper first took reins of the old Victoria property in 1881 he found a mine in disarray. Not only was it flooded, which was too be expected, but all the mine’s timbers had rotted away, the adit level had partially collapsed, and the shafts were crooked and haphazardly …

Something Borrowed, Something New

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As we reached the top of the bluff the road on which we traveled split in two, forcing a decision as to our next direction of travel. With the poor rock pile sitting down to our left we thought left would be the better bet, and it was. Almost as …

Some Old Homes

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In 1849 it was known as the Cushin; in 1850 it was part of the Forest empire and by 1858 it had become known as the Victoria – a fitting name considering its English origins. Unfortunately each of these incarnations were seemingly doomed from the start and none were able …

A Hill of Quiet Isolation

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If you follow the Ontonagon river eastward as it weaves its way through the rocky spine of the Copper Country, you’ll soon find yourself in the shadow of a steep and rugged hill marked on most maps with the ambiguous “Victoria” moniker. This is more historically known as Forest Hill, …