Mineral Range Railroad

“The Mineral Range Railroad began its life in 1873 as a short 14 mile line connecting Hancock and Calumet. In this original configuration the majority of the railroad’s surface structures were located in Hancock, including its locomotive house and machine shops. But over the years the line expanded to cover more than 90 miles, and included trackage obtained from its merger with its competitor: the Hancock and Calumet Railroad. By the turn of the century the majority of the railroad’s business was to the north, along several mines between Calumet and Mohawk. For the sake of efficiency the railroad was forced to move its base of operations north to Calumet. In the process the company constructed a new roundhouse and several support structures just outside of the village – at a point where C&H would later build its trestle along its line to Red Jacket.”

Bridging the Gap (p2)

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The tall rocky precipices lining the walls of the Hungarian Gorge were an impressive obstacle for any transportation route hoping to bridge the communities of Torch Lake to the mining towns to the north or the port cities to the south. While the impressive Copper Range trestle continues to cross …

Another Houghton Depot

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When the Marquette, Houghton and Ontonagon Railroad arrived to Houghton around 1883 the line’s terminus was at the eastern outskirts of the city, several blocks distant from downtown. This small wood-framed structure sat along the line at the MH&O’s main rail yard at the base of the hill along College …

A Mineral Range Oil House

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The Mineral Range Railroad began its life in 1873 as a short 14 mile line connecting Hancock and Calumet. In this original configuration the majority of the railroad’s surface structures were located in Hancock, including its locomotive house and machine shops. But over the years the line expanded to cover …

Sturgeon River Trestle

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The Copper Country’s rail connections to the outside world was controlled by two railroads: the Copper Range and the DSS&A (Duluth South Shore and Atlantic). The Copper Range’s route took it south through Twin Lakes on its way towards Greenland. The DSS&A route followed the Portage lakeshore, down through Chassell …

The Calumet Depot

The first Calumet depot wasn’t in Calumet at all, but instead sat a good distance down the road in neighboring Hecla Location. While the Mineral Rang Railroad would reach the Calumet area around 1872, it found itself blocked from entering the village thanks to the swath of mine owned lands standing in …

The Mineral Range Revisited

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the remains of a Mineral Range dual-gauge track near Mesnard For railroad fans, the Keweenaw is a treasure trove of material. Besides the dozen’s of short line railroads that were built to service various mines (The H&TL and Q&TL being the most popular) there were also a collection of larger …

Crossing the Gorge (p1)

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the remains of the Mineral Range Trestle abutment along the Hungarian Gorge For the Copper Range, the final obstacle on its journey through the valley was the impressive depths of the Hungarian Gorge. Here the small Hungarian Creek managed to cut a 200 ft deep gorge straight across the hillside …

The Arcadian Branch

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Everyone believed the Arcadian Mine was to be a great success. Investors clamored over each other to invest, newspapers proclaimed the new king of copper, and the Mineral Range drank it all up. To that end the railroad built a seven mile branch from the newly built Pt. Mills to …

Back to the Junction

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Today I’m feature a collection of old photos generously submitted by one of our readers – Gordy Our journey along the Mineral Range from Pt. Mills Junction ends not at the Arcadian Mine itself, but at Arcadia Junction a mile or so beyond. Here is where this Arcadian line joins …

Pt. Mills Junction

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Most of you have passed by this large concrete abutment along M26 multiple time, as have I for over a decade before I finally decided to get a closer look. While its most recent use was as a large advertisement for the Arcadian Mine Tour (once run by the same …

Arcadia Junction

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an old rusted railroad sign that once signaled the upcoming Arcadia junction and siding The Arcadian Copper Company thought they were on to something big when they attempted to open the northern extension of the Isle Royale lode. At the southern end of the lode the Isle Royale Consolidated Mining …

A Re-Alignment

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The Osceola Mine and the community that served it continued to grow up through the turn of the century. The mine expanded southward, opening two new shafts along the old Opechee Mine property. The town itself was expanded out as far as it could, stretching out until it sat right …