Tag Archives: Dam

A Return to the Manganese Dam

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South of Copper Harbor can be found the idyllic waters of Lake Manganese, a small jewel of a lake nestled in the cradle of the surrounding hills. The lake’s geologic name is inspired by the neighboring Manganese Mine, the only mine of its type to be found in the region. …

A Dam’s Demise

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Every spring the rivers and streams all across the Keweenaw become engorged with the runoff from a melting snowpack. These overflowing streams can cause havoc with much along their path, but are especially troublesome for the large collection of old dams and impoundments that have been placed across their path …

Seneca Dam

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While most casual visitors of the Copper Country are aware of Seneca Lake, they most likely do not know of its little sister who resides just outside of the small mining location of Seneca. Like its big brother to the west Seneca Pond is man made, formed by impounding a …

Seneca Lake

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Seneca Lake is a small lake sitting along Cliff Drive just west of Mohawk. Rumor has it that the lake is man-made, built to provide water for the adjacent Seneca Mine. While I haven’t found any definite proof of such an original purpose, the lake sure does appear to be …

The Spillway at Calumet Dam

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The first Calumet Dam was built by beavers, which had created a small pond to the north of Red Jacket years before the Calumet Mine arrived to the scene. When the fledging mine looked to build its first stamp mill this small impoundment became the obvious choice due to its …

The Phoenix Dam

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I have done several posts here on CCE about a copper mine’s biological needs, namely a hunger for large quantities of coal and a thirst for an almost equal amount of water. This was due to a mines reliance on steam power for all the heavy lifting, a power source …

A Dam Mystery

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Fresh from my week-long Strep ordeal (much better now thankfully) I find an interesting mystery waiting for me in my inbox. Brian Wereley had just returned from a Copper Country Exploration of his own, where he had found what looks to be an old dam hiding away in the woods. …

Garden City Dam

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It was the 1840’s when the Copper Country’s first copper rush came ashore. It was long the banks of the Eagle River, just a few miles inland from the current town of Eagle River now sits, where the area’s first mine started sinking shafts. The Lake Superior Mining Company operated …

Postscript

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The steel dam at Redridge was completed in November of 1901, and became only the second steel dam in the United States. It was preceded by the Ash Fork Dam in 1898 and followed by the larger Hauser Lake dam in 1907. The Hauser Lake dam was subsequently destroyed by …

Anatomy of a Steel Dam (p3)

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As you progress along the foundation of the Redridge Dam, you drop level after level via a series of concrete staircases built into the floor. It’s about 30 feet from the gorge rim where the dam’s wing sections are, to the river level where the main center section sits. As …

Anatomy of a Steel Dam (p2)

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In its simplest form, the Redridge dam is a steel wall built across a ravine – 464 feet wide and 74 feet high. This wall is built from a series of steel I-beams set on 8 foot centers that support a layer of 3/8″ thick concave plates. Near the bottom …

Anatomy of a Steel Dam (p1)

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Steel dam construction was flirted with only temporarily at the turn of the century, a time which the Redridge Dam owes for its existence. By 1900 the wood crib dam that had been built on the Salmon Trout River to supply water to the nearby Atlantic Mill had proved inadequate …

The Spillway

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Flood waters pose a serious threat to most dams steel or otherwise. Dams are built with a specific load limit and water height in mind, and once that is exceeded the dams fate becomes perilous. The other steel dams of its time were designed so that those flood waters would …

A New Danger

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The dangers that a spring thaw once meant for the Redridge dam included the possibility of a dangerous over-topping. The water level in the reservoir would get so high as to flow over the top of the superstructure itself, spilling down onto the dam’s foundation and threatening to wash away …

Supply Lines

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The Redridge Steel Dam was built not to supply power, but to supply water. The Atlantic and Baltic stamp mills that relied on the dam required over 25 million gallons of water each day to operate. The reservoir created by the dam held over 600 million gallons of water, enough …

A Small Dam

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foundation to a small dam on Quincy creek Moving forwards from the canyon, we made our way up the step stair pools of water until we found ourselves standing under a concrete wall extending across the stream. It had stood a good 8 feet, but a portion of the left …

Behind the Dam

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There are in actuality two dams on the Salmon Trout River. The first and older dam was built before the turn of the century, and was a classical style of dam construction used heavily up to the time. The second dam – the steel one currently in place – was …

The Second Dam

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There are actually two dams built on the Salmon Trout River. When there was but one stamp mill on the red-ridged shores of Lake Superior, a smaller and less technically advanced structure was used to dam the river. When the newer dam was built years later, the old dam was …

Into the Superstructure

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looking down the concrete foundation under the dam As we quickly dropped down into the river gorge the roar of the river ( and the rumble under our feet ) became more pronounced. The light of the day disappeared as we arrived at the bottom, and as we walked forwards …

From the Road

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The Keweenaw was a land tamed by steam. The rise of steam power in the nation corresponded with the rise of the copper mines in this region, resulting in a celebrated use of these technological beasts of burden. Steam engines were used in all aspects of the industry. They were …