Tag Archives: Dry House

The C&H Dry House

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Standing in the shadow of the C&H Drill Shop is another rubble rock structure – this one a squat and wide building littered with a scattering of doorways and windows along its length. This was the Calumet Mine’s main dry house – serving primarily the No.2 and No.4 shafts. Underground …

Walls and Pedestals

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Leaving the Michigan’s boiler house behind we headed further into the forest to explore what we thought might be one of the mine’s hoist buildings. While it looked promising from afar, the closer we got to those mysterious rock walls the more apparent it became that we weren’t looking at …

A Dry Built of Sandstone

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During my work with the Keweenaw Heritage Center in preparation for next year’s sandstone exhibit we had noted an odd lack of the red stone when it came to the buildings erected by C&H for its own mine. It seemed odd because C&H actually owned its own quarry at Incline, …

The Ojibway Mine

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The copper-rich Kearsarge Lode was first discovered in 1882, and within several years enterprising ming companies had acquired mineral rights all along its known outcroppings between Calumet and Ahmeek. At the approach of the 20th century mine managers had believed the extant of the Kearsarge lode had been mapped – …

That Which Survives (p1)

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For the most part copper mines along the Keweenaw erected very modest surface plants, directing most of their money into the actual work of mining. Surface improvements were often considered wasteful embellishments, especially by investors looking to get large returns on their money. Mining was were money could be made, …

Another Isle Royale Dry

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The new Isle Royale Copper Company began its reinvigorated life in 1899, quickly investing large sums of money into the re-opening of the Isle Royale lode atop the bluff overlooking Houghton. Production resumed in 1901, but the lode would reveal itself to be a low-grade and sporadic producer. It wasn’t …

An Isle Royale Dry House

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With the shaft and rockhouse taken care of, it was now time to search for the remaining pieces of the puzzle, namely the shaft’s complimentary structures such as the boiler, compressor, hoist and dry houses. Most of these were no were to be seen from our vantage point at the …

Change Houses

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Nitroglycerin had several bad habits, the least of which was its tendency to explode violently when agitated. Even more of a problem for workers at Atlas was the chemical’s seemingly natural attraction to their clothing. Even if you never handled the explosives directly, by the end of the day you’d …

A Modern Mesnard

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After Quincy bought up the defunct Mesnard Mine in 1896 it re-opened one of its original shafts, which became Quincy No. 8. Quincy then erected atop of it a modern shaft-rock-house – but not as modern as the one that currently stands there today. The iron head-frame that stands over …

Along the Old Pewabic (p3)

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Before the acquisition of the Pewabic Mine, Quincy operated only two shafts set only a few hundred feet apart. Because of this they only needed one centralized dry house to service both. The system worked wonderfully for years until Quincy opened their No. 6 shaft along the old Pewabic property. …

A Quincy Dry (p2)

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Attached to the south end of the dry house was a second much larger building. If it wasn’t in ruin it would appear to be simply part of the rest of the structure, but in it’s current state you could see that the attached structure had a second floor (or …

A Quincy Dry House (p1)

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One of the most celebrated and successful mines along the Keweenaw was “old reliable” atop Quincy hill. For almost a century and a half the mine produced 1.5 billion pounds of copper and paid its shareholders over 30 million dollars in dividends. But the mine’s reputation today ignores its very …

In Support of No. 4

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keeping the Champion Mine safe from fire… Most of the time at Explorer we deal with “the big three” when it comes to ruins: the shaft house, the rock house (sometimes combined), and the engine house. Lately we have become accustomed to finding more and more ruins from buildings that …

Up Close & Personal

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the still grand looking front entrance to the Champion Dry – over a century past its prime It was an amazing site – that first glimpse of the dry house sitting up on the hillside. Mostly engulfed by trees and brush, its striking front entrance quickly garnered our attention. It …

The Champion Dry

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the stone walls of the Champion’s Dry House Before the advent of air-powered drills, mining was a much more laborious and physically demanding job. (although even with the modern drills it was no walk in the park). Using heavy sledgehammers, two-person mining teams would take turns banging away at bits …

Found Along the Road

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looking down Mine Street towards the north, and the industrial complex of the late C&H Mine Street was the center of the universe for over a century in the Copper Country, for along its length sat one of the greatest copper mines in the world. At its height over 17 …

Core Samples

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tools in the search for copper – core samples The success or failure of a copper mine depends greatly an the amount of red metal that lie trapped underground. Sinking shafts and driving long drifts underground in the search for copper is a futile and wasteful endeavor. Mining companies needed …

North Kearsarge No. 3

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a shaft and rock house on the Kearsarge lode similar to what might have stood at North Kearsarge No.3 The mine at North Kearsarge (and its sister mine at South Kearsarge) enjoyed the benefits of an association with one of the more wealthy mine companies along the Copper Country. The …

Peripheral Uses

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While most mines paired up a dedicated boiler house for each hoist, the steam from those boilers were often used in a variety of applications. The steam would often be used to power other engines at the mine, such as compressors or pumps. It also was sent to radiators to …

And All the Rest…

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an empty fire hydrant sits alone in the field in front of the Centennial dry By now it was getting colder, and we could sense the approaching storm. Moving away from the cable stands our gaze quickly turned to the tangle of metal and wood just outside the hoist building. …

Stories of Men

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the story left untold Our explorations across the Keweenaw uncover a great deal of mining history. From abandoned rail lines, towering smokestacks, to crumbling hoist building foundations – we have seen evidence of this area’s rich history. While the stories that these ruins tell are an essential part of our …

The Dry

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remains of a drain cover sit on a concrete slab Mining was a very dirty occupation. Working underground, drilling holes in rock, lifting and loading rock, dumping rock into skips; all this makes for some dirty clothes at the end of the day. To quell unrest with the miners wives …