Tag Archives: Wash Floor

Unearthed (p2)

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Industrial Archeology is a discipline that studies the material evidence left behind from our industrial past. Considering the copious amount of industrial heritage to be found in the Keweenaw, its no surprise that Michigan Technological University offers students the chance to study in this field and obtain themselves a Masters …

Nonesuch Pits As This

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The great copper empire may have been left for dead after C&H’s demise, but it still had a good 30 years of life left to it thanks to the unlikely success of the White Pine Mine near Silver City. Unlikely because of the incredibly uncooperative nature of the copper ore …

Guest Post: The Wolverine Mill (p2)

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The following guest post is contributed by Ian Tomashik, a sophomore at Dearborn High School outside of Detroit. Ian is a frequent Copper Country explorer with family ties to the region (his grandfather continues to live Mohawk). One of Ian’s frequent explorations took him to the little known ruins of …

The Outer Walls

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Finished with our exploration of the grand concrete plateau that is the Centennial Mill’s wash floor, we headed off to find the building’s outer foundation walls. Being a more modern structure the Centennial Mill would have been built to be as fireproof as possible, featuring a concrete foundation, iron skeleton …

Along the Wash Floor (p3)

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In addition to the lines of pillars and other foundations scattered across the Centennial Mill’s wash floor there were also a few other interesting items to be found. The sweeping concrete floor was also home to a few sets of narrow gauge rails, the most noticeable of which was running …

Along the Wash Floor (p2)

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Looking our across the sweeping concrete frontier that confronted us, we noticed the scattering lines of concrete pedestals and pillars stretched out across the barren surface. These foundations supported the mill’s collection of jigs and wash tables, with the jigs laying up closer to the back of the mill and …

Along the Wash Floor (p1)

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Stepping down from the Centennial Mill’s terraced levels we found ourselves overlooking a vast field of concrete, foundations, and a scattering of trees. The surreal landscape we were looking at was once a bustling facility overcrowded with jigs, launders, mineral cars, and wash tables. Today only the faintest remnants of …

A Mill’s Remains

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The discovery of the boiler indicated the rest of the old Phoenix mill had to be near by. In fact it was much closer then we had realized. Looking uphill from where the old boiler now sat we found ourselves looking up at the clean lines of a massive stone …

The Wash Floor

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As I left off during my Anatomy of a Mill series I was turning towards the last stage of the process: the wash floor. Here an attempt was made to separate the smallest copper particles still left in the slimes using pieces of equipment known as “slime tables”. In most …

Mill No. 2

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It wasn’t long after the new stamp mill at Torch Lake was constructed what Quincy underwent a dramatic increase in production – due mostly to the rich ground being opened along the No. 2 shaft. At first Quincy simply added new stamp heads to its mill at Torch Lake – …

Pieces

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The mills built during the Copper Country’s adolescence were small and crude affairs, especially when compared to their massive concrete and steel descendants. There were structures built almost entirely with wood and as such rarely survived through the decades. Because of this, no step-stair concrete levels greeted us as we …

The Second Floor

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Before leaving the second floor of the stamp mill we take a few more wide looks at what remains. At this point the new addition, built from brick and concrete, butts up against the original mill built from wood. The wood structure has long since disintegrated, which leaves an obvious …

Mill Machines: The Wilfley Table

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For most of the Copper Country’s history the milling process has been very inefficient. For every ton of copper recovered, dozens of pounds more slipped past and found its way to the waste launders. At the Quincy mills the process was so inefficient that the company was able to live …

Mill Machines: The Frue Vanner

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EDIT: According to several readers with more knowledge on the subject then I, the machine remains pictured in the following post is not a frue vanner after all. Instead it seems that it most likely was a classifier used to sort middlings coming off the jigs or wash tables. So …

Floors and Ceilings

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looking up the old skylight of the Quincy Mill – almost a century since the glass was first installed Taking a ginger walk up the concrete stairway up to the second level of the Quincy Mill addition brought us to another room very similar to the first. Only the entire …

The Wooden Box

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a mystery box sitting among the Quincy Mill Ruins We find a lot of stuff that baffles us here at explorer. Heres another one. Before leaving the first floor of the Quincy Mill addition we notice this wooden box. It sits high up on a wooden pedestal, and attracted out …

The Addition

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the Quincy Mill addition, image courtesy HAER, American Memory Collection, Library of Congress The scope of the Quincy Mine operation is quickly illustrated by the continued expansion the Quincy Mill undertook at the end of the 19th century. At first Quincy built one mill here at the banks of Torch …

Buddles?

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The Champion Mill, like any mill on the Keweenaw, works to separate copper from the rock that entombs it. First, copper rock is broken down into very small particles using stamps, then a series of machines work to separate the heavier copper from the much lighter rock. The copper is …

The Big Picture

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After making our way off the beach an atop the short ridge backing it, we had found ourselves at the center of an expansive concrete floor. It stretched away from us in all directions, dropping off to the lake behind us backed by high concrete walls in front of us. …

Return to the Sea

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The Champion Mill was the last. The Atlantic Mill was the first, built along the red cliffs at Redrige in 1895. Soon others followed. As the mines along the south range (south of Houghton) opened in increasing numbers, the need for processing facilities became urgent. And while the mines to …

The Lower Level

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the smokestack from the lower level As we neared the edge of the second level, we looked down across a zone of destruction. The lower level was a mess, a tangle of concrete, reinforcing bars, steel beams, cables, and any other industrial material you could think of. There were no …