C&H Power House

Lake Linden | , ,

Significance

In the early years of the Copper Country mines often had no one but themselves to rely on for anything and everything the mine might need. This meant erecting their own lumber-mills, supply their own water, run their own railroads, equip their own fire stations, and provide anything else any small town might need. With the introduction of electric power to the scene mine companies were once again taxed with the responsibility to provide their own. In the case of C&H the company centralized its electric power generation into one massive power house built at its Torch Lake mill complex.

The power plant’s location on Torch Lake saved on manpower and transportation costs, as coal could be offloaded directly to the plant’s boilers from docked lake freighters. Those boilers powered three generators with a combined capacity of close to 8,000 Kilowatts. This electric power was then used to power not just the mill and smelter complex, but the mine itself some 6 miles away. The generators were driven directly by a series of 3000 HP steam engines including two of C&H’s former hoisting engines known as the Saginaw and Gratiot.

Description

The power house is a massive two and a half story steel sheathed building sitting up alongside the highway. A large collection of windows line its perimeter and a skeletal tower rises up out of its north-east corner.

Contemporary Use

After C&H’s closure, the power plant was decommissioned and its turbines and dynamos removed. Today the building is vacant and abandoned, slowly succumbing to decades worth of winter weather.

Public Access

The old power house is private and closed to the public.

Directions

The C&H Powerhouse sits along M26 just south of Lake Linden. Follow M26 south out of Lake Linden, the powerhouse will be on the left just past the grocery store.