Delaware Powder House

Delaware | , ,


Every new mine starts out with a compliment of essential buildings, structures that the mine has to complete before any large scale mining can commence. These important structures are often built to last, usually with thick masonry walls of mine rock complimented with brick and sandstone highlights. And often these buildings do last and outlive the mines that first erected them by several decades or more. For most mines these essential buildings include the engine house, boiler house, warehouse, and the highly fortified powder house.

Because they stored a mine’s compliment of dangerous explosives, a mine’s powder house was often the most well constructed building on the lot. These little buildings may have been small, but they were built tough with thick walls and no windows. Because of this these tough buildings often outlast all else, even the other essential building’s the mine original built when first starting out. It is the powder house that survives the longest, and it’s often only the powder house that remains to tell a mine’s story long after all other evidence of its existence has eroded away.


As is the case with most buildings of similar purpose, the Delaware Powder house is a small squat stone walled building with only one opening on its front facade. It’s topped by a simple wood framed gabled roof.

Contemporary Use

Luckily for the old Delaware Mine, its powder house isn’t the only one of its essential structures still standing to tell its tale. This is a good thing, considering how the old storage building has been since transformed into a small summer camp. While it sports new windows, a front porch, and even a new additional room on its east side, the old building can still easily be identified as the powder house it once was.

Public Access

The Delaware Powder house is privately owned, but can be easily viewed from the adjacent road.


Follow US41 north out of Houghton for 33 miles until arriving at the ghost town of Delaware. Turn left onto Delaware Mine road on the left, a road marked by the Delaware Mine tour sign. Follow this road up to the stop sign and proceed to turn left onto Delaware Shortcut Road. Follow this road another half mile and the powder house will appear on the right.