North Kearsarge No. 1

Kearsarge | , , , , ,

Significance

The success that the Osceola Mine enjoyed along it’s amygdaloid lode south of Calumet was encouraging, but like any mining company in the Keweenaw knew, good fortunes could change in an instant. The company quickly looked to expand its empire and insure its longevity by investing in new mines along new lodes. It would be a young mine which had recently discovered the highly rich Kearsarge Amygdaloid lode that first perked Osceola’s interest. This was the Kearsarge Mine, a mine Osceola ended up grabbing for themselves in 1897.

By the time of Osceola’s purchase the Kearsarge had already been in production for over a decade. The mine had not only made a small profit during this time, but had also managed to pay out modest dividends to its investors. But with the benefits of both Osceola’s mills and experienced management, the mine was able to grow those profits and dividends substantially. The Kearsarge would continue to produce copper for the next 50 years, not just for the Osceola but for C&H as well.

The first shaft sunk along the lode – the No. 1 – was originally sunk by the independent Kearsarge Mine. Under Osceola’s leadership a modern surface plant was constructed, including a towering steel shaft-rockhouse, dry-house, hoist building, boiler complex, compressor house, and captains office. The shaft was over 4000 feet deep along the incline of the lode, worked by a Nordberg hoist running two skips in balance.

Description

The most noticeable remain of the No. 1 is the massive and towering rock pile that rises above its old surface plant. Also present are the crumbling remains of the old hoist house, captain’s office, and dry house.

Public Access

The old mine site currently sits on private property, but can be viewed easily from the nearby ATV trail which passes through the property.

Directions

The Kearsarge Mine sits to the east of Kearsarge, along an old road to Copper City that is now part of the Copper Range Rail Trail. From along US41 in Kearsarge, turn right onto the first road past the stone boat (Smith Avenue). Turn onto the second road to the left (Railroad Street) and continue down it until it makes a sharp turn to the left. The mine is down the dirt path to the right. A quarter mile down it will turn left to the north, where the No. 1’s ruins can be see along the path.