Delaware Mine

Copper Country Heritage Guide - Types

Known today collectively as the Delaware, the sprawling mine found up the hill from Lac La Belle has been known by over a half dozen different names including the Conglomerate, Northwest, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. Originally it was the Northwest, one of the region’s early fissure mines that first began operations in 1847. While the fissure would end up being relatively poor, enough copper was recovered to warrant the construction of a mill align the neighboring Montreal River. A decade later the mine would fold, but would soon be reborn as a new entity – the Pennsylvania.

Thus the story went, as the Pennsylvania would try it’s hand on a new fissure vein, built its own stamp mill, and then promptly go out of business. Next followed the Delaware, another similar story with similar results. Finally the mine would find its first relative success, with the discovery on the property of a promising conglomerate lode around 1880. Not surprisingly this new mine would be called the Conglomerate, and it would sink a new set of shafts that are now part of the Delaware Mine Tour. Along with the new shafts came a new improved mill and smelter plant down at Lac La Belle, along with its own short line railroad connecting those mills with the new mine.

Yet the new Conglomerate would ultimately end like all the rest of its predecessors, and the process would continue for a few more iterations, the old property and railroad finally falling into the lap of the newly established Keweenaw Copper Company, which would end up utilizing the old mine’s railroad right-of-way for its own Keweenaw Central Railroad. The mine, however, would never be opened again.

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Delaware Warehouse

Delaware Warehouse

Delaware – This impressive rock walled building once housed materials and supplies for the Delaware Mine and its later incarnations.

Delaware Powder House

Delaware Powder House

Delaware – This small stone building once served as an explosives storage building for the Delaware Mine, but has since been converted into a summer camp.