The Calumet & Hecla Mining Company was without question the most famous of all the mines, and also the most profitable. During the 1880's, this mine produced almost half of all copper mined in the US.
It was producing millions in dividends for the fortunate few who owned the stock.
Since photos are found all throughout this web site, this page is dedicated strictly to the stock certificates of the company.
I'd like to thank Lee DeGood for sharing his Hecla stock. I wish all collectors were as helpful as Lee.
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Calumet & Hecla
This was an early Calumet stock, signed by Quincy Shaw, Boston blue-blood industrialist. During this time, the Calumet was located north of Red Jacket road, and the Hecla workings south of Red Jacket Road. During its early years, the operations were a chaotic mess, and at one point Calumet shares were selling for as little as $2. Many fortunes were lost in these first years. The Hecla stock below represented the better half of Mr. Shaw's mine. These operations proved richer in ore for many years.
By 1871, the two mining companies (plus other local properties) were merged into one, the famous C&H we all know. Mr. Shaw had hired Alexander Agassiz to oversee the operations, and within a short period of time, he had the things sorted out and profitable. His reward was becoming the President of C&H. The certificate above is very rare, as only a few exist. I'd be interested in knowing if any others are out there. At the time this share was purchased, it was worth about $700-800 each, an enormous sum even by today's standards. C&H peaked at close to $1000/share.
Since Michigan corporations had a legal life span of 30 years, in 1901 a new company was created (same name, same people) and the company issued the stock below. Rudolph Agassiz, Alexander's son, was now president.
In 1923, C&H merged with several local companies, including the Ahmeek, to create a new corporation. Since individual, smaller mines were having trouble surviving, consolidation seemed the best answer. The company issued the above shares, which are very common these days.
Sometime during the late 50's, the company again changed names, this time to reflect the diversification being created within the company. No longer were the copper mines the number-1 source of revenue. This was the official company that survived all through the 1960's, finally vanishing after the purchase by Universal Oil Products around 1967 and a final strike by the local union that closed the doors forever. C&H survived almost 100 years as a producer of copper, a feat almost impossible to create these days.
(If anyone is aware of any C&H executives from this period who are still around, please let me know.)