Oct 28-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: October: Oct 28-04
Mining era reminders    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Rick Mayer
Lights out!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Rick Mayer

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 09:41 am:

We're given a look at some of the remaining sections of a mining building near Painesdale, by Rick Mayer, a proud new owner of one of our Guest Gallery albums. I'm not sure of the materials used for the building in the first shot, maybe sandstone on the base, but whatever the construction material was, the chimney like structure sure has held up well, along with the foundation. Perhaps someone can fill us in on what this building was used for and some of its history. I found the second shot quite interesting also, wondering why the miners were prompted by this hand painted sign to - 'put your lights out'!

By Erin, Novi MI on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 09:45 am:

Good morning :)

By greg from AZO on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 09:45 am:

Hey good morning

By Spoonpipes Shelby twp MI on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 09:45 am:

Good morning!!!

By Kevin K. Lodi, CA. on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 09:48 am:

Morning from chilly California.

By Deb on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 09:56 am:

Hey, I know where this is. I walk past it every day on my keep my sanity walk! I never cease to admire the sandstone. It is what is left the foundation for the rock crusher in Champion shafthouse #3. The remains of #2 is just north of it, while #4 is still standing.

By sandstone princess on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:00 am:

Rick, thanks for sharing your photo. What great colors behind the remains of the day.
Very foggy here in the mid-midwest. Somewhere a fog horn is playing its mournful sound.

By John / New Hampshire on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:02 am:

Goooooooood morning from New Hampshire! Our parish pastor was ringing the church bell around midnight last night after the Red Sox victory. Only in New England, eh?

By smf in troll land on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:07 am:

Good morning everyone.

By maijaMI on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:08 am:

To me, it looks like the "lights out" message is new. Would a painted sign have lasted this long in the weather? Already the "out" is fading. Did the mines use such communication? I think kids have been having fun. Wonder what they meant....

By Bruce, MO on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:08 am:

The sign is probably a reference to carbide caplamps, used widely in mines beginning in the early 20th century. In a carbide lamp, water dripped out of a small chamber onto a piece of calcium carbide, producing acetylene gas, which was then burned to create light. For obvious reasons, it was important that miners not forget to put the lights out once they were back on the surface.

By Bthecute1, San Jose on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:31 am:

Hmmmmm! Frost on the golf course.
Good morning.

By Kevin K. Lodi, CA. on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:34 am:

Bthecute1, San Jose
Good Morning, How are you doing?
Haven't seen you post in awhile.

By JEFF PORTLAND OR on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:41 am:


By Sarah, Central WI on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:54 am:

Good Morning! Thanks for the picture Rick. I just love the way the yellow leaves and the blue sky look together....BREATHTAKING!

By Kevin @ CopperRange.org on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:56 am:

The structure in the first photo is the foundation of Champion ShaftRockhouse #3 in Painesdale. The large concrete part is the base for the stamp hammer that were in all 4 shafthouses which were used to break up large pieces of copper before being placed in the bins for shipment to the mill in Freda.

By pf on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:59 am:

hmmm, why isn't that sign in Finnish, and Croatian, and
Swedish, ...? Only the Cornish miners could have
understood it back in the old days.

By here in michigan... on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 11:15 am:

looks like a q instead of a g...

By Bill, Ca. on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 11:58 am:

Those notices were often used at the entrance to powder or blasting cap storage facilities.

By mi. dave on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 12:05 pm:

The lights out message could mean to make sure they don't leave their electric lamps on as they had to be charged after every shift.

By Uncle Chuck on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 12:23 pm:

Benny @ Little Betsy, you know we're goin for a whopper or two, super value for a pasty, we will get in the woods, I guarantee you'll shoot at a buck this year, it might just be from the back of Marto-mans GMC, (not more than you need, just more then your use to). Just don't forget your life jacket, you know Marty's obsessed with the beaver pond at keystone bay, I just hope you can swim.

By Wondering on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 12:53 pm:

Does anyone know anything about supposed Indian copper mines on Presque Isle in Marquette?

By Matt from Fulton in GB on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 01:35 pm:

Happy Birthday to Joyce Pavolich, my Mom!!

By Dick B. on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 01:41 pm:

I've seen Indian pit mines on Isle Royale. When they spotted a vein with native copper exposed they got the copper free by lighting fires and heating the rocks and then pouring water on the hot rocks. If I remember rightly the copper is softer when quenched and the rocks would shatter. I remember heating copper gaskets and quenching them before installing them on the Coffin pump on the Steamer Cason J. Callaway then torquing the head down on the pump.

By Dick B. on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 02:00 pm:

The sign to the miners about their lights is probably a current warning to remind the folks sneaking into mines to 'explore' to turn them off before exiting so the won't be seen back on the surface. Just a guess on my part but I've known a few who have done that in the recent (since closing of operations) past.

By Rick Mayer on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 02:43 pm:

Since these pictures are mine, I will try to shed some light on the "lights out message". This message is actually painted in a few places on the interior (not exterior) walls of one of the secondary buildings near the shafthouse. I'm not positive, but I believe this secondary building was used as some sort of machine shop, as there are the remains of some old drill press types of equipment in the building. I don't think this is modern grafitti! I think there must have been some flamable materials in this building at one time, hence the note to miners to shut off there lights!

By Joe Dase MTU Mining Engineer on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 03:08 pm:

There aren't any old indian pits on Presque Isle, there is some old indian silver pits, there are also two abandoned mine shafts from I believe the Lake Superior Silver company in the 1840's? (Information is from memory and may not be totally accurate), the Silver mines didn't pan out however and the company went on to mine silver as the Lake Superior Iron company.

Dick B-
Its not possible to "explore" in champion, the only dry area is on private property, number three shaft has water around 100 ft down the shaft, besides these are very steeply dipping shafts, I got really scared going down the ladder in Champion (It takes allot).

By Wondering on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 03:11 pm:

To Joe Dase: Thanks so much for your reply. Boy, pasty cam sure has some smart people visiting their site!

By pf on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 03:38 pm:

Joe Dase,
just curious, what safety gear do you wear when going in
the old mines?

By Joe Dase MTU Mining Engineer on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 04:34 pm:

Depends if I'm getting paid to do it or not... If I'm on the clock I wear hard hat, safety glasses, safety belt, steel toes, gloves cap lamp, etc. If its on my own time I forgo the safety belt, and glasses, and always bring lots of rope and more than one person... gotta stay somewhat safe.

By Deep in Houghton on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 04:41 pm:

Wondering----Drop me line directly and we can talk about prehistoric copper mining on Isle Royale up on the Minong Ridge. To my knowledge, there are no ancient mine pits on Presque Isle as there was no copper there. I helped on a U of MIch crew in the excavation of prehistoric mine pits on the Minong Ridge in 1962. Deep

By L-O-V-E Pastycam! on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 04:42 pm:

See, now me, I'm thinking that top picture looks like "A Copper Country Castle"! Love how those old buildings age. They do look like remains of castles.

Okay- okay, so maybe I've seen 'Wuthering Heights' too many times ;)

By Guppy WI. on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 04:47 pm:


Your Pastor must have been telling the Babe the curse is over.

Must have been a good time out in New England the last couple of weeks.

By ben, little betsy on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 04:47 pm:

Uncle chuck, from the pictures i have seen in the past, i will need a snorkel and fins, not a life jacket if we get stuck in the woods. plus who is bringing the tp? i know once marty gets the smell of the great up north in his nose we are going to have to make several stops along the way of one of our several 4x4 trips. unless you found a cure for that marty

By maijaMI on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 05:47 pm:

holy moly! You Betsy guys are hysterical. Probably because you are all serious!

By Just Me on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 06:00 pm:

Evidently the Little Betsy crew is unfamiliar with "Tread Lightly."

By Bob Brown, Alabma on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 06:52 pm:

The crushers would break up the rock formations. Copper is malleable and is not broken when crushed or stamped. That was the secret of the great success of the native copper processing. Rock was crushed to smaller pieces, but the copper basically stayed the size that it was when found.That is why large "masses" of copper found underground posed such big problems to the miners. The process was to break the rock and free up the copper and eventually put the copper (with as little rock as possible still attached) into the smelting furnace and melt it, slag off the rock which was molten into large ladle cars and take it out and dump it in a spectacular burst of fire. This was very exciting to watch at night at Slag dump of the Copper Range smelting complex on the Houghton side of the Canal Road, about 4 miles from town. It is ruins now, but the slag dump can still be seen between the road and the lake. I found a piece of copper there in 2003. My grandfather worked at the smelter for many years, walking to work in the winter from his home on West Edwards St.

By Candy, CA on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 06:52 pm:

Rick, beautiful shots in your gallery! Thanks for sharing.

By Ms. Katie on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 08:13 pm:

How interesting, Bob, Alabama. My grandfather Jerry Slattery retired from the smelter in Hubbell after 50 years. It's fasinating how the copper was processed. I remember my mother telling about how some schoolmate's father died after falling into a "hopper"? of hot slag! I really like photos and reports about those kind of things, that kind of life.

By Therese from just below the bridge on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 09:35 pm:

The photoes reminded me for some reason of a long-ago trip to England, to Canterbury south of London. Late one autumn afternoon, with the sun dipping to the horizon, I was exploring the excavated ruins of St Augustine's abbey. There was one wall section still intact from the -- 6th? 8th? -- century (my memory is fuzzy), built of 2nd century bricks that were scavenged from the ruins of an old Roman fortress nearby.

Anyway, I found one brick that was a little loose and pried it free from the mortar until it lay in my hands. Something made by another's hands 1800 years ago. I was staggered by the vast gulf between me and the unknown brickmaker, both in time and in experience, but we both could admire a well-made brick and feel satisfaction in seeing a wall built of its miriad components.

What happened to the brick? I gently pushed it back into its place in the wall, and said a prayer for the soul of the Roman brickmaker and the British builder who put it there so many hundreds of years ago. It means more to me today to think of it in that wall, than to see it gathering dust on a bookshelf, but I remember it whenever I see an old brick wall. My Mom's uncle owned the Schneider brickyard in Dearborn, and one day I hope to inherit Mom's lone Schneider brick. A piece of history.

By CP, Little Betsy on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 09:47 pm:

Just Me, we respect the woods and do "tread lightly", and we love the U.P., we're just havin fun & kiddin around, but you don't know Marty!

PS- When Marty smells pine trees all bets are on, by the way, can you spare 96 rolls of charmin?

By Uncle Chuck, Little Betsy on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:15 pm:

Hey LB Ben, don't forget to bring your "good" boots for dancin at the deer hunter's ball, who knows, you may find your dream girl at the Gay Bar. Their's probably alot of pretty ladies that would like to dance with a young buck like you!

By Steve,WI on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:26 pm:

After the 96 rolls of charmin Marty will be treading lightly, at least lighter. But respect for the woods? what Marty leaves behind will be a enviromental hazard ;)

By Bthecute1, San Jose on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:59 pm:

It appears by these pictures from the last few days that all the snow is gone. Really nice pictures.

Kevin of Lodi: I went back to school, and it keeps me pretty busy. :)

By Marty,LB on Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 11:43 pm:

the stories ar getting a little exagerated about the 96 rolls...only need 3 at most...we usualy do tread lightly at least i think so. all though we do run into some bad luck once in a while..we'll see ya up ther soon

By Transplanted Yankee, Tx on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 07:04 am:

Good Friday Morning from the deep hot/humid south, just wishing I was back home in my beloved L.P. Absolutely LOVE this site, I never miss a day!

By maijaMI on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 07:59 am:

Good morning from Commerce Twp. MI. We may crack 70 today!

By Sarah, Stuck in Ohio on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 08:01 am:

Okay Girls of Little Betsy- I think us women need to start having our time up at the camp! These guys are making me jealous (for the most part). Norma, Erika, Vicki, Flo, Rachel and Dorothy- It's time to start planning!

By shy yooper on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 10:48 am:

Happy Friday everyone!

By Candy, CA on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 11:00 am:

Well, there must be something going on at the pasty 'cause the bridge pic hasn't been updated for a long time either. Here's a current view, courtesy of da Tech's view cam:


Hopefully, Mary, Charlie et al are OK, just very busy... lots of pressure on their shoulders every day to bring the Yoop to all of us who can't be there!

By Jon on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 11:04 am:

Friday's picture will be delayed due to a region-wide Ameritech data line outage in the UP.

We'll keep everyone updated as the situation develops.

By K.K. on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 11:16 am:

It's really kinda scary to think how much we depend on computers and something as simple as a data line being down or a server can totally disrupt our lifes.

By Yooper on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 11:22 am:

K.K., How true..

By ME on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 11:34 am:

The Internet is not working in some parts of the Upper Peninsula at this time, that is why there is no Picture of friday up yet!!! Patience it will be up as soon as possible. Till then, everyone have a great FRIDAY!!

By Beth North Dakota on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 12:10 pm:

Morning Matt. Happy Birthday!!! Auntie Joyce
Mike,Beth & kids

By Jimmer in Houghton on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 12:14 pm:


Anybody have any more details on the internet problems up here? We can get in sometimes (obviously), but in has generally been slow and erratic.
Yes, how internet dependent (or at least familiar) we have become. Some folks here at the liberry are bit frustrated over the net problems.


By Admin (Admin) on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 12:22 pm:

Hi... Charlie here at Pasty Central.

Some of our data lines have been restored in the Keweenaw. The Friday Pasty Cam shot will be uploaded shortly.

SBC reports that there is a major outage somewhere between Iron Mountain and Marquette. Last time something like this happened, a back-hoe down by Michigamme had clipped a major artery.

Folks in the Keweenaw-Houghton-Baraga county region can not make long distance calls at the present time. I just tried dialing an 800 number again, and receive a message "All circuits are busy".

We'll keep you informed as we find out more.

Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | Making Pasties | Questions