May 03-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: May: May 03-07
C & H #13    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller
Mine cars    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller
Skips    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller
Low wheeled cars    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller
Cable spools    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller
Guess what this is!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 04:16 am:

Bill Haller filled me in on the information for these photos taken of the Calumet and Hecla Shafthouse #13, which is located on the Osceola lode. I imagine if you stand in this same spot once the leaves sprout, you wouldn't even see the shafthouse sitting there. Bill says that the mining artifacts you see in all but the last photo are strewn around the grounds just south of Calumet. He also noted that the low wheeled cars in the fourth photo, actually were purchased used from somewhere out west, with the intention of using them to take rock from the 39th level of Osceola Shaft #6, to Shafthouse #13 for lifting. They were waiting to be brought down into the mine when the final strike closed C & H. So they were never put into service.

Bill's last picture is one that will bring a chuckle I'm sure. The plate hanging by two chains over the side of this piece of equipment, flips over to expose a non-slip side that slides into metal guides to make a step. There is also a formed wooden ring around the top, under the screw down cover, that acts as a gasket to keep the contents from sloshing out. So honestly now, how many of you ever wondered how the miners went to the bathroom while they were down under? Well wonder no more, because this contraption is the miner's equivalent to our modern day porta-potty! This was actually purchased from the Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota. Bill says it may have been originally intended for MTU mining engineering classes, but he spotted it in a local individual's collection and figures it's an artifact "find of a lifetime"!

With all these interesting items scattered about where the shafthouses were, doesn't it make you wonder how much mining equipment (and thus history) was left underground when the mines closed?

By Lowell La Fave (Lowell) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 04:30 am:

Good Morning Always enjoy the pics of the old mines and equiptment. Hope ypur weather is better then here.

By Danbury (Danbury) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 04:47 am:

Ouch, 180 wrong - my first thought was "Gulaschkanone". I don't know if there's an equivalent term in american, but it serves the other end of our digestive tracts.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 07:12 am:

Cool album with a lot of memories.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 07:17 am:

Being on wheels, the contraption shown in the last photo enabled miners to "go" on the "go". They didn't believe in wasting any time, eh? ;-)

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 07:32 am:

There was/is a lot of equipment left underground in the mines, Mary. Just some of the items I have seen include picks, shovels, boots, helmets, a mangled lunchpail, 1 man trams, the remains of a dynamite car, etc... The neatest thing I have found so far was a small (~ 6 ft. round) turntable to switch what tracks and direction an underground railcar was using. It's in a mine that is over 140 years old, and if you get on it and do "the twist", it still moves freely!! Pretty awesome.....

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 07:46 am:

Great memories! A lot of our grandparents worked at these places.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 07:55 am:

Bill-thanks for taking these very special pictures. As Deb
mentions, many of us had grandfathers and other relatives who
worked in these mines--and feel a special attraction to these

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 08:42 am:

Two things came to mind immediately when I looked at this collection of photos. Couldn't all this metal be recycled in today's market? And surely, surely, there's a place of honor to enshrine the "potty" somewhere at MTU! :)

By s. dearing (Geebeed) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 08:55 am:

Very interesting pictures and info. I recently read an historical account of a fire in one of the Osceola mineshafts, number 3 (?), which happened in the late 1800's and took several lives. Very sad.

Southern Indiana has coal mines all over. After seeing today's pictures, it makes me curious as to what the early coal miners did when bathroom time came.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 09:03 am:

The last picture, the "go" cart is interesting!

By Joe Dase (Up_miner) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 11:18 am:

Most of the mines left all of their equipment underground, I know of one mine that has a brand new Eimco 21 Mucker sitting under water. Quincy left almost all of their equipment underground, due to the fact they anticipated reopening.

As far as the cars go they are Sanford-Day bottom dumps, they were used in allot of underground mines, and were cursed by the people that had to use them, they had a nasty habbit of the bottom opening while they were being trammed and spilling their contents along the drift. On one of the project we worked on out here the first thing we did was scrap them and switch to old Granby styled cars, much simpler and less likely to leave a mess.

The 'Honey Pot' is neat, at the MTU school mine they used to have 55 gallon barrels with toilet seats on them, I would hate to be the guy to clean those out!

By Connie, Eagle River Alaska (Connie8792) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 12:57 pm:

Thanks for the great history lesson.

By Helen (Heleninhubbel) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 04:12 pm:

Can you imagine working like they had that was work. God Bless those men.

We have come such a long way from those days... thank goodness!!!

The pictures were great.

Big 2 day sale at L.L. Louies......I get to work both nites.....yea!!!!!

Not big shot Blue eyes....he is long gone by 5...lucky Bum!!!

Ya'll take care and God Bless

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 04:22 pm:

That old equipment is fun to look at. I liked to look around in the old barn as a kid and see what I could dig up too.

By Greta Jones (Urbanescapees) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 08:29 pm:

The first shot of the mine through the birches is very nice. My dad worked at this mine as a shift boss until 1965. We lived within a few hundred yards away in Osceola - the train tracks ran right through our yard. As kids we loved to wave at the engineer.

By Sean Finnegan (Sean) on Thursday, May 3, 2007 - 11:22 pm:

Who owns the mine and all that abandoned equipment?

By Joe Dase (Up_miner) on Friday, May 4, 2007 - 06:11 pm:

I think Calumet township owns the mine site

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