May 25-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: May: May 25-05
Mining memories    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from MTU Archives
Calumet & Hecla #17    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Bill Haller
A different angle    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Mary Drew

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 05:53 am:

Eric Nordberg over at the MTU Archives, brings us a bonus Shoebox Memory today, making everyone do a double take at their Pasty Cam Calendar to make sure this isn't Sunday! Eric just wanted to remind us about the Fourth Thursday in History lecture tomorrow, which features The 1901 Tamarack Mine Experiments. Pictured here is the Tamarack #5 shaft, where several experiments were conducted during that time, by Fred McNair. Here's a short synopsis of Thursday's program:

"A unique set of experiments took place in 1901 at the vertical shafts of the Tamarack Mining Company near Calumet, Michigan. Included in the famous list of Guinness World Records, these events continue to attract the interest of scientists and the public today. Details of the experiments will be shared during a public lecture at 7:00pm on Thursday, May 26, 2005, in room 139 of Fisher Hall on the Michigan Tech campus. Fisher Hall is located near the intersection of US-41 and MacInnes Drive in Houghton, Michigan. The presentation is free and open to the public."

A little more 'in depth' info can be found on our U.P. Calendar of Events. The other two shots are to give you a little perspective on what a mine shaft drop is all about. Both of these shots were taken at the capping of the Calumet & Hecla #17 shaft in Calumet. I'm not certain if this is a vertical shaft or not, but it gives you a good idea of the angle and depth. Bill Haller supplied the first shot and has a number of other recent mining shots in his album. The second shot is one I took right around the same time as Bill, but from a different angle. I remember looking down that shaft and thinking about my ancestors and the tough way they had to make a buck…and in those days, that's about all they made!
By mb, florida on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 05:59 am:

Good Morning from Tampa Florida

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 06:45 am:

Mornin', just wondering about the color of the old photo. Not exactly sepia colored.

By Rodney, Detroit MI on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 06:45 am:

C&H # 17 Is an inclined shaft as you can see in the pictures. You can see in the 2nd picture the support timbers that ran down the center of the shaft. This was a 2 compartment shaft. You are actually looking at the cement collar of the shaft. You can see where the collar meets the bedrock. Which is just about where the dark area starts.

By Mike B., Pittsburgh, Wishin I was back in the Yoop on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 07:52 am:

Wow, Bill has quite a gallery there. Very, very interesting pics and info.

By JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 07:57 am:


By Sue, Calumet on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 08:33 am:

The history of the Tamarack Mine experiments is hosted as an online exhibit by the MTU Physics Department. It's part of the departmental history and includes information about some of the famous names on campus--Fisher, McNair.... The history was researched and maintained by Bryan Suits, the presenter of The 1901 Tamarack Mine Experiments.

By Debbie on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 09:55 am:

I love the old photos posted here any day of the week! The photo today reminded my of the cover of "Old Reliable" without all the little alcoves.

By ts on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 10:28 am:

Tha calumet shafts were inclines along calumet av e--also the heclas--the tamarack mines mined the lower half of the same vain where the calumet an hecla property ended-- that was by where the county commision has its garages--bottom of tamarack hill-they had to sink straight shafts threw poor-rock down think over 4000 feet just to hit the same vaine---then go on an incline to mine it at the same angle as no. 17 shaft in the pic---red jacket shaft was the same--and had 3 sub shafts underground--with electric hoists --they hoisted ore from sub shafts--then halled it to the straight shafts--then to surface ---no. 3 and 4 ahmeek mine--same property reason had a staight shaft for a ways then angled off a ways down the men in the mancar had to shift from standing to sitting when they hit the incline part---I put 23 yrs in underground mines--so were not all dead yet

By Selma on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 11:50 am:

Margaret, Tx - About the color of the photo. It's "copper-colored".

By Ray E. Gr. Mi on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 12:07 pm:

To TS. It sure is wonderful to hear from somebody actually involved in the items shown in the shoe box memories on the Pasty Cam. I had always heard that the Red Jacket mine was the deepest vertical mine in the world and then these articles about the Tamarack mines show up. Was it a case that the Vertical Portion of the mine was the deepest and that is where the designation came from. It was very interesting how you explained the need for the vertical part in the first place and then the inclines below that. Also in the picture of the Red Jacket shaft it shows an incline on one side. Was that the shaft house for two different mines??
Thanks for your input it was interesting.

By joanne,mi on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 12:39 pm:

does anyone know the name of the mine that was at the end of calumet ave. my aunt lived down the road from it and my uncle worked there. my only trip to calumet was when i was 12. 22 years ago and it was there. is it stil?. will be coming back to the copper country with my kids in june. thanks joanne

By RD, Iowa on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 12:43 pm:

Pasty Cam should always have a mid-week memory, or maybe get one of the historical societies to host it.

By the way, looks like webmaster Charlie is having too much fun up in Copper Harbor today- see What's Up page.

By Michelle Mills, Seminole FL on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 01:33 pm:

What an amazing old photograph. How interesting! I love the historical postings. Yesterday's posting with the lighthouse was extra cool as well. Have a great day everyone!

By Ger, California on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 01:58 pm:

oh, what a memory seeing C&H! So many people I knew and relatives of mine worked there. C&H was a mainstay to fiscal stability of the U.P. I remember business places preparing for C & H paydays expecting the people coming in to buy and they did. I know because I worked for one of the business places! Many sad people when it was shut down and these are the working people I am talking about. Keep up the good work, Pasty Central.

By ts on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 05:04 pm:

The pic on top isnt red jacket mine---dont no what mine it is---the chute coming out of the sraight part is where the poor rock was dumped(that came from sinking the shaft and from the north an south drifts (tunnels) they drove in the vein)drifts were driven in the foot
Cbottom of the vein) --which is poor rock) they left vein rock above the shaft and drifts C drift miners also put in the air--water pipes and railroad track in the drifts)because it was more stable ground ONCE you broke ground into the hanging (ceiling) above the vein the rock was very unstable (full of slips) and would cave---drifts in later yrs where 250 feet apart with more modern scrapping equipment (early days 100 ft apart (hand shoveling days) stopes where about 35 ft wide with 4 foot pillars of rock left in between to support the hanging ----stope miners worked there---chutes were on the bottom of the stopes sticking out over the track so trammers could fill there cars there-- then bring them out shaft to dump in the skips that brough them to surface

By Paul in Illinois on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 07:24 pm:

From the data I have from MTU the old shafthouse pictured is Calumet #5 and was located on the upper end of Mine Street on the Calumet Conglomerate Lode. Mine Street parallels the strike of the Calumet Conglomerate Lode. The "Calumet" shafts started with #1 just behind the offices and went up Mine St. to #5. The "Hecla" shafts started immediately down Mine St. and were numbered 1 through 8, the "South Hecla's" continued down Mine St. and were numbered 9&10 (a double)through 12.
Red Jacket was/is 4900 ft deep (verticle) with the sub shafts reaching 9600 feet along the dip. Tamarack #5 which is also on the Calumet Conglomerate is 5308 ft deep (verticle). Any World's records they held have long since been surpassed. Red Jacket closed in the '30's, Tamarack #5 was used for pumping until 1968.
C&H #17 is an Osceola Lode shaft. Calumet Ave. parallels the strike of the Osceola Amygdaloid Lode. C&H numbered these shafts 13 (the 1950's era surface plant still standing) up Calumet Ave. through #18.
In 1903, C&H attempted to open the south end of the Kearsarge Amygdaloid Lode with shafts 19 through 12. There was not enough copper in that section of the lode. Laurium is between #20 and #21.
Just about all of Calumet is "undermined".

By ts on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 07:50 pm:

I was working oseola 13 sinking shaft for the new dumping system they were going to put in the bottom of that shaft like kingston had put in-- up till the aug 1st 1968 strike--the tram cars that were suposed to go down there are still sitting in the field by the mine---ive still got my suboena for court appearence for picketing

By ts on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 08:01 pm:

paul the shafts yrs ago were closer together because the trammers had to puch the 2 ton carsout to shaft and dump by hand--thats why only 2 ton cars were used so they could lift one end---old timers said theyd cheat and and put an empty wooden powder box on the bottom of the side they had to lift to make if easier--my dad started underground in 1911--age 20

By DB-MI. on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 08:03 pm:


By Capt. Paul in Nevada on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 08:42 pm:

Greetings from hot Nevada; temp is 102 in the shade!! No I haven't fallen of the earth, just busy working, plus the 3 hr time difference doesn't help for posting on here.

The pictures today are very nice; makes me homesick for the Keweenaw once again. It's great to have someone who worked in the mines to share their knowledge of what it was really like inside. I believe someone asked about the deepest shafts? As far as I know Quincy was the deepest on the incline (9260 ft.) and Tamarack is the deepest vertical, at least in the Keweenaw. The deepest mine in North America is the Homestake Gold MIne in South Dakota at just a touch over 8,000 ft. vertical (which I've been to the bottom; VERY hot). The deepest in the world are the Witwatersrand gold mines in South Africa. The deepest is the western ultra deep levels at a little over 14,000 ft. (VERY VERY hot down there; 160+ degrees at the bottom). Although Quincy was reported to be near 100 at the bottom, the adit temp on the tour is only 42 which right now in Vegas, would feel mighty nice about now.......

By Mary Lou on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 10:32 pm:

What a blessing!!...The history of this unique and wonderful area is being preserved because of this site!!!!...It honors the effort of all of those hard working folks who came to this rugged wilderness to make a better life for their family. Love the exchange of imformation!!!!...Thanks.

By Foghorn, Mi. on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 06:01 pm:

You think you have it tough today? These mine pictures bring back a lot of memories for us old folks. The only reason anyone would go down in the mine to work was to make a living. No illegal aliens to take the jobs. You worked or starved to death. And to think that kids 12 and 13 were in those dark holes working to bring money home. We just don't have it tough enough today, that is why so much unrest.

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