Nov 22-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: November: Nov 22-05
Leaving their mark    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Joe Dase
Old raise    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Joe Dase
Shaft #2 stope    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Joe Dase

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 07:55 am:

For most of us, talk of the mining days is mostly a part of the U.P.'s history and not something we've experienced ourselves. Today, Joe Dase gives us a personal tour of the Quincy Mine, so we can get a feeling of being there. We start out with a glimpse of the names and dates left behind by some of the men who worked underground. Next is a view near shaft #2, of an "old raise" which looks to be quite narrow. I'm not certain if this is a vertical or horizontal look of the side walls, but either way, it's not someplace I'd like to work in daily. The final shot is Joe himself, checking out a stope, again near shaft #2. Quite the steep slope in that wall he's leaning on and looks to be a drop there below his feet too! Seems a bit dangerous, but Joe had permission to go there due to school work about blasting and safety evaluation. If you're interested in a few more shots from areas of the mine where people can't go on tour, check out Joe's slideshow.

By Shawn Callahan (Shawncallahan) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 08:04 am:

Looks kinda cold. I don't think the tour lets you know how hard this work must have been. Good morning to all.

By Gary W. Long (Gary_in_co) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 08:05 am:

Is it warmer in the mine than up on the surface today?

By maija in Commerce Township (Maija) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 08:55 am:

What's a 'raise'? Wonderful slide show, Joe. The rock in the raise looks like beautiful quartz--or calcite?

Thanks Pasty for keeping this history alive.

By allen philley (Allen) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 09:04 am:

Fasinating to see these areas that us regular peaple dont get to see.any tours always leave me wanting to see more. like the old Arcadian tour, as a teen I would have loved to follow the string of lights that continued of in the distant beyound the tours path. I stll wonder how far it went.

By JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY (Username) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 09:28 am:

Is this at the same level of the mine that the tours go? Or is it deeper. Makes you stop and think about what it would have been like to work there--noise,wet,cold,moving equipment---what a job!!

By Capt. Paul & Dr. Nat in Texas (Eclogite) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 09:44 am:

If I had to take a guess Maija, I would say neither! It looks like just from fresh rock exposure in the raise.

Those "old" areas of Quincy are incredible to see. They are a much more realistic view of what the miners had to endure day in and day out; tight spots, loose rock, dust, dead air, etc....
The pictures Joe has are on the same level as the main tour, 7th. The cement wall in the first pic is very close to #2 and is part of the drainage system Quincy used to divert water from the upper levels to the east adit (which the tours go in)that was put in 1894.

Being a guide there for so many years had its advantages ;-)

By Shelly Harwood (Shelly) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 09:49 am:

I think this is the mine our family took a tour of 2 summers ago. The Quincy Mine? My great great grandfather & Uncle worked there many years ago. What overwhelmed me was experiencing how dark it really is in there, and to know that men worked in those kind of conditions to make a new life, to support thier families, etc. I thought of the dangers they faced and how many lives were lost. Really, anyone who loves Michigan History would benefit from taking a tour there.

By David B. Biedenkopf (Davidb) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 10:47 am:

After a long morning of working in the dark, damp, cold and dangerous mine a pasty must have surly been a welcome break and reminder of life on the surface and home. This hard life and others in the U.P. are what made the characters that provided the U.P. lore that we so charish now. I have a hard time thinking that todays life of sitting in front of a computer and dialing up or down your thermostat will engender the same respect for our generation and the ones to follow.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 12:07 pm:

Great pictures Joe! Are they from your student days?

All, the upper levels of the Quincy along with the other Copper Country mines were cool and, depending on the local ground water situation, damp to outright wet. As the mines went deeper, the temperature rose. Down at the 92nd level the air temperature was quite warm, in some cases in the 90's. Air quality could also be a problem. The lower stopes of Quincy No. 7 were noted for being especially hot and "close", that coupled with the foul nature of 7's Captain made it a very undesirable place to work.
Imagine the shock to your system if you were doing very hard labor in 90+ degree heat and then were hoisted to "grass" in a matter of minutes and stepped out into a Keweenaw blizzard!

By Joe Dase (Up_miner) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 12:24 pm:

Yeah they were from my blasting work I did last spring, The last picture on this page was taken from about the 6th level elevation, I made it up to the 4th level around number 5 shaft, I couldnít cross the shaft safely however. As Paul and Nat had mentioned the wall was used for water collection from the upper levels, but was also used to dewater the entire mine. If you continue along the 7th level past number 2 shaft, towards 6 shaft you will hit a concrete bulk head. This is the 1st of several placed along the wall, Quincy was set up for skip bailing out # 6 shaft, the water skips dumped on the 7th level and traveled through this ditch system, and through the bulkheads to drain out the adit on the side of the hill. It saved allot of money to hoist water to the 7th as opposed to the surface. When Quincy installed electric pumps I believe that the 7th level was used for discharge, not through the ditch system though...

I would have answered sooner but with the time change (living in Az) and I had a meeting this morning on our top secret big underground mine project I'm working on...

On the bright side Im heading to Michigan tonight, unfortunately itís not the UP...

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 03:40 pm:

Joe, Thanks for a neat tour of the Quincy Mine...and thanks to everyone else for all the interesting facts and history of the mine/mining. Just another reason why I love Pasty Cam so much...always a lesson in history to be learned ;)

By Lulubelle/Hancock (Lulubelle) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 03:53 pm:

Thanks to all for their input. I've been taking my grandchildren to some of these mines for tours so they can understand more about our fathers' heritage. My father worked in the Painsdale mine and I'm glad they are trying to preserve it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

By Michael Sewell (Saxamofo) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 04:20 pm:

From my days as a tour guide (a while ago, so I may be mistaken):

I believe blasting a "raise" was a method to make sure the mine tunnels, shafts, and stopes stayed in the same layer of rock. At the Delaware Mine near Copper Harbor, they tried to stay in the conglomerate layer, so they would blast a raise up to the greenstone layer above to make sure they were where they were supposed to be. The stopes were created in areas believed to be rich in copper. They would find a vein and follow that by blasting out a stope and sorting the rock on the surface.

By Butch (Butch) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 06:21 pm:

That 1st picture looks like any of a thousand bridges or viaducts here in Chicago.

By Bryan Vincent (Vinnie) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 07:49 pm:

That's my uncle Bert's name. How cool is that and quite a shock when I saw it.

By Capt. Paul & Dr. Nat in Texas (Eclogite) on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 08:16 am:

A raise is a vertical or inclined opening in a mine driven upward from a level to connect with the level above, or to explore the ground for a limited distance above one level. After two levels are connected, the connection may be a winze or a raise, depending upon which level is taken as the point of reference.

A raise can be driven by hand or by a machine called a raise borer which produces a circular excavation either between two existing levels in an underground mine or between the surface and an
existing level in a mine. In raise boring, a pilothole is drilled down to the lower level, the drillbit is removed and replaced by a reamer head
having a diameter with the same dimension as the desired excavation and this head then is rotated and pulled back up towards the machine. This creates a hole much like the one seen in the second photo, although I'm almost sure Quincy never used this machine and that the raise in that photo would have been driven by hand.

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