History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Houghton County 

Source: History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: containing a full account of its early settlement, its growth, development, and resources, an extended description of its iron and copper mines : also, accurate sketches of its counties, cities, towns, and villages ... biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers. Publication Info: Chicago : Western Historical Co., 1883. Pages 256-264.


The Atlantic Mining Company.—This, the most important of the companies operated south of Portage Lake, was organized in December, 1872, by consolidating the South Pewabic and Adams Mining Companies, making a joint capital of $1,000,000, divided into 40,000 shares, $700,000 of which capital stock had been paid up before the consolidation took place. The indebtedness of both mines amounted at the time of the re organization to $46,215.15, with cash on hand amounting to $9,004.42. In order to meet these liabilities, and to provide for current expenses, an assessment of $2 per share was made, payable February 1, 1873. On resuming work, it was naturally found that the machinery and surface improvements were badly out of repair, and considerable preparation was necessary for re-opening and equipping the mines. A new engine—twenty-four-inch cylinder, four foot stroke—with hoisting gear and pumping apparatus and boilers, was procured, new shaft house built, railroad and locomotive repaired.

The work of unwatering the mine had begun in August, 1872, and was completed the following year, and a force of 150 miners was employed in sinking and drifting, principally in the Adams mine. It required a good degree of courage and perseverance to undertake to carry on the working of this mine after the notorious failure which had characterized the operations under the old organization. But the new company took hold of the work, determined to succeed, and, profiting by past errors, has made for this mine a subsequent history that redeems its ignominious past.

The expenditures were greater than had been anticipated; labor ruled higher than was estimated, and it was also found necessary to build some additional tenement houses. The purchase of 2,000 acres of additional lands for timber was made. These were contiguous to Portage Lake. The shipment of mineral to the close of navigation, 1873, was 929,267 pounds, which yielded 77 per cent—714,711 pounds refined copper. The total production for the year was 863,366 pounds of ingot copper, all of which was stamp work. But two of the four stamps were used, as the hoisting machinery proved to be insufficient to bring to the surface enough rock to equal half the capacity of the mill to work up. The assessments called for during the year amounted to $200,000, which, with the copper sold, made the total receipts $420,630.73. This sum was exceeded by the expenditures, and left an indebtedness at the close of the year of $5,831.07, rendering an additional assessment necessary, and the sum of $40,000—$1 per share, was called for in February, 1874. The net mine expense for the year 1873 were $377,542.95. The average cost for sinking shafts per foot was $38; winzes, $19.78; average cost per foot for drifting was $19.09; for sloping per fathom, $22.28. The number of tons of rock stamped was 51,088, with a total cost for stamping, washing, etc., of $53,608.70—$1.05 per ton. Yield of mineral per ton of rock was 22 pounds—16.21 pounds ingot. The force employed consisted of 219 miners, who receive average mouthy wages of $59.83; fifty-five surface men were employed, who received $50 per month.

In 1874, about one-third of the product was sent overland to market at an extra cost of 1 cent per pound, but the gain in price above that obtained for the copper sent by steamer was 3 cents per pound. The product for the year was 931 1272-2000 tons, yielding 73.65 per cent—1,372,406 pounds of ingot, which sold at an average price of 22 8-25 cents per pound. An additional assessment of $1 per share was made. In the stamp mill, two new rotating slime tables were added to the washing apparatus. Number of tons of rock stamped was 69,278, which yielded 26.07 pounds of mineral per ton, or 19.68 pounds of ingot to the ton. The cost of stamping and washing was 99.34 cents per ton, inclusive of all items pertaining to the stamp mill. The yield of ingot per ton of rock was an increase of three pounds over that obtained the previous year. A new pumping engine, hoisting engine and locomotive were procured. The total force was 293 men.

The succeeding year, 1875, showed an increase of product, the total being 1,087 897-2000 tons, yielding 71.92 per cent—1,567,036 pounds ingot copper, which sold for an average price of 22.47 cents per pound. The number of tons of rock stamped was 80,000, yielding 27.23 pounds of mineral to the ton—19.58 pounds of ingot. The cost of washing, stamping, etc., 87.96 cents per ton of rock, inclusive of all work pertaining to the mill. There were employed 316 men, and 17 4-5 fathoms of ground were broken per man. The trestle carrying the launder to the stamp mill was repaired, and other needed improvements made.

In 1876, there was a slight falling off; the product for that year was 1,338 1216-2000 tons of mineral, yielding 917 1041-2000 tons of ingot copper. The number of tons of rock stamped was 97,606, yielding 27.56 pounds per ton of rock —18.96 pounds ingot. There was an average of the work of three stamps (Balls). The cost of washing, stamping, etc., was 67.09 cents per ton of rock, and the total force employed was 333 men. It was found in working the mine, that the condition of the hanging wall required for safety that large pillars should be left frequently. During 1877, a larger amount of work was done at the mine than in any preceding year of its history, and at the same time there was a corresponding diminution in cost, giving a net profit for the year's work of $42,880.55, and a surplus of $137,043.02. Several masses were obtained, the largest of which weighed 4,495 pounds. A skip road was fitted in No. 3 shaft, and the pumps put down to the ninth level. Six new dwellings were built. The total amount of rock carried one mile during the year was 330,562 tons, at a cost of 3.89 cents per ton per mile, including the cost of 102.5 tons of new rail. In place of the chutes at the mill, used to convey the rock from the end of the railroad to the mill, was substituted a double inclined gravity railroad, with wire ropes and drums. At the top of the incline, a rock house of 1,000 tons' capacity was built. These changes, in addition to other advantages, saved the services of six men. The total number of tons of rock stamped in the year 1877 was 105,780, which yielded 27.23 pounds of mineral per ton—19.42 pounds of ingot per ton of rock. The expenses per cubic fathom of ground stoped was: For the year 1874, $62.62; 1875, $55.48; 1876, $52.27; 1877, $45.62, and the total cost of smelting and marketing per ton of rock was for the same years respectively, $4.09, $3.90, $3.54, $3.07. The product for the year was 1,410 378-2000 tons of mineral, yielding 71.32 per cent—2,054,304 pounds ingot, which sold for an average price of 18.54 cents per pound, giving a surplus from which a dividend of 50 cents per share was paid. The company purchased 462 acres of adjacent land. This land was secured for the purpose of securing to the company the control of the stream of water and launder, which supplied the stamps, and for timber.

The product for 1878 was 1,423 1894-2000 tons, which yielded 70.44 per cent, or 2,006,075 pounds of ingot, and at an average price of 16.15 cents per pound, for which it sold, gave, for the year's work, a net profit of $11,325.06. After paying a dividend of $20,000, there remained in the company's treasury a surplus of $147,286,09. The low price of copper left but a small margin of profit. Some changes in the management of the mine became necessary to secure harmony among the officers, and Capt. William Tonkin, the mining captain, was chosen agent. The cost per fathom for stoping as $14.46; per foot for drifting, $10.06. The number of tons of rock stamped was 111,709, which, including the other expenses of the stamp mill, cost $54,579.38—48.85 cents per ton. The yield of mineral per ton of rock stamped was 26.54 pounds—18.05 pounds of ingot. Considerable improvements were made; two additions were built to the stamp mill, 110x25 feet and 80x25 feet; the washing apparatus was increased by the addition of three Evans' slime tables, and fourteen Collum's washers; a new engine house was built, and the arrangements perfected for bringing the supplies and materials from the dock by railroad, instead of hauling with teams, as had been heretofore done; a shop, three houses, a truss bridge 180 feet long over Cole's Creek were built; also a new rock house and engine house at the mine were built, and a new twenty-four-inch cylinder engine with boilers and other necessary machinery for driving the crushers were procured.

The product of mineral in 1879 was 3,257,085 pounds, which yielded 71.81 per cent—2, 339, 073 pounds of ingot, and sold at an average price of 16.3 cents per pound; a dividend of $1 per share was declared. The two shafts, Nos. 3 and 4, being worked at their full capacity, it was determined to fit up No. 2, which is 790 feet north of No. 3, into a working shaft. The general expenditures up to the close of 1879 amounted to $3,294,337.40; total receipts from the sales of copper were $2,304,548.68; total assessments, $280,000; number of tons of rock stamped, 122,668 tons, yielding 26.55 pounds per ton—nineteen tons of ingot. The total cost of stamping, washing, etc., including all expenses at the mill, was 42.44 cents per ton.

During the year 1880, 169,825 tons of rock were treated at the stamp mill, at a cost of 38.13 cents per ton, yielding 19.74 pounds of mineral per ton—3,352,190 pounds, yielding 72.28 per cent ingot—2,423,225 pounds refined copper. The net value of the product for 1880 is $467,426.43; the operating expenses were $384,083.76; profit for the year, $84,391.01; cost for construction, $23,849.66, leaving the net gain $60,541.35; net surplus, January 1, 1881, $263,320.02; total assets, $372,555.30; total sales of copper to date amount to $2,761,372.01; dividends paid in 1880, $60,000; total expenditures to January 1, 1881, $3,853,201.99. One side of a Rand duplex, compressor and engine were put in, and 1,000 feet of seven-inch pipe, and 2,000 feet of three-inch pipe, to convey the air to the power drills, were laid in the mine. The Adams location was the south half of Section 4, and the South Pewabic the north half of Section 9, Township 54, Range 34. The latter went into bankruptcy, and the property was bought from the bankrupt court. The same parties bought both mines. In the Adams mine, but little stoping had to be done, and but two levels had been sunk. The purchasers organized the Atlantic, and have since bought the land between the location and the lake. The mine is on the South Pewabic lode, which carries a width of from ten feet to twenty-one feet, and possesses a good degree of uniformity. It is a dark colored, friable, amygdaloid, somewhat similar to the ash bed in Keweenaw County. The dip is 45° to the northwest, and bears about north 35° east. There are three working shafts connected by an elevated railway, on which the cars are drawn to the rock house south of the south shaft, where, after being crushed, it drops into the bins, and is drawn out into the cars that convey it to the stamps, over a railroad three miles long, four feet one inch gauge. The railroad is operated by locomotives, of which there are four. The cars dump into a chute that conveys the rock into a large bin of 2,000 tons' capacity, whence it is drawn out into cars that operate on automatic tracks, connecting the large bin with smaller ones, one for each stamp, of 200 tons' capacity, from which the rock is drawn out under the stamps. The railroad and dock are connected with an incline operated by a stationary engine, which hauls up the supplies.

The copper is sent down to the dock on a gravity incline which connects it with the stamp mill. In the mill are four Ball's stamps, fifty-six Collum's washers and nine Evans' slime tables, and they are now treating 480 tone of rock per day. The water for the stamps is brought by launder two miles from a dam in Cole's Creek. The launder has a fall of but one-eighth of an inch in sixteen feet; the size is 16x16 inches. It was originally tried by the former company (South Pewabic) to pump up the water from the lake, but the trial was not successful, and the launder was substituted. It is carried over ravines, in one instance on a trestle 150 feet high. The mine has now attained a depth of 1,000 feet. The percentage of copper in the mineral got out at the stamp mill is less than it would be, but for an appreciable amount of iron ore that having a nearly equal specific gravity cannot be separated from it. The iron ore comes mainly from the trap which is taken from the walls of the vein. Owing to imperfect cleavage, more or less trap at the margin is mixed with the vein matter, and goes to the stamp. The cars running on the elevated track from the shafts to the rock house carry two skip loads to a car, obtained at the shafts. The cars dump on an inclined screen which allows the smaller portions to pass through into small breakers, from which it drops into the bins. The large pieces slide down the bars on to the floor and are sorted. There are two large breakers, and two of medium size. Through these the rock passes into the bins. In these are a row of chutes on each side for loading cars on the two tracks that enter the building They send down to the mill 126 cars a day, loaded with five tons each.

There is a locomotive shop for repairs. The company have a fine pumping engine, erected in 1876—one of the finest on the lake, eighteen-inch cylinder, eight-foot stroke; and two hoisting engines with friction gear and winding drums, and a hoisting engine at the south shaft with geared hoisting apparatus. A good store is conducted by the company, well stocked, and made a separate affair.

Two Rand's sixteen-inch cylinder double acting air compressors have been put in, and seventeen drills have since been at work in the mine, and Capt. Tonkin finds, by carefully kept estimates of the expenses attending their use, that there is a saving of $1,000 per month, the matter of saving of time not being taken into account. Each drill, with six men, will stope sixty fathoms per month. By barrel-work, the same number of men will stope from twenty-five to twenty-seven fathoms per month. The cost per fathom with the drill is about $10, and by hand labor it is $17, a saving of $7 per fathom. The drainage is run into sumps at the shafts, and thence pumped to the surface by two lifts. The pump connection is a hook connection with a large balance box in the shaft house, which weighs about twenty tons. The rock house is 80x40 feet, and the engine house of the same size. There are 113 dwelling houses in the location, and a population of about one thousand two hundred- persons. The number of employees is 400, of whom 240 are miners. The average contract wages underground are $50 per month, surface $45. President, Joseph E. Gray; Secretary and Treasurer, J. M. Stanton, Jr.; Agent at the mine, Capt. William Tonkin; office, No. 76 Wall street, New York.

Calumet and Hecla Mining Company.—The Calumet mine was first discovered in the month of October, 1865, by Capt. Amos H. Scott, an old mineral land explorer, and long a resident in its vicinity. He was in the employ of Edward J. Hurlbut, then a civil engineer in the employ of the Cliff Mining Company, and under the direction of the latter he made an exploration of Sections 13, 14, 22 and 23 in Township 56, north of Range 33 west, in October, 1865, and then first found indications of the conglomerate formation on Section 13 by sinking holes, as he claims. But having business at Eagle River, he directed the man who accompanied him—Isaac Thomas—not to do or say anything about the discovery until he could see Mr. Hurlbut, and he could ascertain who owned the land upon which the explorations had been made. Meantime he also reported to Mr. Hurlbut his discoveries, who at once secured portions of Sections 13, 14, 22 and 23, in Township 56, north of Range 33 west, from the Sault Ste. Marie Mineral Land Company, and organized the Calumet Mining Company.

Again in 1866, Mr. Scott was directed to make further explorations, which he did by running a line across the formation south and eastward, at the end of which he discovered an ancient pit, which is at the point where the first Calumet shaft was sunk, showing rich mineral indications. He at once reported this new discovery to Mr. Hurlbut, at the Huron mine, near Houghton. Meantime, Scott placed one Isaac Thomas, who accompanied him, in charge of this new bonanza, with instructions to "keep his eye on the pit," but to keep a good distance away to avoid attracting attention toward it. However, one day William D'Aligny agent of the Sault Ste. Marie Mineral Land Company, accompanied with his assistant, James Alward, were passing the house of one William Royal, which stood near the present No. 4 Calumet Shaft, and in which he entertained travelers and also kept the "ardent " for the thirsty wayfarer, were called in by Royal, and asked for the loan of the revolver which the former carried to shoot a hog which had escaped from him and could not be caught. Mons. D'Aligny thereupon shot the pig, and at once proceeded on his way, leaving Royal to pursue the dying animal in the bushes, tracing him by his bloody tracks; and when discovered Mr. Hog was dead in an ancient working or pit, and in his struggles for life had disturbed the leaves and rubbish which had likely been accumulating there for centuries, and which Scott, in his previous discovery, had left undisturbed. Royal secured a piece of this rock, and showed it to the agent of the land on his return, but Hurlbut had already secured title to it from the company by purchase. Upon the edges of this pit stood two pine trees, which showed 400 years of growth since the earth upon which they stood had been thrown up from this pit, which "Royal's pig" is said to have thus discovered. The pit showed that masses of copper had been taken out by the ancient miners from the amygdaloid formation overlying the conglomerate rock.

The capital stock of the new company was divided into shares of $25 each. However, the development and prospects of the mine were discouraging the first year, so much so, that the stock fell to $1 per share at the end of 1865. But after the rich discovery of the ancient workings by "Royal's pig" in 1866, there was a rapid advance in the stock, through the wide spread excitement caused by the hog story, reaching by successive advances $30 per share in a short time. During this advance, large purchases were made by the keen sighted, which finally made those who held on to it very wealthy. At the rise an assessment of $5 per share was made to develop the new discovery, which proved so favorable that the stock continued to advance until in a few months it reached $75 per share.

Having a large scope of mineral territory in hand they organized, in the summer of 1866, a new company, called the Hecla, the stock of which was apportioned to the holders of the Calumet stock share for share at $5 each. The money thus realized was used for a working capital. In the winter of 1866, the stock of this new company had advanced to $75 per share, and this before the mine had been opened. However, two more assessments, amounting to $8 per share, were made on the Hecla, and an additional one of $5 per share on the Calumet, which caused the stock of the latter to fall to $15 per share. Other assessments were made, which in February, 1868, amounted to $15 per share on the Calumet, and to $25 per share on the Hecla stock, which was then selling at $30 per share. The mining developments continued favorable, and the stock of these companies gradually increased in value with the public confidence it secured, until in December, 1869, that of the Hecla Company reached $85 per share, and paid its first dividend at the close of that year of $3 per share, which it has repeated every year since, and sometimes more. The Calumet Company made their first dividend in August, 1870, which it has also repeated every three months up to the consolidation of the two companies in May, 1871, up to which time the Calumet had been assessed $15 per share, and paid $15 per share in dividends; and the Hecla had been assessed $25 per share, and paid $32.50 per share in dividends.

By the consolidation of these two companies, the capital stock was made $1,000,000, divided into 40,000 shares. A stock dividend soon increased this number to 50,000 shares. Again in 1873 a further increase of dividends made the number 80,000 shares, at which date the total dividends amounted to $2,800,000. In 1879, the capital stock was increased to $2,500,000, divided into 100,000 shares, the limit allowed by the laws of the State.

The lands owned by the Calumet and Hecla Company comprise 1,840 acres, located as follows: 640 acres in Section 13, 120 of which was purchased the present summer—1882—from the Messrs. Loring, Palmer, and the heirs of the late William B. Frue, for which they paid the enormous sum of $1,250,000, or about $10,417 per acre! The purchase of this wild, barren land, worthless, save for the mineral that lies imbedded two or three thousand feet below its surface, was necessitated because of the fact that the Calumet and Hecla vein, in its full richness, extends there under. Also, all of Section 14, except the west half of the southwest quarter, owned by the Tamarack Mining Company, and all of Section 23, township and range above described. Upon these tracts are located eleven shafts, six on the Calumet and five on the Hecla part. Six of these shafts are now down to the twenty-seventh—the bottom level—extending along the lay of the vein half a mile. Of the remaining shafts, No. 5 is only down to the twenty-third level; Nos. 3 and 4 shafts are down to the ninth and nineteenth levels respectively, and are connected. These levels, which. extend either direction from the shafts, are sixty feet apart perpendicularly. The average bearing of the lode is north 39° east, and its general dip with the horizon 38° northwesterly. Its height above Lake Superior is 640 feet. The lode or vein is a conglomerate formation of rock, all capable of being stamped, and the length to which the mine has been opened is about 6,000 feet. The farthest extent down on the incline or lay of the vein is now (August, 1882,) about two thousand nine hundred feet. The underground or mining work is performed with air compressor power drills, some sixty-five in number being in use, the compressed air being communicated to them through rubber hose: For the past seven years, the average amount of rock stamped has been about sixteen thousand tons per year, which produced during the same period an average of about fifteen thousand tons of ingot copper per year. It is claimed that the machinery at the Calumet and Hecla excels that found in any other mine in the world, particularly the Hecla and Calumet engines. The former is a compound Leavitt engine, 1,000-horse-power, which does the hoisting in the Hecla mine, and also runs the double compressor. The power is applied by means of wire rope transmission, running over immense winding drums, to which there are four, in the same building with the engine; they are twenty-five feet in diameter and seven feet face.

The cylinders, high pressure, are twenty-three and three-fourths inches in diameter, and the low pressure thirty-six inches, with six feet stroke. The three boilers that furnish the steam are of steel, each thirty-eight feet long, eight feet diameter. This machinery, so intricate, so powerful, working so silently, has a marvelous beauty, and is well worth a journey to see. At present there are at work on the location, all told, sixteen engines, and the object of the powerful engine now being put in is to displace some of the smaller engines, and let one do the work of many. The weight of the big engine is given at 700,000 pounds. The cylinders are respectively five feet ten inches and three feet six inches diameter. The engine is said to be the largest stationary engine in the world, and cost $100,000.

In the stone building south of the new Calumet engine house, the cost of the machinery is given at $500,000. It is not easy to see the necessity of such ponderous pumping machinery in a mine that makes so little water as does the Calumet and Hecla.

The heavy machinery which the Calumet and Hecla Company has been adding to its mining plant, or rather which is to substitute that heretofore used in the Calumet Mine, is all in place and nearly ready to work. The monster engine is estimated at 4,700-horse-power, and has an ordinary working capacity of 2,700-horse-power. It is designated to work the shafts in the Calumet Mine, both man-engines, the two great pumps and the compressors. To show the magnitude of this wonderful mine, it is only necessary to state that the company pays a regular quarterly dividend of $500,000, which is occasionally increased. It has paid in the past fourteen years a total net dividend of $21,350,000.

The stamp mills are located at Torch Lake, five miles distant, and are connected with the mine by a railroad, four-feet gauge, operated with locomotive engines, of which there are three single thirty-ton Fairlie engines and one thirty-ton common engine. The stamp mills are furnished with six Ball stamps, fifteen inch cylinders, and one Ball-Leavitt head now in use, soon to be increased by a second Ball-Leavitt head. The stamp heads make ninety blows per minute and the shoes last about seven days on an average. From the top of the bluff, at the terminus of the railroad, the cars run to the stamp mills on a gravity incline three-fourths of a mile in length.

The water for the use of the two mills is pumped from the lake by a compound Leavitt pumping engine throwing 9,000,000 gallons each twenty-four hours, supplying the stamps, wash houses, etc.

The stamp machinery, washers, etc., are driven by a compound Leavitt engine, and are supplied with very expensive wire rope transmission. The Calumet mill is lighted by the Brush electric light, and the Hecla mill with the Siemen's; twelve lamps in each mill. In each mine is a man engine, going down about one thousand seven hundred feet at the present time, but gradually being extended to greater depth.

New water works are now being constructed at the stamp mills, the building being sixty-five feet square, with an "L" running toward the lake of stone and brick front. A new horizontal pump with capacity of 20,000,000 gallons of water in twenty-four hours is being placed. This, with their present pumping machinery, makes a capacity of 40,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. The elevation of the new engine Superior at Calumet is 654 feet above Torch Lake, and 1,275 feet above the level of the sea. The stamp-mills consume some 28,000 cords of wood annually, besides a proportionate amount of coal.

The blasting powder used in the mine is No. 2 Hercules, of which ninety tons have been used.

The number of feet of all kinds of timber used under ground by this mine per year are: Pine stulls, 1,420,000 feet, board measure; hemlock stulls, 871,000 feet, running measure; flat timber of various sizes, 310,000 feet; railroad ties, 13,000 were used in the Hecla branch in 1881-82; and 205 tons of Hercules blasting powder were used during the same period in the entire mine.

The whole number of men employed by this company is 1,200. The affairs of the company are well managed by a force of officials and subordinates, the chief officers being: President, Alexander Agassiz; Secretary and Treasurer, Charles W. Seabury; with general offices located at Boston; Superintendent. J. W. Wright; Assistant Superintendent, John Duncan; Mining Captain, Thomas H Hoatson; Civil and Mining Engineer, P. C. F. West; Railroad Manager, W. A. Childs; Medical Director, R. H. Osborn; Clerk, B. Pennyman. Of Calumet branch: Mechanical Engineer, James R. Ramsay; Mining Captain, William Daniels; Resident Physician, C. W. Niles; Clerk, J. N. Cox. Hecla branch: Mechanical Engineer, L. S. Woodbury: Mining Captain, Thomas Wills; Resident Physician, E. H. Pomeroy: Clerk, John Long. Torch Lake stamp-mills: Manager, F. E. Coggin; Resident Physician, F. E. Fletcher; Surface Captain, Allen McIntyre : Shipping Clerk, R. H. Paine.

The Centennial Copper Mining Company.—Lying adjacent to the Calumet Mine on the north is the Centennial, formerly the Schoolcraft. It will be remembered, as described in a previous report, that the earlier company worked very zealously for success in the Calumet and Hecla conglomerate; but the extension of the lode on this property proved so utterly worthless that the company, after a few years' struggle, was entirely ruined. Its experience was a valuable acquisition to the country, but an expensive one to the stockholders. The property comprises the southeast quarter of Section 12, Township 56, Range 33.

In 1876, the property was bought at bankrupt sale, and the organization of a new company decided upon, to be called the Centennial. In the latter part of 1880, work was begun by the new company on the Osceola amygdaloid. Two shafts were started 660 feet apart, and the work of opening another mine was begun, and has since been pushed along with reasonable activity.

The two shafts have been connected at the first level, and, in addition, have driven south from No. 2 120 feet, making about 780 feet of drifting done in the first level. No. 2 Shaft is down to the second level, and they have drifted from it north and south, each way, just far enough to sink to the third level. North from No. 2, a winze is sinking to the second level, and also south from the same shaft in this level, a winze is sinking to the second. Four or five air-drills are at work, and they are able to make about eighty feet per month. A Burleigh compressor, one that is on the ground, is employed, but it is the intention to replace it with a Rand duplex.

There are two hoisting engines which operate the shafts, and one of them, in addition, works also the pump, and the other the compressor, the power being applied by wire rope transmission. In drifting they follow the hanging wall. The lode is bunchy: in one place where they have drifted across it, it shows a width of twenty-four feet. No stoping has as yet been done, the work being devoted to opening the mine and repairing the buildings, etc. The stamp-mill is being put in order, with additional stamping capacity of six new gates. It stands near the highway which runs north through the property, and was supplied with water through a launder from a dam across Calumet Creek. The capital stock is $1,000,000, divided into 40,000 shares, 20,000 of which were sold to provide the working capital. It is the intention of the company to cross-cut to the new amygdaloid bed, cut by the Calumet and Hecla Company, which should lie about two hundred and fifty feet to the east. The expenditures up to June, 1882, have been $55,000. The officers are: S. L. Smith, President; A. W. Jackson, Secretary and Treasurer; William Harris was Acting Agent, succeeded by Joshua Hall; Joshua Hostin, Mining Captain; William Harris, Jr., Clerk; L. J. Langdon, Surface Captain; Physician. W. H. Solis; Machinist and Engineer, W. Weeks. The company now employ 150 men.

The Dorchester Mining Company locations, consisting of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter, and the south half of the southwest quarter, of Section 18, Township 55, Range 33, was explored in 1863, and a little mining work done on the Mesnard or Epidote lode, which has a length on the property of 1,600 feet, and showed a width of three feet. Several other amygdaloid or conglomerate belts cross the property.

The Douglass Mining Company. —Douglass Mining Company, owning the northeast quarter of Section 30, and northwest quarter of Section 29, Township 55, Range 33, is situated about one mile north from Portage Lake. The company was organized in 1863, and began work in the same year by sinking four shafts to the first level in the Isle Royal lode. The work was under the superintendence of J. H. Forster, and was continued until 1868, resulting in obtaining a total product of about eighty-five tons of refined copper.

The Franklin Mining Company was organized April 23, 1857, and commenced operations in July of the same year, with Capt. Charles H. Palmer as Agent. An assessment of $10,000—50 cents a share—was made, and for two years work was prosecuted without further assessments, the mine producing, in that time, 119,803 pounds of refined copper. An indebtedness amounting to $17,000 had been incurred, to meet which another assessment of $2 per share had been made.

In 1858, Mr. Palmer was succeeded by John H. Foster, who resigned in 1864, and was succeeded by John Hodgeson.

In 1860, a stamp mill was built at Portage Lake, with two heads of Ball's stamps, and suitable washing apparatus, a double-track gravity railroad constructed from the mill to the top of the hill, and the track extended thence 4,300 feet to the mine—10,000 feet in all.

Six shafts had been sunk up to 1861, only two of which extended below the third level. Two hundred and fifty men were employed. That year, 1,402,087 pounds of refined copper was produced, making, in five years, a total product of 2,240,288 pounds of ingot copper. In 1862, there was an increase of the product to 1,466,645 pounds of ingot. In 1863, there was a falling off to 1,278,684 pounds of refined copper, but the high price in the market enabled the company to pay a dividend of $3 per share.

The southeast quarter of Section 19 was set off, and the Concord Mining Company was organized to work it, the stock being distributed pro rata among the stockholders of the Franklin, but the stock subsequently passed into the hands of the owners of the Pewabic. The real estate and improvements had cost $381,000.

In 1864, the product was 1,211,355 pounds of refined copper, which brought 47¼ cents per pound. A second dividend of $5 a share was declared in August, and, the following April, another of $3 was declared. A locomotive was placed on the railroad to run from-the mine to the head of the incline, and 919 acres of woodland was purchased for the mine.

In 1867 or 1868, Capt. Richard Uren relieved Capt. Hodgeson, and, in about two years, was relieved by William Webb, who remained about fifteen months, when Capt. John Uren took charge. At this time, the indebtedness had been steadily increasing for about three years, the vein having pinched in and the product decreased. After about eight months, it was decided that the company could not make it pay, and, in 1870, it was leased to the agents of the Pewabic on tribute—the tributes meeting with such success that the mine, which had failed to pay expenses for the past three years, enabled the company, in the four years it was under lease, to pay from the tribute a dividend of $3 a share.

During this time, Capt. John Uren died, after bringing the works of the mine to a paying basis, from which he had realized a considerable sum.

June 30, 1874, one year before the expiration of the lease, Capt. Richard Uren and brother, who succeeded John in the possession of the lease, abandoned the mine on account of its poverty.

Up to about 1873, the Eastern management was conducted by Charles Emery as Secretary and Treasurer, who was succeeded by D. L. Demmon. Immediately after the tributers abandoned the lease, Mr. Demmon started to resuscitate the property, which was in a wretched condition, both underground and on the surface, together with all its machinery, when Mr. D. L. Demmon and H. L. Simonel, the President, engaged Mr. Johnson Vivian as Local Manager. The former holders had about lost all faith in the value of the property, and could not be induced to pay any further assessment, however small.

When Capt. Vivian took it in hand, there were only a few thousand dollars in the treasury. The first month's product, in July, 1874, was about thirty-four tons of mineral, which has steadily increased, until, at the present time, it has reached about one hundred and seventy tons a month, which yields about 83 per cent pure copper. Without one dollar of assessment, it has been brought to a paying condition, through eight years of incessant toil, and that with an outlay of $250,000 for buildings, machinery and improvements and for extra work in opening the mine, above all the working expenses. The treasury is now well stocked with money, and the mine in all its parts is in a first-class working condition. The mine is again firmly placed upon a dividend-paying basis.

The product for 1880 was 3,196, 559 pounds of mineral, yielding 2,616,904 pounds of ingot. For 1881, the gross yield was 3,228,2 75 pounds, giving 2,678,797 pounds of refined copper. The first six months of 1882, it had produced 1,840,385 pounds of mineral, with a return of 1,530,158 pounds of refined copper.

The Grand Portage Mining Company.—The first shipment from the Grand Portage Mine was made in 1853, consisting of about ten thousand pounds of barrel work. The Portage vein, 200 feet from the Isle Royale lode, and parallel with that lode, was the first opened. Operations were continued until the capital was expended.

The Grand Portage Mining Company was re-organized in 1860. Mining operations were resumed, but ultimately the work was given out to tributers.

In 1879, a number of Hancock capitalists purchased the property for a nominal sum, and a company formed with a capital stock of $500,000. In 1882, mining was commenced by the new company, beginning at the old works, 350 feet below the surface. The location comprises the southwest quarter Section 36, Township 55, Range 34. The company own some timber land, making an estate of 800 acres, and a half-mile vein of mineral. The stamp-mill is on Portage Lake, to which the rock is hauled by teams

The copper is mostly found in a vein of green epidote, some of the rock being extremely rich in copper. The mill is supplied with twenty-four heads of stamps, the old Cornish pattern improved, stamping seventy-five tons of rock a day, from which they obtain about forty tons of mineral per month. The washers in use are the invention of Mr. Michael Schubert, the courteous Superintendent of the mill. The slime, tables are Evans', with an improvement by Schubert. Eighteen men and boys are employed in the mill.

The following from Capt. Tallon will show what has been done in the mine up to July, 1882:

"Since the issue of Commissioner's report for 1880, the following work has been done: In the Portage, or north end of the mine, are down 450 feet to sixth level. Length of drift on this level, 400 feet, i.e., 200 feet north and south of shaft; ground more regular; less bunchy than levels above. On fifth level, total length, 900 feet, south of shaft being most productive. Total length on fourth level, 600 feet, 200 feet north and 400 feet south. Are now sinking shaft to seventy fathoms level, thus far in rich ground. South or Isle Royal end of Portage, total depth, 350 feet, or down to fifth level. Drift opened 150 feet on fourth level. Drifted 200 feet, on third level 100 feet. Ground in south end irregular and spotted, but rich in bunches. The north and south end are 200 feet apart. As they are distinct veins, don't think they will ever intersect. The average product since starting mill, forty tons mineral per month. With the requisite machinery, compressed air drills, rock-breaker, etc.—in fact, all modern appliances used in mining, there is no doubt the product could be trebled. The ground appears less disturbed and more productive as depth is attained. Total number of miners, eighty at present employed. Total force of mine and mill, surface and underground, 170. Joseph Wertin, Sr.. President; Peter Ruppe, Sr., Secretary and Treasurer."

Hancock Mining Company.—This company was originally organized in 1859, with a capital stock of $500,000. It is located on the southwest quarter of Section 26, Township 55, Range 34, and adjoins the Quincy Mine on the west, and was opened on the side of the bluff by an adit driven into the hill, 218 feet above Portage Lake, to intersect a shaft 100 feet farther up the hill. A second adit was after driven on a level seventy feet below the first, and from this an incline was constructed to the stamp-mill at the lake, distant from the mine 1,400 feet, the adit affording drainage for the mine. The old stamp-mill was built in 1860, and furnished with sixteen heads of Wayne stamps.

The office of the company was originally in Now York, hut, by a change in the Board of Directors, Horatio Bigelow became Secretary and Treasurer, and the office was removed to Boston.

During the next four years, considerable improvements were made, and the work extended. The main shaft was fitted for hoisting and pumping, and the necessary machinery put in, with suitable buildings and shaft house. The stamp mill was also overhauled, and a new engine and boiler house built, and forty heads of stamps put in. Several other buildings were put up, involving, in all, an expenditure of $122,625. The total expenditures up to January 1, 1865, were $350,059.55; of this, $248,395 was from assessments, and $104,120.98 from sales of copper. The product for 1864 was 100,182 pounds, yielding 61,044 pounds of refined copper, being 446 pounds per fathom of ground work.

The company continued work until the capital stock was exhausted, and then leased it on tribute until 1872, when it was sold to Capt. Snell and W. H. Streeter, who, in 1873, changed the name to the Summit Mining Company. This company, however, did but little work, and, in the winter of 1879 80, it was purchased by Mr. Ed Ryan, of Hancock, and re-organized under the general laws of the State of Michigan, as the Hancock Copper Mining Company, with a capital stock of $100,000, divided into 40,000 shares, and in June, work was commenced by the new company. The stamp-mill has been rebuilt, a Ball stamp taking the place of the old stamps. The incline has been thoroughly repaired, the mine unwatered, and work regularly carried on under the supervision of Capt. Ryan. The diamond drill has been kept in use exploring; a new Rand's air compressor and four Rand drills are in use in the mine.

The present company have sunk the main shaft 350 feet below the former level, and have run a drift 700 feet northwest into the hill. Shaft No. 2 is being sunk upon it, 500 north of No. 1 Shaft.

Up to March 1, 1882, this company had made a product of 965,635 pounds of mineral, yielding 667,307 pounds of ingot, which sold at an average of 18 7-100 cents per pound, amounting to $125,024.65; since, from March 1 to August 1, they have produced 175 tons of 70 per cent mineral.

They have expended in improvements, repairs, etc., over $100,000, and are working about one hundred and thirty men. The stock is held in Hancock, Chicago, Milwaukee and Cleveland.

Edward Ryan, President; August Mette, Secretary and Treasurer. Directors, John Duncan, J. R. Cooper, Ed Ryan, Richard Uren, William Edwards, of Cleveland, Ohio; C. H. Schwab and A. F. Leopold, of Chicago.

The Huron Copper Company commenced work on their property in 1855, under the superintendence of J. B. Bennett, who, for a year or two, was engaged in making explorations, but did but little mining. He was succeeded by A. B. Wood, who operated quite extensively, without attaining very satisfactory results. Mr. Samuel Moody followed in charge, with no better results than had been attained by the former agents. He was succeeded by John Collom, a practical mining engineer, who laid out for extended work, and erected the machinery in a scientific manner for that early day. He was the inventor of the Collom washer, on the jigger plan, which is now in use in nearly all the mills, and has done so much toward making the mining of low grade ore so profitable where large quantities can be easily handled. After a few years, he left for more extended fields in the West, when E. J. Hurlbut, also a mining engineer, was appointed in his place. After a very brief period, he left the employment of the company, and T. W. Buzzo was placed in charge, under whose superintendence operations were suspended by the company.

After awhile it was started up again in a small way, under the superintendence of Mr. Daniel Dunn, but, after a few months, work was altogether suspended, and the mine went into bankruptcy about 1870. It was re-organized in 1871, as the Houghton Mining Company, and one of the creditors, E. F. Sutton, took the superintendency, but, like his predecessors, failed to make it profitable, and consequently work was again suspended.

In 1880, it was re-organized as the Huron Mining Company, with Samuel Hastings, President; D. L. Dunning, Secretary and Treasurer; and Capt. Johnson Vivian, Manager—making the third suspended mine placed under his charge, which, by his indefatigable efforts, so ably seconded by his subordinate officers, he is placing in splendid condition, and rapidly bringing them to the front as productive properties

At the time operations were commenced, the mine was full of water, which has since been taken out, shafts sunk, and new machinery put up, and the underground work carried forward until a breast of rich ore has been disclosed, and, under the present management, it promises to be a paying institution in a short time.

With the amount of paying ore now in sight, and the facilities for mining and raising it, only one thing now seems necessary to enable good returns to its stockholders. That one thing is a stamp-mill, to work up its product, the old mill being useless for that purpose.

The State Mineral Commissioner says, in his report for 1882:

"This company, it will be remembered, was organized in 1880, with a capital stock of $1,000,000, divided into 40,000 shares. The Huron is an old mine, first opened in 1855, and represents one of those unfortunate locations with which the copper region is too familiar. In re-opening the mine and resuming operations upon this abandoned property, the management has proceeded cautiously; evidently they want to ascertain the value of the mine first, and not to expend any more upon the surface than is unavoidably necessary to carry forward the underground work, the main purpose being to push the openings. Two shafts are working, No. 6 and No 8, and a portion of last summer, No. 10 Shaft was working also. No. 6 Shaft is to the eighth level, and No. 8 to the ninth. All the shafts have been provided with new skip-roads. A new engine house has been built and furnished with new engine, twenty-six inch cylinder; also friction gear, hoisting machinery for No. 6 and No. 8 Shafts have been provided. An engine, ten-inch cylinder, hoisting machinery—friction gear—have been erected to operate No. 10 Shaft. This shaft is down to the fifth level. A new pumping engine, sixteen-inch cylinder, has also been provided. Five years ago, while the mine was run on tribute, a water-wheel was built at the mill to run the stamp and other machinery. The wheel is thirty feet diameter and three and one-fourth feet breast. The company repaired this mill and operated it during seven months of the past year, using the water-wheel to furnish the requisite power. The mill shut down in November last, owing to some breakage in the driving gear, and, repairs not having been made, the mill has since been idle. They operated four batteries—sixteen stamps—Gates pattern. Since the mill stopped, the rock has been transported to the Pewabic mill.

"To increase the water, a ditch has been recently made, one and a fourth miles long, to a branch of the Pilgrim River. The water is drawn from the dam to the mill in a race 2,000 feet long. The mill will work up about seven hundred tons per month. The company has employed on an average, 111 men, and has obtained 298,153 pounds of mineral. The number of feet of shafting sunk is 369; the number of feet of winzes sunk is 383; the number of feet of drifting done is 1,052 the number of fathoms stoped is 532; all the ground broken in the mine, estimated in cubic fathoms, amounts to 862; the total amount expended during the year, $83,707.04.

"The general office is No. 4 Exchange street, Boston. D. L. Demmon, Secretary and Treasurer; Johnson Vivian, Agent, Houghton. The description of the property is: South half of Sections 1 and 2, Township 54, Range 34, lying south of the Isle Royal and north of the Atlantic."

The new compressor for the Huron Mine, was in operation with four drills in October, 1882. Other drills will be added as they are needed. One drill will be put into the bottom of the sixth shaft below the ninth level, where the ground is very rich, and shows a fine lode of copper. The seventh level, running north of No. 6 Shaft, shows a long stretch of very rich background, and the mine throughout has a very encouraging outlook.

The Highland Mining Company.—This location adjoins the Douglass on the south and west, and a small amount of work was done at the same period, as indicated in the preceding notice. Next to the Douglass is situated the Concord, of which mention has been made in the history of the Pewabic and Franklin Companies, and in succession also are the locations called the Arcadian and the Edwards Companies, which were organized to work the northerly extension of the Isle Royal and the Grand Portage lodes. But, with the exception of the Concord, all are now idle, and none have heretofore done very much work.

The Isle Royal Mining Company.—This company enjoys the distinction of being the pioneer mining company on Portage Lake. It began work in August, 1852, on the northwest quarter of Section 1, Township 54 north, Range 34 west, but owning in addition another body of lands, which made its total estate 501.5 acres. The company had been incorporated to mine on Isle Royal, where it was engaged for several years prior to the commencement of operations in the vicinity of Portage Lake, but met with no success there. Upon their new location they discovered the existence of three veins, about 200 feet apart, and on the middle of one of these, the mining work was first begun, and this lode has thence been called the Isle Royal. Its selection was determined by the number of Indian diggings, which extended along its outcrop across the greater section. These, when explored, developed a good show of copper; the vein proved to be large and with good walls, running and dipping with the formation, the bearing being north about sixty-two degrees east, and the dip about sixty degrees. The bed proved to be even and well defined, with inclosing rock of gray trap.

In 1854, the works had extended along the vein 1,600 feet, and the total sinking aggregated 600 feet, the drifting 1,000 feet, and the amount of copper taken out, mostly barrel work, was, in 1853, 31,773 pounds, yielding 62 per cent, equal to 18,738 pounds ingot; in 1854, 57,044 pounds, yielding 39,935 pounds ingot copper. On abandoning Isle Royal, the company had conveyed its portable mining plant to the new location; the principal article brought over was a small portable engine, which, when required, was put in place for pumping and hoisting. A stamp-mill was built, supplied with eight stamps and an engine, and got in operation in 1853. The number of stamp heads was soon after increased to sixteen. The company expected to find mass copper, and the mine yielded mainly stamp work. Some difficulty was naturally experienced in building up a mining enterprise in the midst of a wilderness without the benefit resulting from the vicinage of older and similar establishments. The managers up to 1854 were Truman Smith, Clement Marsh, C. H. Nichols, Thomas P. Scott, with office at Washington, D. C. Under a new management, the stamp-mill was enlarged, and the number of stamps increased to forty; a railroad track was laid from the mine to the mill; but in 1870, mining work was suspended, and in the following year the mine was leased to the Mabbs brothers. The greatest depth is about 800 feet, and in length 3,000 feet. The total product to 1880 was about forty-five hundred tons of refined copper. The lode has a width of from fifteen to twenty feet, and a dip to the northwest of fifty-five to sixty degrees with the horizon. It is an amygdaloid of brownish color, with epidote, quartz, calc spar and prehnite scattered through it. The copper occurs in bunches or pockets. The company began under a special charter, and was re-organized under the general mining laws of the State in 1857. Work by the company continued until 1870, when it was suspended, and the mine has since been worked on tribute. But in the meantime, assessments had been made to the amount of $1,010,000. There have been built a large number of buildings, and other surface improvements made, but at present these structures are in a ruinous condition. The stamp-mill has for some years been run as a custom mill, doing the stamping, etc., for the tributers at this and at the other adjacent mines It has a capacity of about forty tons of rock per day.

The product of the mine for 1880 was 45,860 pounds of ingot copper. The stamp rock was sorted so that it yielded 9 per cent. The average yield of the mineral in refined copper was 80 per cent. It has been worked on tribute by the agent for the property, Mr. Graham Pope, who has now about fifteen miners opening some new ground, and sinking a shaft from the surface, and intends, if it develops value, to pump out the mine and commence work, and increase as warranted. Product for 1881 was 38,380 pounds; estimated product for 1882, thirty tons. The present estate now consists of 420 acres-the north half of Section 1, Township 54, Ranges 34, and northwest quarter. of Section 6, Township 54, Range 35. Secretary and Treasurer, F. W. Capon; office in New York; Resident Agent, Graham Pope, Houghton.


Includable Page Index History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: Houghton County
 Pages 250 - 256 | Pages 256 - 264 | Pages 264 - 272 | Pages 272 - 276 | Pages 276 - 279 | Pages 279 - 283 | Pages 283 - 286
Pages 286 - 291 | Pages 291 - 299 | Pages 299 - 302 | Pages 302 - 305 | Pages 305 - 311 | Pages 311 - 316 | Pages 316 - 320
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