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 264-272.


The Kearsarge Mining Company.—The Kearsarge Mining Company owns the south half of Section 6, and southwest quarter of Section 5, Township 56, Range 32, and the east half of the southeast quarter of Section 1, Township 56, Range 33, making a rectangle one and three-fourths miles east and west, and one-half of a mile north and south, comprising 460 acres of land.

The property is crossed by the several prominent lodes of this region, and adjoins on the north the now celebrated Wolverine Mine, and has upward of three thousand feet of extent of the lode which, just at present, is proving so wonderfully productive in copper.

If the Wolverine continues to open favorably, the management of the Kearsarge will also commence work, and will open on the same lode—the Kearsarge amygdaloid.

They now have the matter under consideration, and it is likely that at least test pits will soon be sunk to uncover the lode. The capital stock is $500,000, divided into 20,000 shares. The business office is in Boston. Joseph W. Clark, President; A. S. Bigelow, Secretary and Treasurer.

The local affairs of the company are in charge of Capt. John Daniels, Agent of the Osceola.

The Mesnard Mining Company.—This company was organized in 1862, immediately upon the discovery of a mass of copper of eighteen tons' weight upon the property. The mass had been moved a distance of forty-eight feet from its original bed by the ancient miners, the evidences of whose work were plentifully apparent in the multitude of stone hammers, etc., that were found surrounding the mass, and in the place, where it had apparently been taken. The bed from which the mass was derived had become filled up with dirt and decayed bones, and the mass itself was buried beneath the earth that had accumulated over it. Trees corresponding in size with those of the surrounding forest were growing over it. The mine was opened in the epidote vein, from which this mass had come, and great hopes were entertained of results, which several years of mining work failed to realize. Less than fifty tons, all told, were obtained, and, unable to find copper in paying quantity, work was suspended. The location consists of 160 acres, being the northeast quarter of Section 24, Township 55, Range 33. Some tribute work was done on the property after the company ceased operations, and in 1876 it passed into the possession of the owners of the Pewabic, etc., with D. L. Demmon, Secretary and Treasurer; office, Boston, Mass.

The Osceola Consolidated Mining Company.—This company was organized in 1873. The mine was discovered by Edward H. Hurlbut soon after the discovery of the Calumet and Hecla conglomerate vein, and was none other than the southerly extension of this same belt. Borings and explorations were at once made to discover the original resting-place of the conglomerate rocks, which had been found on the surface, but failed, notwithstanding conglomerate masses, rich with copper, had been found near the borings, which were regarded as different from the Calumet and Hecla conglomerate lode, and also the geological position in which they were found on the surface and the character of the drift did not precisely correspond with those of the Calumet and Hecla vein. Thus it was assumed that this discovery was independent of the former, hence the expectations of those interested were raised high.

The reputation which Mr. Hurlbut had acquired through his discovery of the Calumet and Hecla belt at once gave him great prestige, and he found no difficulty in organizing a company, and securing ample means, by the disposal of its stock at favorable rates, to equip the mine at the outset with a complete plant of buildings, machinery, etc., and thus prosecute the borings, explorations, etc., above referred to.

However, when it became known that the supposed vein opened into the Calumet and Hecla belt, there was no little feeling of disappointment among those interested, though their hopes of success did not wholly subside until it was found to a certainty that the explorations developed no new lead, nor mineral of much value independent of the southern limit of the Calumet and Hecla belt. When near the limit, it was found that the lode corresponded in texture and richness to that then known to exist in the veins of its more successful and fortunate neighbor; but, as they extended their explorations farther southward, the rocks became more soft and friable—worthless. These facts led to the conclusion that their productive ground would soon become exhausted, and hence the new company which was formed under such apparent promise must yield to failure.

At this point, the company met an emergency, and they changed the old adage thus: "Necessity is the mother of discovery," and they soon discovered, some eight hundred feet east of the unfortunate conglomerate shaft, an amygdaloid belt. To this they at once, in 1877, transferred their appliances and energy, and, before the failure of the conglomerate was fully realized and known, they had ascertained the value of their new discovery.

At the original organization of this company, in 1873, they purchased from the old Pewabic Company Sections 26 and 27, in Township 55 north, of Range 33 west. In 1879, a further consolidation was made with the Opechee Company, which owned the west half of Section 26 and the south half of Section 27, above mentioned, which was originally a part of the Osceola property. This company did also own Section 24, and the remainder of Section 26, in the same township, and the Laurium Mining Company was organized, but the latter is now an independent company.

From the commencement of operations in the new amygdaloid belt in 1877, up to 1880, the company had sunk four shafts—No. 1, to the tenth level, 900 feet; No. 2, to the ninth level, 810 feet; No. 3, to the seventh level, 630 feet; No. 4, to the fifth level, 450 feet, thus making a total of 2,790 feet to August 1, 1882. There are ten levels exposing the vein for stoping, drilling, etc. All these shafts are connected by drifts in the levels. Up to the present year, 1882, the conglomerate vein has been worked, to a slight extent—merely the cleaning up in the upper levels. But better and unexpected productions are promised to an extent that the working will be kept up, as the copper obtained in 1881 exceeded that obtained the year prior, although it took more rock to produce it, but at less cost. A now lode of conglomerate has recently been discovered intermediate between the former and the amygdaloid, which was discovered by the Calumet and Hecla Company in making a cross-cut in their mine to the amygdaloid belt of this company. The Osceola Company have recently made a cross-cut 150 feet in the ninth level to intersect this vein of conglomerate, with the view of exploring it, and will work it if found of sufficient richness.

It is said that the amygdaloid mine is difficult to work, the lode being so broken, contorted, twisted, bunchy, pockety, richer in some places than others. Bars of trap frequently occur. Stretches of barren ground intervene between the productive portions. The mine also shows original disturbances in the lode, distorted laterally and downward. State Commissioner Wright, in his examination of this mine, says:

"The drifts, following the hanging wall, present all the sinuosities of a stream meandering its tortuous way through the meadow, while upward through the stopes the warped surface has every possible direction—sometimes a vertical wall, when, suddenly bending, it becomes a roof, showing in different places every possible angle from ninety degrees to the horizontal, and again in places becoming an arch, bending until it nearly touches the foot-wall, and then, starting upward, it perhaps makes again a similar wave."

Since 1880, the company have added a new Rand duplex air compressor, sixteen by thirty inches, which can now run twenty-three drills, making three in all. The new air-compressor building constructed this year (1882) is of stone, thirty-six by sixteen feet. The rock-house and machinery of the conglomerate ground will be transferred to No. 2, amygdaloid shaft.

A new rock-breaker, nine by fifteen inches, has been added this year, making ten now in use in the rock-house. All the rock-drilling in the mines for blasting is done by air-compressor power drills.

The total number of tons of mineral rock hoisted from the mine in 1881 was 190,000; total number of tons rejected, 29,180; total number of tons stamped and washed, 160,880, which yielded 4,807,424 pounds of mineral, which, smelted, produced 4,179, 976 pounds of ingot or bar copper, which sold at an average price of about 17.76 cents per pound, thus making the aggregate gross receipts of the company from their sales of copper $754,175.05, delivered at the smelting works in Hancock.

The yield of mineral per ton of rock for the last year (1881) was 29.88 pounds; the yield of ingot copper per ton of mineral rock was 25.98 pounds.

The stamp-mill of this company is located on Portage Lake, in the west part of Hancock, which is reached over the Mineral Range Railroad, ten miles, and one of the most complete in this region, being equipped with the most approved appliances for stamping and washing the copper from the rock. It has three of Ball's stamps, fifteen-inch cylinders, fifty-four Collum washers, and five of Evans' slime tables; has a capacity for working 450 tons per day, and cost $125,000. The heads of the rock stamps, or breakers, are covered with chilled iron shoes, weighing over six hundred pounds each. The company now employ 450 men. The labor expense of the mine last year was 56 per cent of total underground cost, while supplies, timber, machinery, fixtures, etc., cost 44 per cent of total underground expenses.

The company handle about two hundred thousand tons of rock per year.

The cost of the timber—logs, squared timber, etc.—for supports and other purposes, used in the mines underground, is about $1,000 per month.

The acreage of the company's mineral land is 1,660.

The capital stock of this company is $1,250,000, divided into 50,000 shares of $25 each. The net profit of the company for 1881 was $180,376.60. A dividend of $50,000 was declared and paid January 2, 1882.

The mine is well equipped and efficiently managed by its skilled and intelligent Agent, Capt. John Daniell, who has been connected with it since 1878.

The present officers are: James D. Clark, President; A. S. Bigelow, Secretary and Treasurer; Henry Brett, Clerk; J. B. Richards, Mining Captain; W. C. Watson, Surface Captain; John Gundry, Stamp-Mill Superintendent.

The Pewabic Mining Company was the first of the low grade ore mines to pay a dividend, which has always caused the mining men on Portage Lake to feel a deep interest in its affairs, and, since it has been under the able management of Capt. Johnson Vivian, its greatly improved condition is reviving the hope that it will soon reach its old-time prosperity.

This company was organized in 1853. The estate comprised 1,205 acres of land in Sections 9, 10 and 25, Township 55 north, Range 34 west. The mine was opened on the Pewabic lode, in the northwest corner of Section 25. The company owns in this section 485 acres, extending to Portage Lake. Up to 1855, the company had realized from the products of the mine the sum of $26,363, and $75,000 had been paid in assessments. In October, that year, Mr. Charles H. Palmer, the Superintendent, commenced work on an enlarged scale, which rapidly increased the products, which, in 1855, was a little over eleven tons of ingot to 1,571,281 pounds of refined copper in 1862, steadily increasing it from year to year through that period. At this time, $100,000 were paid in dividends—$25,000 more than had been paid by the stockholder on the capital stock.

The company also paid $10,200 to the Portage River improvement, and loaned $6,350 to the Portage Lake Manufacturing Company, which had just started, and whose success it was in the interest of the mining companies to promote.

In 1864, Mr. I. H. Foster succeeded Mr. Palmer, and the success attained by the Albany and Boston Company in the conglomerate belt induced him to drive a cross-cut to intersect the same lode on the Pewabic property, which work was consummated in Setpember, 1864. Encouraged by the promising appearance of the vein thus intersected, he ordered an additional set of Ball's stamps and washers for the stamp-mill; the whole bulk, 160 tons weight, was brought from Cleveland by steamer, and safely landed at the company's dock in November. By the advice of the agent, one-half of this new machinery was sold to the Franklin Mining Company. Up to this time, the Pewabic lode was the only one which had been worked. The lateral extent of the openings on this vein by the Quincy, Pewabic and Franklin Companies was about one mile, and the extreme depth was 900 feet, averaging 600 feet. Since it was fairly opened, the vein seemed to possess undiminished richness as greater depth was attained. The sum of the depths attained by the shafts in 1864 was 2,981 feet, the deepest, No. 5, being 900 feet. Many improvements were made, among which were the erection of forty dwelling houses, a new engine house on the conglomerate lode, an addition to the stamp-mill for the new machinery, a new saw-mill, with engine and boilers, and the tram-road laid with new ties and rails.

The new stamp heads were doing double the work of the old ones, and the new washers were found to add to the facility of doing the work. A new shaft house, with engine and hoisting and pumping gear, had been supplied to the Heywood Shaft on the conglomerate lode.

Up to the close of 1866, there had been paid in dividends the sum of $380,000, but in 1867 there was such a reduction in the price of copper that the company fell behind in paying expenses, and an assessment of $3 per share was levied to pay off the debts. In December of that year, an additional assessment of $2.50 a share was made, the price of labor reduced 25 per cent, and the work continued. Sixty-one shares of the Portage Lake and River Improvement Company were received, and a cash dividend of $18 per share was also declared by the Improvement Company.

In 1868, the Pewabic and Concord were consolidated.

The Pewabic and Franklin were worked much on the same plan, and were under the same management, except about one year, in which Capt. Thomas Hoskins had charge of the Pewabic. The majority of the stock in both companies was held by the same persons, and the same agent controlled the affairs of both. Capt. Richard Uren was the agent from 1864 to 1868, and during this period he introduced the skip dump in the mines, and also first brought into use the power-drill in mining work.

The product ran down from the year 1868; the assets only exceeded the liabilities by $33,000, and it was voted to suspend work on company's account in 1870. The Pewabic leased the Franklin Mine, and both mines were let to Capt. Uren on tribute for four years, he paying the company a royalty of one-seventh of the copper produced; but when the copper sold for more than 25 cents per pound, the company was to have one-half the excess above 25 cents.

In 1871, the company paid a dividend of $1 per share, and at thc close of the year 1872, there had been paid in dividends $460,000, and in assessments $225,000.

The mine was rapidly: becoming exhausted, having reached the limit of the extension of the bed on the property, and soon the company found itself involved in litigation with the owners of the southeast quarter of Section 23, for mining on their land. An annual product continued to be obtained, mainly produced from the upper levels,

and the efforts of the company were exerted, also, in the direction of endeavoring to develop the Concord property, in case of being obliged to abandon the Pewabic.

It was finally determined by the Directors to put a quietus to the vexatious litigation in which they were engaged, and to obtain a new lease of life for the mine by purchasing the quarter-section regarding the boundary between which and their own property the dispute had arisen. This property, the southeast quarter of Section 23, was owned by Messrs. Edwards and the brothers Uren, and the purchase was made in October, 1879, the consideration being $275,000. These gentlemen had bought it a few years previous of the canal company, for $25,000.

The work of extending the mine into the new ground began in November thereafter, and has since been prosecuted with all vigor and an abundant success. The mining plant has also been enlarged, and made to conform to the increase of underground work. A new trestle work, from the bottom of the incline to the stamp-mill, has been built. Previous to the new purchase in November, the underground work for the year had been confined to the bottom of the twenty-fourth level, between the Edwards land and the Franklin boundary. The lode on the new purchase was opened from ten to thirty feet wide, and is gaining rapidly in length with the increase of depth. The mine is now 1,700 feet down in the lode.

The product for 1879 was 415,565 pounds, yielding 80.99 per cent, equal to 336,475 pounds of ingot. There was an average force of sixty-four men employed.

The total receipts were $243,901.21, and the assets were $3,639.19. The number of tons of rock stamped during the year was 7.299, with an average percentage of 2.84.

In the re-organization, the number of shares were increased to 40,000, and an assessment of $10,000 per share was made. The Concord was set off as a separate organization, and some work is now being done by the company at that mine. The product is trammed from the rock-house in cars drawn by mules, to the head of the incline, four-fifths of a mile, and thence the cars descend the automatic incline to the stamp-mill on the shore of the lake. The mill is provided with four Ball's stamps, Collum's washers, and Evans' slime tables. In 1880, a new compressor and engine were procured and erected at the mine.

A new man engine has been put in, and everything on the surface and in the working of the mine shows able management.

The product of 1880 was 1,172,855 pounds of mineral, yielding 967,384 pounds of refined metal. In 1881, the mineral produced reached 2,247,657 pounds, equal to 1,872,878 pounds of refined copper. Up to July 1, 1882, the mineral smelted amounted to 945,845 pounds, yielding 781,707 pounds of ingot.

The officers are: D. L. Demmon, Secretary and Treasurer, No. 19 Congress street, Boston; Capt. J. H. Vivian, Superintendent; J. Hay, Mining Captain.

Albany & Boston Mining Company, Houghton (five miles northwest).—Opened in 1860 by the above company, made up principally by Boston men. In 1869, Messrs. J. A. Hubbell. James A. Close, Joseph Chandler, Philip Schemm, Capt. John Cliff and Charles E. Holland leased the mine from the original company for one eighth of the net product, and thus worked for some four months and surrendered at a loss of $36,000. It remained idle from the time these men surrendered it until August .10, 1881, when Capt. W. A. Dunn, C. M. Wheeler, J. H. King and James Dalliba secured an option from the original Albany and Boston Mining Company, to explore, operate and purchase within six months, for the sum of $100,000. The time of option was extended twelve months more—one and one-half years, for $25,000, and the old company relinquishing the one-fourth interest reserved in first contract. This company operated under the name of Wheeler & Co. The option would be up the 10th of February, 1883, when they intended to reorganize under the name of the Ohio Mining Company. But the option money was paid over ($125,000), on September 25, 1882, and writings of transfer delivered, and a reorganization made under the name of the Peninsula Copper Mining Company, with Charles Fargo, of Chicago, as President; C. N. Wheeler, of Marquette, as Vice President and Manager; S. W. Wheeler, Secretary; Mr. Brown, of New York, Treasurer; Directors, IV. B. Howard, Chicago, C. R. Cummings, Chicago, Charles Fargo, Chicago, C. N. Wheeler, Marquette; J. H. King, Painesville, Ohio; C. S. Brice, New York, and J. H. Dalliba, Cleveland; Capt. W. A. Dunn, Superintendent of Mine, etc.; W. L. Riley, Master Mechanic; John Wedge, Mining Captain; David Gaylord, Surface Boss; Theodore Andrews, Clerk.

Since January, 1881, a new stamp-mill was erected (1882), 35x110 feet, 54 feet high; engine and boiler house and lime house attached; a saw mill (gang, for use of mine); all of additional plant cost $35,000. Besides these improvements, the optional or present company has expended $45,000 in exploring and improving mines.

Because of the extensive improvements, etc., underground, the mine has produced, since January 1, 1881, about 4,500 tons of copper rock ready for stamping. The present company will now push the work to active operations.

The new company is capitalized at $2,500,000, which is divided into 100,000 shares of $25 each. The general management of the company will remain as heretofore, though the surface plant will be placed in perfect order and the stamping facilities increased as needed. A thorough exploration of the mine will be made with diamond drills; a hole is to be made into the west side at an angle of 45 degrees, penetrating the entire formation, and thus ascertaining the extent and character of the belts known to cross the property. The main office to be in New York City and Houghton.

The Pontiac Mine, lying adjacent on the north, being the southeast quarter of Section 13, was worked at the same time as the above, but with no noticeable result. The property is owned by the same parties.

The Quincy Mining Company is operating on the top of the bluff north of Hancock, its property lying just outside the corporate limits of the town. In productiveness it ranks second only to the Calumet and Hecla, which latter is at the head of the productive mines of the world today. The estate comprised 627 acres of mineral land, on Sections 26, 34 and 35, Town 55, Range 34, and 227½ acres of timber land in Townships 33 and 34, Ranges 33 and 32, three or four miles distant from the mine on the borders of Portage Lake.

Previous to 1856, no satisfactory progress was made, but at that time the discovery of the so called Pewabic lode on the company's property caused the outlook for the future to become cheering, and the work which had nearly ceased, was henceforth prosecuted with vigor, in the direction of opening and developing the newly discovered vein. But not until the close of 1860 did the company begin to receive any remuneration for the previous expenditures. That year the mine returned a profit of upward of $44,000. The total expenditures up to 1856 amounted to $42,097.98, and from the time of organization until August 1, 1861, the total, expenditures were $916,670, of which amount $200,000 had been derived from assessments, making it fully paid up; $600,000 were obtained from the sales of copper produced. The company had in operation sixty-four heads of Wayne's stamps and was employing a force of 185 miners. The mine adjoins the Pewabic on the west, and comprises the whole of Section 26, except the southwest quarter, and has an extension on the Pewabic vein on the property of 5,800 feet. In the following year, 1862, the company began the payment of dividends. In 1863, the product was 1,472 1472-2000 tons, yielding 82.17 per cent of ingot copper, nearly all of which was stamp work. This sold for $824,504.66. The company also purchased two sections of wood lands and paid in dividends $240,000, leaving a working capital of $120,000, and also purchased a steam tug for hauling wood and timber from the shores of Portage Lake to the location.

In 1864, the shipment was 3,102,532 pounds of mineral, yielding 82.5 per cent—2,498,574 pounds of ingot, which yielded a gross sum of $1,120,482.52, and the total expenses were $667,512.57, leaving a profit of $452,969.95 on the gross work, from which dividends to the amount of $320,000 were declared.

Further explorations for determining the value of the mineral veins on the company's property were undertaken. An adit across the formation from the Pewabic vein to the Albany and Boston conglomerate was begun. The number of men employed was 646, of whom 242 were miners. The average yield of mineral per cubic fathom was 697 pounds—562 pounds ingot. The product of the mine for 1865 was 1,360 1980-2000 tons, yielding 81.36 per cent ingot. A portion of the product wrecked in a vessel on Lake Huron occasioned a loss to the company of $20,000. The total dividends paid up to February, 1865, were $699,000; number of men employed, 654; number of miners, 212.

In 1866, the shipments of mineral were 2,529,572 pounds, yielding 83 per cent—2,114,220 pounds of ingot, which sold for $661,107.11, and the total expenses were $610,833,25, leaving a profit on the year's business of $50,273.86. A man engine, working down to the ninety-fathom level, was built at a cost of $17,448.39. The exploring, with the exception of driving the adit, was given up. The number of tons of rock treated in the stamp-mill was 49,903. The average force employed was 598 men, of whom 227 were miners.

The shipments for 1867 were $2,358,639 pounds, yielding 81.46 per cent—1,921,620 pounds ingot, from the sale of which was realized the gross sum of $437,482.75. The total expenses amounted to $363,572.02, leaving a profit for the year's work of $73,910.73, from which a dividend of $60,000 was declared. The land under cultivation was found to yield an abundance of hay, oats, potatoes, etc. Number of men employed, 370; miners, 167; cost of mineral ready for smelting, 13.63 cents per pound; cost, including smelting, sale, etc., 20 cents per pound; price received, 24 cents per pound.

In 1868, the number of barrels shipped was 1,713,248 mineral, yielding 82.34 per cent—1,410,759, and 7,182 pounds washed from the tailings, making the total of ingot 1,417,941 pounds, which sold for $357,078.39. The expenses for the year were $327,094.81, leaving for profit $29,983.58. A dividend of $2 per share was paid. There was a large falling off in the yield of the mine below that of the previous year. It was discovered that the vein had separated into two parts, the larger and more productive portion dipping nearly vertically, while the openings in the course of the work had been made in the branch vein.

The main vein was recovered by a cross-cut, and thence a system of cross-cutting and new openings had to be resorted to at a loss of time and of product. Average number of men employed, 346; of miners, 157. Total cost per pound, including smelting, sales, etc., 22.5 cents; average price per pound, sold for, 24-5/8 cents. Capt. George Hardie, who had been in the employ of the company since its organization, resigned, and was succeeded in the agency by J. N. Wright.

In 1869, the product showed that the previous falling off in yield had been but temporary, and that the vigorous work that had been undertaken had its effect in bringing the mine back to its former production. The shipments for the year were 2,878,128 pounds, which yielded 82 per cent—2,417,365 pounds of ingot copper, and sold for $520.081.87; the total expenditures were $403,573.38, leaving a margin of profits of $125,505.49 from the earnings; a dividend of $6 per share—$120,000 was declared. The man engine was extended down to the 130-fathom level. Number of tons treated in the stamp-mill, 56,767, at a cost per ton of $1.06¾. The cost of the mineral ready for smelting was 11.7 cents per pound; cost, including all expenses, 16-1/3 cents per pound; price received per pound, 21.85 cents; cost per foot for shafts, winzes and drifts was respectively $25.04, $15.98, $13.24; average price per fathom for stoping, $18.91; yield of mineral per cubic fathom, 531 pounds—446 pounds of ingot; average force employed, 429 men, of whom 210 were miners, who received $51.10 per month.

The shipments for 1870 were $2,952,742 pounds of mineral, which yielded 84 per cent—2,496.774 pounds of ingot, which yielded a gross sum of $538,170.23. The total expenditures were $383,709.67. A dividend of $4 per share was declared. Each year, a special sum of $50,000 had been set aside for insurance and contingencies. The work of the stamp mill was 55,027 tons of rock treated, at a cost of $1.15 per ton. Cost of the mineral ready for smelting, 10½ cents per pound; total cost of ingot, including sale, etc., 14.9 cents per pound; average price received, 21 cents per pound; average number of men employed, 422, including 181 miners.

In 1871, the company shipped 3,011,074 pounds of mineral, which yielded 80-1/3 per cent—2,409,501 pounds of ingot, and sold for $549,729.74. The total expenses were $365,513.50. During the year, the sum of $340,000 was paid in dividends. More ground was broken in 1871 than in the previous year, and with less yield of mineral, and a smaller percentage of ingot—due to a decrease in the richness of the vein. The machinery was procured for the introduction of steam power drills into the mine, and a rock house at the head of the railway incline was built and connected by railway with the shafts, and was furnished with Blake's crushers. The number of tons of rock treated at the stamp-mill was 59,757, at a cost per ton of $1; total cost of mineral ready for stamping, 10.6 cents per pound; cost of ingot per pound, including sale, etc., 15 3-5 cents per pound; average price received, 23.5 cents per pound. The number of men employed was 440, of whom 104 were miners.

In 1872, the shipment of mineral was 2,795,949 pounds, yielding 81.12 per cent—2,269,104 pounds ingot, which sold for $725,096.72. The total expenses were $522,107; total net earnings for the year, $213,543.67. The dividends paid during the year amounted to $350,000. The business office, which, up to 1872, had been in New York, was removed to Boston, with a new Board of Directors, and Horatio Bigelow as President, and W. R. Todd, Secretary and Treasurer. Up to this date the President had been Thomas F. Mason. Mr. A. J. Corey, former Clerk of the mine, was appointed the agent.

The number of tons of rock stamped, etc., was 60,828, at a cost per ton of $1,065. The cost of mineral per pound was 16.44 cents; the cost of the ingot per pound, 22.93 cents; amount received per pound, 32.5 cents; average number of men, 487, of whom 233 were miners. It will be seen that there was a less amount of copper obtained, while a greater amount of rock was stamped. This was due to the "pockety" character of the vein, which is rich in places, with stretches of barren ground, and in the 170th and 180 fathom levels, which were worked at this time, a less amount of productive ground was found, the lode in these levels proving comparatively lean in copper, making it necessary to break a larger quantity of ground to a given amount of mineral. The steam drills which had been on trial during the year proved too unwieldy for general mining work, and their use was abandoned, except for special purposes.

In 1873, the company shipped 3,200, 180 pounds of mineral, which yielded 81.9 per cent2 621,087 pounds of ingot, which sold for a gross sum of $722,408.47. The total expenses were $519,902.67 from the net earnings; a dividend of $8 per share was declared. During several years, the company had sold lots in Hancock, that village having been laid out in the Quincy estate. Some excellent results were obtained in 1873, which speak well for the local management. A cross-cut was started in the 180-fathom level, north of No. 1 Shaft, for the purpose of testing the ground to the eastward, and was driven 60 feet, striking a soft, healthy vein well charged with copper. Drifting to the south developed rich ground. Another cross-cut was started 130 feet south from No. 1 Shaft, which also cut the lode, and the two cross-cuts were connected in the new lode. Here a wide, rich vein was opened that yielded a large amount of stamp and barrel-work. The vein to the north of No. 2 Shaft in the lower levels having narrowed to two feet width and become hard and compact, a cross-cut was started in the 210-fathom level to the east, at a point twenty-four feet north of No. 2 Shaft, which, after being driven 60 feet through hard, compact trap, cut a promising vein that, being opened south from the cross-cut, developed to nine feet in width. The average number of men employed was 489, of whom 223 were miners.

The shipments of mineral in 1874 amounted to 3,626,350 pounds, which yielded 84.125 per cent—3,050,154 pounds ingot. This product was obtained from 67,112 tons of rock stamped, being 80 per cent of the rock hoisted. The gross earnings, with silver sold, were $656,083.16; the total expenses were $461,088.54. A dividend of $8 per share was declared. Average force employed, 468 men, of whom 234 were miners.

The largely increased yield for the year is seen to be in a great measure due to the increase of copper per fathom, showing an improvement in the character of the vein, as depth was obtained, but chiefly the advantage came from the east branch, which had been opened the year previously. This new ground proved to be of increased width and richness, giving a greater amount of stoping ground and a greater facility for working, as well as increased yield for amount of ground broken.

In 1875, the office of the company was returned to New York, and the former officials re-elected: Thomas F. Mason, President; W. R. Todd, Secretary and Treasurer.

The shipments for that season were 3,404,345 pounds of mineral, which yielded 82 per cent—2,798,281 pounds ingot, from sales of which, with the silver obtained, the gross sum of $653,168.08 was realized; the expenses aggregated $456,816.66; this balance, with other assets, constituted a sum of $485,004.14, from which two dividends, making $160,000, were paid. The mining operations of the year developed some of the peculiar changes that have ever characterized the working of the Quincy lode, which, how ever unfavorable it may sometimes appear, always has been found to recover its productiveness as the work has been pushed, so that the confidence in the lode has become so well established that, though there may be occasional cause for anxiety, there is never discouragement. There was a falling off of ninety-two pounds of mineral per fathom in the yield, and a reduction in the percentage of mineral, and it was early in the season discovered that the lode at the points which had been relied upon for the year's product was much narrower than was expected, and it became necessary to push forward with increased vigor to open new ground. Full 50 per cent more drifting and 6,000 fathoms more stoping were done than were done the year previous.

The ground to the north, toward the Pewabic, having been neglected for several years, the 180-fathom level was started in that direction, and, after passing through eighty feet of contracted, non-paying ground, opened into a wide, rich lode, which proved especially favorable. Other explorations were made that kept the openings well ahead of the needs of mining work.

There were 70,401 tons of rock stamped, at a cost of 96.5 cents per ton. Dividing the total expense by the number of pounds ingot, gives the cost per pound, ingot, 16.32 cents. The gross sales were 19 cents per pound. About 15 per cent of the rock hoisted was rejected. Average number of men employed, 504, of which 217 were miners. The year 1876 showed a larger product than had been obtained any previons year, while the sales were unprecedentedly low. The larger portion of the product came from the new ground opened to the north of No. 1 Shaft, and from the east branch deposit, north of No. 2 Shaft, and the resources of the lode at these points gave no indications of being exhausted.

The year's shipments aggregated 3,815,850 pounds of mineral, which yielded 80.53 per cent ingot, equal to 3,073,171 pounds ingot. The number of tons of rock treated at stamp-mill was 44,177; the number of tons of poor rock rejected was 10,026; the cost per ton for treating the rock was 91 cents; the total gross receipts for copper and silver were $591,226.66, and the total expenses, $461,032.48, which latter amount, divided by the number of pounds ingot, gives 15 cents the cost per pound; the average price received was 16 cents; the average number of men employed, 510, of whom 227 were miners, who received average contract wages of $47.13; dividends amounting to $160,000 were paid.

During the year 1877, the copper interests continued depressed, but a greater economy in the company's expenses resulted in a saving of $5,000 in the running expenses for about the same amount of work as had been done the year previous. No additional sinking was done in the main shafts, the underground work being mainly done in the way of pushing the levels to the north and south. The shipments for the year were 3,450,150 pounds of mineral, yielding 82.23 per cent, equal to 2,837,014 pounds ingot, which sold for, including silver, $506,057.90. The expenses were $399,407.20; a dividend of $5 per share was declared. The number of tons of rock stamped was 75,307, at a cost of 94.9 cents per ton. The expenditures divided by the number of pounds of refined copper show a cost per pound of 13.5 cents; the average price received was 15 cents; average number of men employed, 474, of whom 249 were miners.

The original charter of the company having expired in March, 1878, a new company was formed, retaining the same title, under the general mining laws of the State of Michigan, with a capital stock of $1,000,000, divided into 40,000 shares of $25 each The year's product continued to be obtained chiefly from the new openings in the north and south ends of the mine, but a low percentage in yield of the rock stamped compelled the stoping of upward of 1,000 fathoms additional ground to make up the deficiency in mineral. The pockety character of the lode was unusually manifest, affording an increased amount of mass and barrel work, being 48 per cent of the whole product. Many of the new openings were in unproductive ground, and a good deal of care and energy was requisite to keep up the product. In the progress of the underground explorations, constant use has been made of the diamond drill, and it has been found that by no other available means could so much have been accomplished.

The average assays for the year of the waste sands show a loss of only 185-1,000 of 1 per cent. The shipments for the year were 3,554,210 pounds of mineral, yielding 84.18 per cent, equal to 2,991,050 pounds of ingot; receipts, $447,510.50; expenses, $401,849.17. In 1879, the shipments were 3,161,175 pounds, which yielded 83.5 per cent, equal to 2,639,958 pounds of refined copper. The total sales were $445,506.44; the total expenses, $382,064.75; the total profits were $75,541.70; assets January 1, 1880, $455,567.93; dividend, $3 per share. A saving of $18,000 in expenses was made as compared to the previous year. The openings were in poor ground, and a large extent of hard, narrow lode was encountered; 3,000 tons less of rock were stamped than the year before.

The diamond drill explorations were continued through the year, but the only discovery made of importance was that north of the man engine winze, in the 230-fathom level; cross-cuts were started to reach this ground. The air-compressing machinery was increased, it having become established that in mining work the power-drill is one of the chief elements of success. The increase of facility enabled the use of five additional Rand's drills. The man engine was carried down to the 240-fathom level.

On the last day of the year 1879, the rock-house was burned to the ground; a serious matter in the light of expense, and still more as occasioning delay in the production of mineral. Preparations were immediately made for the building of a new rock-house, and it was completed in March, 1880. It is situated at the top of the bluff, and it is connected with the stamp-mill, on the bank of the lake, by a double-track, gravity-incline, 2,200 feet in length. The track connecting the shafts with the rock-house is 1, 465 feet in length, and the cars conveying the rock, which run over this track, are drawn by wire rope and stationary engine.

The largest mass ever found in the mine is now being cut up in the 170th level, about fifty feet north from No. 2 Shaft, and weighs about twenty tons. The masses usually found are not to exceed five tons in weight. The product is about 40 per cent mass and barrel work, and 60 per cent stamp. Two loaded cars go down at a time on the incline, and two empty ones ascend the track. The cars have a capacity of two tons each. The mill has eighty Wagner's stamps. In October, the yield of mineral from the-stamp rock was 4.5 per cent; for the year 1880, it is 2.5 per cent. The percentage of mineral from the rock, for the entire period since the mill started has been from 1¾ to 2¾ per cent. In 1878 and 1879, the percentage of yield ran the lowest of any period, but in 1880 the mine again resumed its normal condition of productiveness.

The product for 1880 is 2,201 tons 140 pounds, yielding 82 per cent of ingot copper. Total dividends paid, $2,390,000.

The shipment for 1880 was 6,576,755 pounds of mineral, or 5,506;848 pounds of refined copper. The product prepared for shipment was 6,815,485 pounds, viz.: 6,193,190 pounds of stamp copper, and 622,295 pounds of mass copper, for which was realized $1,036,175.90. The sale of silver yielded $2,280.94. The total expenses were $572,018.45. The total profits for the year, with interest—$6,153.36—amounted to $472,591.75. In February, 1881, a dividend of $8 per share was paid, which, with the $3 paid in April, shows a total payment or dividend of $440,000 for the year. During the year 1880, twelve additional power-drills were introduced, and water works to supply the mine engines with water, and for use in case of fire, and for other purposes, were constructed. These expenditures, together with the purchase of one of Rand's duplex air compressors for driving the drills, the erection of a building for the compressor, new machine shop, shaft house, warehouse addition, sand wheel and building, with the completion of the dwelling erected for the mine agent's residence, added largely to the construction expense; but the additions thus made to the mine plant will doubtless furnish facilities for maintaining an increased production, with fewer miners than it would otherwise have been necessary to employ.

They are making constant explorations with the diamond drill, which exposes the location of the deposits, and saves a large expense which would otherwise be incurred in working barren rock to get at the pockets, or to discover the track of faulted veins.

They have had nine No. 3 and seven No. 2 Rand drills in operation, since February, 1882, which has reduced the corps of miners from 210 to 110. Some of the reduction in the force, however, is due to the use of higher explosives, as the Hercules and Excelsior. Since 1881, they have added a new boiler-house of stone, 92x50 feet, and have set eight new tubular boilers, in order to do away with the old boilers in the various buildings, by which the danger of fire in the wooden structures was greatly enhanced, and design to run all the machinery from this one center. They have also erected a fine stone building for a machine shop, and equipped it with first-class engines, lathes and machinery. The mine has been sunk over 2,200 feet, and is down to the twenty-ninth level, in nearly all of which extensive drifting and stoping has been done, driving north from No. 2 and south from No. 4 shafts, and except the twenty-ninth level, connected between shafts.

Officers are as follows: Thomas F. Mason, President; William R. Todd, Secretary and Treasurer, No. 4 Exchange street, New York; F. G. White, Agent; John Cliff, Mining Captain, Hancock, Mich.

The Ryan Mine.—Edward Ryan & Brother explored the amygdaloid country in September, 1882, on Sections 21 and 22, Township 54 north, Range 33 west, six miles southwest of Houghton. They bored thirty feet into rock, and started their shafts. The indications of rich amygdaloid, with a sixteen-feet width of lode, warrant the highest expectations.

The South Pewabic Copper Company began mining work in March, 1865, having organized under the general mining laws of the State, with a capital stock of $500,000; office, in Boston; William B. Frue, Superintendent. The mine was opened on the south side of Portage Lake, on what was thought to be the Pewabic lode, on the south half of Section 4, Township 54, Range 34. The lode opened ten feet in width, and was estimated to yield 2.5 per cent, but subsequent experience proved the vein rock to yield about 1 per cent of copper; $120,000 of the capital stock was paid in, which, in the next three years, was increased, so that the paid-up capital was $497,000, while the total expenses amounted to $1,105,464.98. The liabilities were $134,250, and the bonded indebtedness was $63,517. Under such a condition of affairs, the stockholders naturally lost interest in the concern, and failed to attend meetings when there was little except failure to be reported, and reasons given why renewed calls for assessments should be made. Finally, the capital stock being exhausted, the company went into bankruptcy, and the property was sold to the parties who formed the Atlantic.

St. Mary's Copper Mining Company.—This company was also organized in 1863, and owned the north half of Section 18, Township 55, Range 33, being about three miles north of Hancock. The great success which attended the Quincy, Pewabic and Franklin Mines led to the organization of several companies, for the purpose of working the extension of the Pewabic lode on the lands which it crossed to the north. Among them was the St. Mary's, which began work in 1863, by sinking three shafts to the depth. respectively, of fifty feet, seventy-five feet and one hundred feet, in the Mesnard epidote vein, which lode also crosses the property, and was thought, then, to be a very promising one. A small amount of copper was taken out, in value about $1,400, and an assessment was made of $50,000, which was expended on surface improvements and mining work. The corporators were Boston gentlemen. Fred Beck, Secretary and Treasurer, Boston, Mass.

The Schoolcraft Mining Company.—This company was organized in 1863. Its property adjoined that of the Calumet and Hecla on the north. It began work on the Calumet and Hecla conglomerate belt that year, and sank three shafts, which worked without profit from 1868 to 1875, when farther work was abandoned. The next year (1876), the entire property was sold at bankrupt sale, and passed into the hands of the Centennial Copper Mining Company, which was organized that year, and began operations upon the Osceola amygdaloid vein. For description of the land and further information, see history of the Centennial following.

The Sheldon & Columbian.—This mine is on the southeast quarter of Section 36, Township 55, Range 34, adjoining the Grand Portage Mine. Work began on the location in August. 1853, under the Albion Mining Company. The property was first purchased by James Page, and called the Cacique. The operations closed in 1857. In 1860, a new company, named the Columbian, purchased the property, and work was resumed in June of that year, continuing until the suspension of 1861. In 1862, work was resumed, and a cross-cut to the Isle Royal lode started. A pumping and hoisting engine was introduced in 1863. Up to March, 1864, the new company received from assessments $130,000, and $2,281 from the sale of 7,254 pounds of ore, yielding 5,496 pounds of copper. In 1864, the name was changed to the Sheldon & Columbian Company, and the location extended to Portage Lake. The property is valued et $125,000. The mineral product for 1865 was 160,988 pounds, yielding '71.5 per cent. which sold for $35,099.49. The expenditures for that year were $120,000. In 1866, a stamp-mill was built and fitted with two Ball's stamps. The Sheldon property was the south fractional half of the northeast fractional quarter of Section 36, so that the combining of the two companies gave to the new company the whole territory to the lake, thus affording dockage and site for stamp-mill, etc. The company shut down in about 1870, and the mine has since been worked to some extent on tribute. All the portable mining plant has been sold, including the Ball's stamps, which latter were purchased by the Osceola Company. The building, etc., yet remains standing. The company has called in $23 per share, equal to $460,000 of its capital stock, for the expenditure of which it has little now to show. The product for 1880 is 46,931 rounds of refined copper. The property is controlled by J. H. Forster, Houghton, Mich.

The Tamarack Mining Company.—One of the most interesting projects lately undertaken on Lake Superior is that begun by the Tamarack Mining Company, which company was organized in January, 1882, with a capital stock of $1,000,000, divided into 40,000 shares. The company is an offshoot of the Mineral Land Company, and the latter has set off to the Tamarack 1,280 acres of land in Sections 10, 11, 14, 15, being the north half and the north half of the southwest quarter and northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 15, and the southwest quarter and west half of the southeast quarter, and southeast quarter of the southeast quarter, and northeast quarter of northeast quarter of Section 10, and west half of east half of southeast quarter and southeast quarter of northeast quarter of Section 11, and west half of southwest quarter of Section 14, Township 56, Range 33.

The company has begun the work of sinking a vertical shaft near the southeast corner of the property; that is, near the southeast corner of the west half of southwest quarter of Section 14, giving a length of lode between the south and east boundaries of the eighty, where it will be intersected by the downright shaft of about five hundred feet. The work is in charge of Capt. Daniels, of the Osceola. In fact, the men who are at the bottom of the enterprise are the same parties who control the Osceola—J. D. Clark, Erastus Corning, etc.—and represent a large capital. The plan of the Tamarack Mining Company is to go down with a vertical shaft. At a depth of about six hundred feet, this would tap the Allouez conglomerate, and easy cross-cuts would prove that lode several hundred feet deeper than it has yet been seen, and admit of the rapid opening of an extensive mine. This alone, as a mining venture, would deserve careful consideration.

Underlying the Allouez lode, and between it and the Calumet conglomerate, which will be reached at a depth of 2,100 feet, are a series of amygdaloid beds or lodes which have not been examined in the county of Houghton, except at the surface. Some of these, in Keweenaw County, are copper producing. The fact that a valuable amygdaloid was most unexpectedly encountered in the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company's cross-cut, east, at the thirteenth level, lends an importance to this enterprise. After reaching the Calumet conglomerate, less than six hundred feet of sinking will expose the Osceola amygdaloid. A system of crosscuts, with modern mining facilities inexpensive and expeditious, would, from the depth last named, make available about eighteen hundred feet in length of the most productive copper lode in the world.

The Osceola amygdaloid is now proved to be an important and profitable copper-producer, and it should be noted that the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company, in crosscutting to reach this lode, made the discovery before alluded to, thus proving the existence of an important, and, at the point of discovery, rich lode, which also dips into this property. Consequently, the Tamarack Mining Company will have placed in its hands the opportunity of working three of the best known and defined belts of the country, to say nothing of those on which comparatively no examination has before been made. The Tamarack land on which the lode is sinking "corners in" on the Calumet & Hecla. The shaft is started as far east as practicable, so as to strike the lode as near the surface as possible. Early in September, 1882, the shaft was sunk fifteen feet, and, the week prior, it was sunk fourteen feet, and was, on September 15, down 300 feet. It is estimated by the Superintendent that it will take three years to sink this shaft to the depth of the Calumet lode, at the rate of sixty feet per year. Three beds of amygdaloid, like the Pewabic, have already been intersected.

The Wolverine Mine is a new mine of great promise. Its estate comprises 400 acres, located on the southwest quarter of Section 5, northwest quarter of Section 8, and north half of northeast quarter of Section 7, Township 56 north, of Range 32 west, and was originally owned by Capt. R. Uren and Mr. Edwards, but is now under the management of the gentlemen comprising the management of the Lake Superior Native Copper Works. The mine is located on Section 7, and, from present indications, is believed to be one of the richest copper deposits on Lake Superior. Work was commenced on this mine in September, 1881, and, up to the present time, Nos. 1 and 2 Shafts have been sunk eighty-five feet. The copper produced in sinking these shafts has more than paid all the expenses of the mine. An adit is being driven from the surface to Nos. 1 and 2 Shafts, which will drain the mine of all surface water. Between the shafts, some very heavy mass copper has been taken out. No. 3 Shaft, in which is also found a rich copper-bearing lode, has been started, and will be sunk to the adit level. The distance between the shafts is about four hundred feet. All the necessary hoisting machinery is in place, and a stamp-mill will be erected at once capable of treating the product of the mine.

The Wolverine has, without doubt, developed, from the beginning of operations to the present time, a more encouraging, not to say remarkable, wealth of copper ground than was ever exposed by the same amount of work, and in a like period of time, in the Lake Superior copper region.

Charles H. Palmer has recently completed the survey of a railroad line from the mine to the proposed location of the stamp-mill, in the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of Section 4, Town 56, Range 32. The road will run almost entirely through the property of the Wolverine, touching the Kearsarge at the southeast corner. The total length of the level portion is about three thousand feet, with a fall in the whole distance of forty feet. The total length of the incline will be about fourteen hundred feet, with a fall of two hundred feet.

Three branches of Trap Rock River can be brought into the mill, and will furnish all the water required at a height of forty feet above the wash floors. The distance from which the water will have to be brought by launder will be about two thousand feet. Mr. Palmer is of the opinion that a more desirable site for a stamp-mill could not be found anywhere on the range.

The Wolverine Mining Company was organized March 1, 1882, Thomas Edwards having 29,000 shares, Richard Uren 10,000 shares, and I. P. Edwards 100 shares, all of Houghton. F. W. Edwards became President; E. R. Pemberthy was elected Secretary and Treasurer; and Richard Uren, Agent. March 3, T. W. Edwards transferred to the .company 15,000 shares, and R. Uren 5,000 shares, to be set aside as a working capital, and it was decided to sell 5,000 shares, at $5 per share, to raise the funds to add the necessary mining plant. Since then, 5,000 more shares have been placed, at $6 per share, for the same purpose.


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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