Copper Mines & Mining - Companies

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• This picture should be titled Mass Consolidated Mining Company B Shaft"The photographer of this picture (as well as many others of this same viewpoint) was taken from the poor rock pile of the Evergreen Bluff Mine which was located on the bluff higher than B Shaft. The house on the bottom right is part of the Evergreen Bluff community (The Evergreen Bluff Mine was one of the early mines of the area, starting as an organized mining company in 1853 and was eventually bought by the Mass Consolidated Mining Company (MCMC) in 1912. B Shaft was started in 1900 and the poor rock pile pictured is fairly large and the pile is following the property line between the MCMC property and the Evergreen property.The B Shaft structure was the most significant structure of the MCMC. It is the rail load out for both A Shaft and B Shaft and most of the tons of copper ore were shipped from this location (S Shaft became the third shaft that shipped the rest of copper ore and eventually got it's own rock house and rail load 1906). A Shaft is in the distance connected by the elevated trestle (shown on the opposite side of the B Shaft Structure). A Shaft was originally the Ridge Mine Shaft #3. Copper ore from A shaft is hoisted out of the ground and transferred onto tram cars which would then make their way down the elevated trestle into the overhead railroad loadout bins of B Shaft. The Evergreen lode of vein dips into the earth at a 43 degree angle to the left of this photo. The rails for the skip cars are going into the ground to the left of this photo. The small building to the left of the B Shaft structure is covering the shaft. Miners either climbed down ladderways at this point or got into the skips to ride down. As kids, my father and his friends would dare each other as to how far they would climb down the wooden ladders into B Shaft. The building smoking in the distance is the Engine House for both B Shaft and A Shaft. The MCMC used a dual hoist system. As the skip car was going down in A Shaft it would pulling up the skip car in B Shaft. The stanchions from B Shaft to the Engine house can be clearly seen between the large poor rock pile of B Shaft. The hoist cable would run on pulleys between the Engine House and B Shaft.You can also see an elevated rail trestle to the left of the Engine House. Coal was shipped from the MCMC wharf at the MCMC Stamp Mill at Keweenaw Bay and unloaded in a stockpile which was parallel to the Engine House. Coal was the fuel used to create the steam for the hoists, the air compressor, and the electrical generator. You can barely see the railroad trestle just above the circular blemish of the photograph at the end of the top of the poor rock pile of B Shaft. This is where the Mineral Range entered the MCMC property and crossed the Flintsteel River. The end of that Mineral Range line is literally a couple hundred feet beyond B Shaft (just below the photographer). You can barely see the MCMC mine office which is to the right of the opposite side of the trestle (in-between the evergreens). This was the original mine office of the Ridge Mine (Organized in 1856 and bought by the MCMC in 1899). The Ridge Mine was one of the few "dividend" paying copper mines of Ontonagon County and was the "heart" of the Mass Consolidated Mine. The MCMC and the Minesota were the others. A Shaft was originally Ridge #3 Shaft and when the MCMC took over the shaft was already down over 500 feet (possible 700 feet) and was "dewatered" and put to work immediately. B and C shaft were started from the ground level. The Ridge as well as the MCMC was known for its native silver - a half breed of pure native silver and copper is shown as a specimen labeled "The Ridge Mine" in the mineralogy museum at Harvard. Harvard at one time actually trained mining engineers.Ridge Shafts #2 and #3 were located along the elevated tramway between A Shaft and B Shaft. "
3/9/2007 1:47:35 PM by Anonymous