Aug 20-15

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2015: August: Aug 20-15
Delaware Mine    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul & Nathalie Brandes
Mine entrance    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul & Nathalie Brandes
Mine tunnel #1    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul & Nathalie Brandes
Mine tunnel #2    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul & Nathalie Brandes
Stope    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul & Nathalie Brandes
One man drill    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul & Nathalie Brandes
Prehistoric Mining Pit    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul & Nathalie Brandes

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 08:04 am:

Paul and Nathalie Brandes take us on a tour of the Delaware Copper Mine in Keweenaw County. Capt. Paul told me that Dr. Nat had not been there before this trip and it had been 10 years since he toured this mine, so it was time to check it out. Here's what he had to say about the expedition:

"After we talked with Tom Poynter, we discovered they have made a lot of changes since the last time I was there. For one, they now have electricity! For years, they had relied on a generator to supply power to their residence, gift shop, and underground lighting. Now that they have electricity, not only have they lit up more of the underground workings, they have also expanded the self-guided tour to the No. 3 shaft, a distance of over 1,400 feet from the bottom of the stairs at the No. 1 shaft. The tour still follows the first level of the mine, approx. 100 feet below the surface. Like C&H, Delaware followed a conglomerate copper vein at a 24 degree angle down to the 10th level, approx. 1,440 feet below the surface; however, everything below the first level is flooded with water.

Before you enter the mine, you watch a short video. Part of that video documents where divers dove down to the 4th level to explore the workings. Apparently this group dives there every year to explore more areas that are accessible.

Also part of the tour is an ancient trench where the pre-historic peoples searched for copper in the hillside. In fact, many of the mines up here got their start in the 1840s because they (the mining companies) drove shafts either on or very near pre-historic pits all along the Peninsula."
Quite interesting to be able to go down underground and see what it was like back in the mining days here in the Keweenaw. Like their website says: It's a unique combination of entertainment and education.
Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 08:10 am:

Nice pix and tour! Photos are probably the only way I will see it, because I think claustrophobia would get the better of me.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 08:14 am:

I panic at just the thought of taking that tour

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 08:15 am:

I'm with Alex. I love looking at the pictures,
but you won't get me in there for anything.

Thanks for taking me somewhere I'd never go.

By Allen W. Philley (Allen) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 08:22 am:

There are some videos online of the mine divers.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 08:26 am:

Well, there you have it Capt. Paul and Dr. Nat; The rest of us are all a bunch of wusses :-(

By below the bridge (Wolterdr) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 08:52 am:

(is it "stope", or SLOPE?)...

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 09:07 am:

Count me among the 'wusses', Alex, 'cause I'm claustrophobic too! Sorry Capt. Paul and Dr. Nat.:-/

By Donna (Donna) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 09:29 am:

I went down there years ago, one Halloween night. It
was "done up" for Halloween...quite the experience!

Thanks for this awesome info!

By Walter M Sands (Wsands) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 09:35 am:

My greatgrandparents were married here in 1862,at that time it was called the Pennsylvania Mine.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 09:46 am:

Thanks 4 sharing. I've never seen the inside of a mine other than in movies or TV.

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 09:53 am:

Below the Bridge - it is sTope:

noun: stope; plural noun: stopes

1. a steplike part of a mine where minerals are being extracted.

verb: stope; 3rd person present: stopes; past tense: stoped; past participle: stoped; gerund or present participle: stoping

1.(in mining) excavate a series of steps or layers in (the ground or rock).

By Just me (Jaby) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 10:28 am:

the photos today are very interesting. i have not done
a mine tour for quite awhile.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 10:39 am:

Finally got a chance to look at one of my favourite websites and saw some very familiar photos! Thank you Mary for choosing these. They were quite challenging to get but I think they came out well.

The photos don't do the mine justice though. It's actually not that small in there and well lit. Other than the stairs down, it's also a relatively dry mine for the area.

By Bob Williams (Wabbit) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 11:09 am:

Capt. Paul...I wonder whether the trenches are from the ancient miners or from the 1840's exploration of the area.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 03:42 pm:

Capt. Paul (Eclogite):
" Other than the stairs down, it's also a relatively dry mine for the area. "

1. Oh foo, so it's not "accessible" to wobbly-legged ol' fossils like myself? 😢
2. The stairs down are wet?

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 06:05 pm:

It is possible to tell the difference between ancient mining pits and trenches and more modern ones. Copper culture palaeoindians used hammerstones and possibly fire to break the rock and get to copper. Modern miners used metal tools and blasting agents. The result of these different tools and techniques leaves different patterns and marks in the rock.

I am no expert in the Copper Culture, but I have done significant work on the history of mining in Europe. Some mines, for example in Kongsberg, Norway, operated from the early 1600s to the mid 1900s. Initially rock was broken using firesetting, which results in rock surfaces that are very smooth. Later workings were opened using explosives, which leaves jagged rock surfaces. Thus, from this simple observation, you can tell what technique was used in mining.

By David C Cloutier (Dccloutier) on Friday, August 21, 2015 - 08:42 am:

I have been reading about the prehistoric mining in the UP for several years and Dr. Nat is correct. In addition, they carbon dated some of the timbers that were recovered from the ancient mines to 3,000 to 5,000 thousand years ago. And some estimates even say the mining began around 7,000 years ago. Here are a couple of links to articles about the prehistoric copper mining and the miners culture. It is really interesting.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Friday, August 21, 2015 - 06:54 pm:

I'm probably a wuss too, but I'd love to have taken that tour in
honor or my grandfather, Carl Ohman. He worked so hard to
support his family by working in the mines before the Big Strike.
After that, he turned his hand to farming. It wasn't his strong suit.
Thanks Cap. and Doc. for bringing us along for the ride.

By James W. Hird (Wvyooper) on Saturday, August 22, 2015 - 07:59 am:

guess I need to add them to the list again next time I get to Da UP. I
have not been there in a while either and it sounds like the
additions are great.

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