June 09-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: June: June 09-07
Central Sign    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Bill Haller

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 07:06 am:

There's a story behind every sign you'll find in the U.P. This one happens to be at Central Mine, guarding the shaft where many-a-man lost a life in this hazardous occupation. Bill Haller has a rich collection of mining era signs and sights in the Guest Gallery, which has been re-opened this week, with new and improved software, and tons more storage space.

I noticed somewhere recently that the Mandan Mine down the road from here is only about 300 feet, which makes Central around 10 times deeper. The sign refers to a Cornish Ballad "Sad News from Central Mine", which I've been trying to locate with no success. Anybody have any leads?

A couple of things come to mind about today's picture. First, the 14th gathering of the Cornish Cousins coming this summer, along with many other reunions, celebrations, and gatherings (don't forget Pasty Fest in Calumet on June 30). Secondly, I am frequently asked if Pasty Central got its name because of Central Mine. This website and project was actually named as a result of a casual comment by a visitor to pasty.com in the early days, when all we had were recipes and links about pasties, before we started posting tens of thousands of U.P. pictures. The early comment was, "You guys are really a 'pasty central' ". And so the name stuck.

By Charles In Esky (Charlesinesky) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 09:00 am:

I am looking forward to hearing Bill Haller at the U.P. History
Conference coming up in Ontonagon June 22-24. Mr. Haller will
give the luncheon address on Saturday, June 23. He calls it
"High Explosives in the Upper Peninsula, 1868-1960." I could
say something cheesy like "I bet it will be a blast," but I won't
since this is a high-class website. I bet it will be very
interesting, though, with lots of great pics.

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 09:05 am:

Charlie, historian Larry Molloy reads the entire moving verse on his regional bus tour during the Copper Country Mineral Retreat week.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 09:22 am:

Very interesting. News from the past often leads to an interesting story today.

By allen philley (Allen) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 09:22 am:

Wished I could visit, but my life keeps getting in the way. I really wished I could meet at Clifton on July 12 to see the pictures and walk the Town/Mine site, with the Keweenaw Co. Hist. Soc. that would be my perfect day trip.I Love the Copper Country.

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 11:29 am:


Mrs. Bill found the complete verse for the Sad news from Central Mine on page 136 of Cecil Todd's, THE CORNISH MINER IN AMERICA.

By June A. Peterson (Jap) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 12:47 pm:

Now that you have us all curious, you'll have to put the words to that ballad on here when someone actually finds them.

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 03:18 pm:

There are 90 plus lines to the ballad; a little rude to post all that here.

By Joann Niemerg (Joannniemerg) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 03:44 pm:


This may be what you're looking for. Let us know if anyone finds anything else.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 04:56 pm:

Central Mine has had a very colourful history. Below is a piece from an article I wrote about Central on a website devoted to mineralogy:

The Central Mine is located on a fissure deposit and consists of 4 shafts and 2 adits. The Central Mining Company was organized in 1854 and has the distinction of being the first mine to turn a profit in its first year of operation. Work continued until 1898 when all operations ceased. It was sold to the Frontenac Copper Company in 1905 and later absorbed by Calumet & Hecla. In its 44 years of operation, the Central produced 51 million lbs. of refined copper and a large amount of silver. This mine is a favorite of collectors for its wide variety of minerals that can be found.

Central was one of the most successful fissure mines of the Keweenaw, and quite a large operation by the time it closed. As mentioned above, the Central had 4 shafts, all vertical, and #2 was the deepest. However, if I remember correctly, #2 only went down about 1,800 ft, or 200 fathoms and the entire length of shafts onsite was somewhere around 3,500 ft. Granted, I'm doing this from memory, but when I get back home tonight, I will research it a little further and see if I'm right, or making a fool of myself and I'm wrong (it's been known to happen on occasion ;-)

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 05:12 pm:

There's a nice song by White Water about Central Mine, but I don't
think it is an old one. Naturally, I can't find my CD of it right now.
I think it's the "Family Album." Come to think of it, it might be in
my dad's car. He and I like to listen to music about the UP as we
are driving there, and we both love White Water.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 05:16 pm:

Joann--Very interesting. Do you think some of these people might
be buried in the old Cornish Cemetery? Maybe I'll have a look this
summer when I am UP.

By Eloise (Mrsbill) on Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 08:26 pm:

Joann -

Thanks - this is the Cornish Ballad we found in the CORNISH MINER IN AMERICA book by Arthur Cecil Todd - thank you for finding it online to share with everyone.

History is truly brought alive by these signs and songs, and we all share in their loss of loved ones in this tragedy at Central.

Eloise (Mrs. Bill)

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