Jan 28-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: January: Jan 28-08
Marquette in winter    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by E. Neil Harri
Empire Mine and Palmer    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by E. Neil Harri
Tilden and Empire Mines    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by E. Neil Harri

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 06:00 am:

Up, up and away...that's what E. Neil Harri was busy doing with his trusty camera in tow. Flying over Marquette, he snapped a great shot, showing much of the town and the harbor. If you have a high speed connection (like Pasty.NET's wireless or DSL), then look at the full size photo to get a view with more detail. Maybe you can spot someone you know down below.

Neil also did some checking on the mines in the Ishpeming area, the Empire Mine first, with the little town of Palmer in the photo too. If you look above the steam in this photo, you can see the active working area. Again, for more detail, click on the big picture. The other mining shot is the Tilden Mining operation and the Empire again, all in one capture. You can also zoom in for a closer look at this view in Neil's gallery album.

Thanks for the mini-tour today, Neil. I'm hoping Capt. Paul is tuned in today and can give us some information on the Empire and Tilden mining operations here. :->

By Smfwlk (Trollperson) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 06:00 am:

Thanks for the nice pictures!

By Paul Oesterle (Paulwebbtroll) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 06:23 am:

Great pictures as usual Neil!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 07:21 am:

Thanks for the pictures. Where's the lighthouse?

By Alison P (Ricelakealison) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 07:43 am:

Very interesting! It looks like there are plans for expansion...sound good for jobs
August 17, 2007
PALMER, Mich. (AP) An Ohio company that runs two iron ore mines in Michigan's Upper Peninsula said Thursday it would build a plant there to supply raw materials for the type of mill that makes most U.S.-generated steel.

The new facility will extend by at least 15 years the life of Empire Mine, where operations had been likely to end after 2010, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. executives said.

It will produce about 500,000 tons of iron ore nuggets a year for ''mini mills,'' which use recycled scrap as a key ingredient in steel.

Previously, the company's mines in Michigan, Minnesota and Canada have made only iron pellets for traditional ''integrated'' mills, which manufacture steel from iron ore and coke.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 08:05 am:

Marquette...one of my favorite towns. I am trying to identify the Nordic Bay Lodge where I usually stay but I think it is just out of view in the first shot.

By Laurie B. (Ratherberiding) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 08:50 am:

My husband works at the Empire, son is at the Tilden. Cool pics. Thanks.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 09:21 am:

From an unlearned viewer, are there any copper mineing efforts in the UP at all now? I think the White Pine Mine had ended just before my folks had moved to that area in about 1979?

By Jim Nicholas (Jimn) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 09:56 am:


By Richard A. Fields (Cherokeeyooper) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 10:55 am:

Sadly, there are no underground mines in the U.P. any longer. There also are no copper mines. There are some legacy mines that exist for different purposes, such as tourism or rock collecting though. Somewhere near Ontanogon there is one of these that is operated as a tourist/ collector operation where they still get things like dolemite. I cannot remember the name off the top of my head though. I am also unsure if the proposed mine in the area north of Marquette is underground or not.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 11:02 am:

The one near Ontonagon, if it's still open, is an old copper mine call the Adventure Mine. It used to be open for tours in the summer.

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 11:19 am:

Deb - You can't really discern the lighthouse in the small version of the photo, but in the big version you can see it out on the point above and to the right of the old ore dock - about center on the right side of the photo.

Great shots of the mines - I love to see oblique photos of the big holes in the ground. I'd love to see some for this area too, but I haven't found a good source. There's probably some at Ironworld, but I haven't been there yet.

By Musicteacher (Musicteacher) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 11:26 am:

If you want to see the inside of a mine, may I suggest a
visit to the Delaware Mine? It is one of the best
educational opportunities offered in the Copper
Country. The mine is located a few miles south of
Copper Harbor on US 41. It is seasonal and it is
always cold (even in the summer you will need a

By Uncle Chuck @ Little Betsy (Unclechuck) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 11:27 am:

Great Pictures as usual Neil thanks, wish I was in Marquette right now.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 12:46 pm:

Today has been a hectic day for me, so I'm lucky to get on here even for a little bit......

There are no large scale commercial copper mines left in the UP. The last one was White Pine and they closed in 1998. The only copper mines that operate on a small scale are the Delaware, Quincy, Adventure, and Caledonia. The Calednoia is the only one of those mines that operates as a specimen mine; meaning, they still pull copper out of the ground to sell to the wholesale market and the general public. As far as a good underground mine to see and visit, the Quincy probably has the best tour, although I'm a bit biased as I worked there for 8 years ;-) Does anyone know if the Delaware Mine is still for sale??

I believe what you are thinking Richard is datolite, not dolemite; that's found on the east side of the UP near Manistique and Saint Ignace except for one little knob near Pelkie.

The underground iron mines are an interesting tale. The first iron mine in Michigan was the famous Jackson Mine near Ishpeming. It started in 1845 and continued until about 1916. All that remains today of the Jackson is an overgrown pit. I believe the last underground iron mine in Michigan to operate was the Sherwood Mine near Iron River, which closed in 1975. The Cliffs Shaft Mine was the last underground iron mine to operate in the Marquette Range. It operated from 1867 to 1967, a full 100 years, and had a total depth of 1,357 feet.

Mel: Here is a link to the Rust-Mahoning Iron ore mine overlook that has some pictures and also some other information regarding iron ore mining in Minnesota


And in all that, I still haven't fulfilled Mary's wish of describing the mining operations at Empire/Tilden.......

By Serena Sturm (Serena) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 01:16 pm:

That was some great information Capt. Paul!

By Uncle Chuck @ Little Betsy (Unclechuck) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 04:40 pm:

Had to set her as my background, Great memories of Marquette!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 05:05 pm:

I don't know, what do you want to know about the Empire/Tilden mining operations??

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 06:11 pm:

Capt. Paul...just saw Travel Channel show last week about the Caledonia Mine near Mass City. Really interesting. Hope to get there some summer here soon She went to some geologist named Ken Flood in H/H to have her ore made into art pieces. Know of him? Enjoy all your info you give us. Thanks.

By Hilarie Alwine (Halwine) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 06:34 pm:

Don't forget that there is a great iron Mine tour in Norway! It's not copper, but it's fun to take the little train down into the mountain!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 06:57 pm:

Capt. Paul,

Your memory is quite accurate. The last underground mine to operate in the Iron River area was the Sherwood (Inland Steel). It ceased production in 1978 and the last carload of ore was shipped to Escanaba in 1979. In June 1959, several men were killed when a burning sulphur deposit broke loose into a drift, creating a 'steam pipe' effect when it came in contact with water. My cousin's husband, a family friend, and a family acquaintance died. Very hazardous mining operations those days. With many mines operating in the 40's and 50's, and several into the 60's, with the Sherwood being last to close in 1978, I can recall at least 10 miners I knew who lost their lives during my childhood, including a neighbor. Glad those days are over. The only thing good about the good ol' days is they are 'history'.

By BJmilford (Bjmilford) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 07:17 pm:

Ms Katie.....Ken and Cindy Flood own Keweenaw Gem & Gift in Houghton. It's on M-26 just south of WalMart. The building looks like the Quincy Mine. They do some nice jewelry work and have many copper gifts. Worth a stop when you're in the area

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 07:21 pm:

I LOVE that place! Got some real nice jewelry in there one time. Everything's expensive, but what items made from copper aren't? It's fun to go in there and look around. I like the one in Calumet too.

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 07:42 pm:

I have heard speculation that the highest and lowest elevations in Michigan will be within the mine boundry when it closes.I am not sure about that but it will probably be pretty close.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 07:42 am:

"Finding Cash and Treasure" on The Travel Channel is fun to watch, especially when they go to an area that you have been. I tend not to believe much what is said though; they really need a better scientific research department before they go to some of these locations and talk about the geology and history.

Of course I know Kenny Flood of Keweenaw G&G. Did a lot of work with him organizing the mineral field trips when we chaired Keweenaw Week (now Copper Country Mineral Retreat) back in 2003.

By Joe Dase (Up_miner) on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 08:15 am:


As far as Iron mines go, didn't the Mather B shut down in '79? Maybe I'm wrong but the Tracy shut down near that time as well... Mather B and Tracy were the last to operate on the Mqt Iron Range, either way.

The proposed mine is an underground mine.


By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 01:17 pm:

I forgot to jump in yesterday and add list of mining sites in Michigan

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 05:11 pm:

That's a great link Eddy; I totally forgot about that one....

By Joe Dase (Up_miner) on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 10:48 pm:

Looked through my notes on the MQT Iron Range... As far as underground Iron mines go;

1963-Greenwood Shut Down
1967-Cliffs and Champion Shut Down
1972-Tracy Mine Shut Down
1979-Mather B Shut Down

Mather was the last underground Iron mine in Michigan, and probably one of the most important mines as its ore helped develop the pellet process thats still used today.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 08:05 pm:

Oh well, I never claimed to be an expert on the iron range :P

Thanks Joe for the info......

By Barry Seymour (Bimplebean) on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 - 12:24 pm:

Great photo! I'm coming up on 30 years since I left Marquette in November of 1978, but the place is still central in my heart and I still think of it as home, even after two years in Northeast Wisconsin and 28 years (!) in California.

I've lived in San Diego, San Francisco and now Los Angeles, I've been halfway around the world twice (which is not quite the same as having been *around* the world) and I still have love for this town.

It's where I grew up, swimming in Lake Superior at McCarty's Cove, Picnic Rock or along M-28, playing as a child or going to school through the woods of Harvey, looking out over the Rock Cut, riding a struggling school bus as it tries to climb a snowy Lincoln Avenue on the way to Marquette Senior High School. I remember waiting for the sun to go down on those cold winter nights so I could fire up the AM radio and listen to WLS in Chicago. Needless to say, Christmases were the best with all that snow!

It's where my parents are laid to rest and where a big part of my heart will always remain.

Barry Seymour
Manhattan Beach, CA

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 02:18 pm:

Barry--What a lovely tribute to our mutual home town.

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