Sep 12-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: September: Sep 12-09
Prospector's Paradise    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Robert Halonen
Keweenaw Copper    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Robert Halonen
Ishpeming Copper    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul Brandes
Polished stones    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul Brandes
Quincy swap    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul Brandes
Datolite    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul Brandes

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 07:25 am:

If you're a rock collector, then today's photos are right up your alley. The first two shots were taken by Robert Halonen, of Prospector's Paradise in Allouez. You can see by Robert's photos that there are plenty of rocks to peruse there, where the shop is advertised as "A world class rock shop and ancient copper culture museum."

The remaining photos were taken by Paul Brandes (a.k.a Capt. Paul), with the first two from the Ishpeming Rock Show. It looks like there was a good variety of copper specimens, along with another table of some colorful and uniquely cut gem stones.
The last two shots come from the Quincy Mineral Swap, where Capt. Paul captured none other than Dr. Nat, engaged in some rock shopping. Then lastly, a great looking display of datolite, all shined up and ready for a rock hound to add it to their collection.

All these rock shopping photos got me thinking and wondering how weighted down Capt. Paul and Dr. Nat were on their return trip to Texas? I bet they had a carload of new specimens along with them for that long drive back south. :->

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 07:30 am:

My hubby always wants to stop wherever there are rocks. He is one of those in heaven when there are rocks around. Rocks are okay, but they don't float my boat the way they do Mr. Deb. I have to admit to being excited when he finds a nice sized agate around here on his trips to the gravel pit across the street, though.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 08:58 am:

I usually hit them with the lawnmower

By Mike (Upboundeh) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 11:34 am:

Collecting or skipping them is a favorite hobby of our family!

By Barbara Whiteside (Bobbeo60) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 12:20 pm:

We were visiting with our oldest granddaughter....11 year old Charlotte...her first trip to the Upper Peninsula....had a chance to go to the Ishpeming Rock Show...surprised me...she was fascinated and brought home a variety of rocks...I was impressed as well. Very nice show...then a jaunt to the Ishpeming Renaissance Faire with a friend and Charlotte....also impressive and fun. Some very interesting booths with a ton of history being shared. Y'all know how to make good use of the summer months.

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 12:31 pm:

I still have rocks from the UP, and it was over 40 years ago that I lived there! But I have to confess that I've never understood exactly what an agate is. Someone help me, please.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 01:20 pm:

My youngest brother made me a cross from an agate. I always meant to take it to a jeweler and have them put a hook of some kind on it to put it on a chain. I guess I never did because I am always afraid of losing it somehow. Sure did turn out nice though. He made it a loooooong time ago. Now that my youngest brother is gone, I am afraid I will lose it somehow.

By John Preisler (Jpreisler) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 02:11 pm:

My two favorite rocks from the UP are a bit of native copper I have with a tiny silver inclusion, and a handful of taconite pellets I picked up by the shore in Esky.

Someday I'm going to find an agate on Agate Beach, too.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 04:28 pm:

I have one small piece of mine rock from our driveway so that I can remember where I came from and also to remember that I used to be able to walk on those rocks in my bare feet. Not any more. My dad did tell me that I would have to wear shoes when I moved to the big city.

By Lisa R. (Sisugirl) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 05:33 pm:

Neat pictures! I haven't been to these shops and rock shows, although I'm developing a fine little collection of my own. Speaking of rocks and Capt. Paul, thank you Capt. Paul for the correction on my description of the geologic formations around the Lake of the Clouds on August 20. The source of my research said that the Porcupine Mountains is "a continuation of the same copper-bearing bedrock found on the Keweenaw Peninsula." Either my interpretation of that was incorrect or the source, a Wikipedia page with credible references, was incorrect. (Just because it had references doesn't mean it was correct, right? :)) Either way, thank you so much for the very knowledgeable, detailed, and dare I say, *correct* information! :) Best regards, Lisa

By Anna Roehrich (Updreamer) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 06:21 pm:

I must admit to being a rock fanatic, but I don't like to buy them. I have buckets of Lake Superior rocks (my husband thinks I'm nuts!), and I got them all sitting on the beach at Grand Marais. Only 9 more days and I'll be going to get more rocks!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 09:22 pm:

Wow!!! Thanks for using 4 of my photos Mary; that is awesome.

Just a little background about the photos; the first 2 are at the Ishpeming Show on August 1. The first photo is just a nice little display of copper that had some pretty low prices. The second photo is a bunch of spheres and other cuts rocks from various places. The spheres are made in a special machine that cuts the rock down into that shape.

The last two are indeed from the Quincy Mine Swap that was held on August 4. The first photo is of course my wonderful wife Nat looking over some very nice agates from around the world. Both of us know the seller of the agates very well and he always has a wide variety. The last photo is a flat of beautiful datolites from Tamarack Mineral Company located in Calumet.

As far as our car being loaded down; I must admit that was the most weight Iíve ever had in the back of the car. Good thing I own an Impala that can handle the extra weight, but we found a lot of goodies while we were there and Nat picked up some beautiful agates at the Quincy Swap as well.

Just as a reminder; on the "Various Topics" threads, there is a UP Geology thread where anyone can post questions or other general geologic comments and either Dr. Nat or myself will answer.....

By Richard Wieber (Dickingrayling) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 10:03 pm:

Ram4 It was nice that your brother made you a cross of stone. As an ex-jeweler I suggest you do what you thought to do. Have it made wearable. He wanted you to enjoy it. Don,t let it gather dust in a drawer. After you are gone it will gather enough dust. Honor your brother and God in the mean time.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 10:27 pm:

Interesting pictures.

By Martha Kirk (Misschiefie) on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 11:59 pm:

mickill mouse, when my dad retired, one of the hobbies he took up was rock polishing. He made me a necklace from a petoskey stone he found on a beach on Lake Michigan. It's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry and I get a lot of comments from people who don't recognize what the petoskey stone is. But I love it best because every time I wear it, it reminds me of my dad. Take that cross and have it made so you can wear it.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 02:39 am:


Thank You for the comments. I will probably take it to a couple of jewelers and see what they say. ;O)

By 4WDGreg (4wdgreg) on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 09:52 pm:

I have a lot of things I love to do when I visit the U.P. and collecting rocks is one of them. I've collected a lot of interesting stones from in the U.P. over the years, but most of the best ones I've purchased from the local rock shops like the piece of copper with silver inclusions. I've been lucky enough to find a few small agates over the years, but nothing too spectacular. I have had pretty good success finding and polishing Petoskey stones over the years though. I gave one beautiful Petoskey stone to a niece of mine years ago. It's turtle shell shaped and about 6-7" long!
How are agates formed?
I'd summarize it for you, but I can't!

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Monday, September 14, 2009 - 04:48 am:

The mention of copper with some silver in them made me recall reading that some gold has also been found in the U.P.

By 4WDGreg (4wdgreg) on Monday, September 14, 2009 - 11:08 pm:

Thomas, I read a book titled, "Michigan Gold mining in the Upper Peninsula" by Daniel Fountain. I bought it at the local books section at the local book store. Most of the gold found in Michigan is in the iron mining areas. There aren't actual "veins" of gold, but rather tiny particles buried within quartz which needs to be pulverized and chemically treated to extract the gold. None of the mines were really profitable. There's probably more tales of gold than actual gold in the U.P.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 04:45 am:

True, Michigan did not become a major gold producer, although 1 gold mining company was established for a time in the U.P., according to F. Clever Bald's book, "Michigan in Four Centuries." Even silver was hoped to be an export from the U.P. Speaking of silver, a lumberjack named John "Silver Jack" Driscoll found some silver specimens in the western U.P. and said he was going to stake his claim, but died before he could in a boarding house in L'Anse in April 1895.

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 10:01 am:

Its been reported that the Ropes Mine was profitable.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 05:50 pm:

Thanks 4 sharing the webpage, Bob. I did some research, and found there was another in the same region, The Michigan Gold Mining Company, that produced some gold in 1888. Silver nuggets were found among the copper, with miners pocketing them, and the companies producing $3,500,000 worth of silver in 1887.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 09:26 pm:

Roy L. Dodge wrote about a lost gold mine in the Lower Peninsula in "Michigan Ghost Towns," Volume 1 (1970):

"Although there are records of at least two gold mines in the Upper Peninsula, Alcona County had the only gold mine in the lower peninsula of Michigan.

"According to Frank Jozwiak of Harrison, who has the deed to the former Fleming farm on which the mine was located, and directions to the location given to him by his father, John Jozwiak, the discovery of gold in Haynes Township was kept secret for several months until a stock company was formed to establish a mining company.

"Old newspaper accounts tell that Indians, years ago, sold large quantities of silver and copper in Bay City and Saginaw. They claimed to have found it in the immediate vicinity of Harrisville but never revealed the exact source of the minerals.

"When gold nuggets were discovered in the same area in 1912 (Nov.), a mine shaft was sunk (in 1913 to 100 ft.) and tons of Alcona black dirt processed for gold. The venture ended in disaster when the steam operated equipment blew up (in 1914, killing 4 Domke brothers, and the shaft filling with water).

"The elder Jozwiak, who lived to be 89 years old and died at his home in Bay City in 1956, said an old man lived in a shack near the creek and while everyone was involved in the excitement of the gold discovery and busy sinking a mine shaft, the old man started shoveling dirt along the creek banks and hauling it to his house. He worked during the summer hauling dirt to his property in a wheelbarrow then worked all winter panning for gold.

"Jozwiak said the old man made his living from the gold for years, and it was rumored that he made a fortune in gold long after the gold mine was abandoned. Deeds to the property describe it as in the northwest quarter of Section 8, Haynes Township. Frank made a trip to Harrisville in the summer of 1969 in an attempt to find the abandoned mine shaft but was unsuccessful."

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 08:29 am:

Found these 2 paragraphs in Chapter 12 of "Michigan Ghost Towns," Vol. 3 (1973), by Roy L. Dodge:

"Many areas of the peninsula are a veritable paradise for "rock hounds." At Agate Harbor, near M-26 west of Copper Harbor, the beaches and cliffs are scattered with glazed, multi-colored agate stones.

"Stories of silver and gold discoveries have been told many times. Throughout the various lodes numerous bulks of native silver were uncovered in the early days. The largest of the silver nuggets (troy weight, 8-3/4 pounds) was shipped to the Philadelphia Mint, where it was put on exhibition."

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