July 02-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: July: July 02-11
Discovering    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Barb Bouwkamp
Uncovering    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Barb Bouwkamp
On the site    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Barb Bouwkamp
Right down in there    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Barb Bouwkamp
Thomas    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Barb Bouwkamp
Wooden markers    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Barb Bouwkamp

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 07:44 am:

Michigan Technological Industrial Archeology students and professors have been busy excavating the Cliff mine area and have unearthed remnants of the first copper mining site in the area, which was then closed in the 1860's. Today's photos of the project are from Barb Bouwkamp, who went on one of several guided tours that the students held earlier in the month. The group exposed well preserved wood underneath the dirt that had buried it, including a series of metal boxes, the original floor and steps leading up the level housing the stamp mill. Because the sand has preserved all this so well, the site has been filled back in now, with stamp sand to continue the preservation of it for years to come. For more information about the project, click on the following link, a Cliff Mine Blog that talks about the project in more depth: The Cliff Mine Archeology Project Blog.

Barb's last two photos are grave markers from the Cliff Mine Cemetery, which is located just a short hike from the excavation area. There are a number of stones that remain, marking where miners and their family members were laid to rest.

In conclusion, I don't think I can say it any better than Barb said in her email that accompanied the photos, so I'm going to quote her:

"A great big thank you to MTU students for their project and opening it to the public. It's unfortunate that they covered all these discoveries up with stamp sand to preserve the ruins, but they feel if exposed to air, the wood will deteriorate, so it's necessary to fill it all back in, so it will be there for future generations. It was quite interesting to learn what is just under your feet as you walk around that site.

Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 07:49 am:

That was very interesting!! Wouldn't that be fun??

By JimH (Jhattica) on Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 08:32 am:

This is the first time in over 35 years that we will not be in the Copper Country, Lake Linden, on the Fourth.

By Donna (Donna) on Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 09:41 am:

WOW....oh how the Keweenaw hides some treasures! Yes indeed...just think of what's under our feet, or how many feet have walked the same paths we do....souls upon souls upon generation upon...wow...

THANK YOU MTU and Barb for bringing us this gem!

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 10:34 am:

Exciting area research being "un-earthed". Great project, thanks to all the professionals and interns on the dig, and thanks to Pasty for sharing it.

Best pictures that I've seen - tough area to get lighting into.

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 02:11 pm:

best ever cemetary up that way is the Irish Hollow cemetary just outside Rockland. ornate grave markers, fences, moss, history galore.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 06:11 pm:

Great excavation project going on. The Cliff Mine is one of the more interesting operations of the mining era on the Keweenaw, and I'm sure a lot of great information will come of this. My only fear about this project is that all access to the mine area will be closed off. Those are some of the most productive piles for goodies; would be a shame if one couldn't pick around the piles any longer.....

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