Jan 09-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: January: Jan 09-03
The dredge in Winter    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Z-Man

Charlie at Pasty Central on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 06:27 am:

Since we first started the Pasty Cam, there have been requests for many memorable sights around the Copper Country, including "the dredge". Over the past year we have transported you back to this spot in each season, with Z-Man today completing the set.

By the way, after quite a snowless stretch, we have awoken this morning to the attempted return of old man winter. John Dee predicts a bit of white for us in the next few days.

By M.B., MI on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 08:42 am:

can anyone expand on the history of the dredge for this newcomer to the area?

By pegg, fla on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 09:25 am:

The poor ol' dredge makes me think of a crippled dinosaur. Now even more forlorn because it's in the cold.

By Andy, Ohio on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 09:37 am:

Jennifer Bollen produced a Master's Thesis in Industrial Archaeology on the Dredge in 1999, I believe. There should be a copy in MTU's library.

By Rebecca, Chicago on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 09:45 am:

As I remember from Larry Lankton's Copper
Country history class at Tech, the dredge was
used to literally dredge the bottom of Torch
Lake for copper tailings dumped there still
attached to unwanted waste (rock) material
from the mines...at the time it was actaully
more cost effective to do this than to get
copper out of the mines as there was still
enough copper left on waste and the copper
in the mines was too difficult or expensive to
bring to the surface (I believe it was towards
the end of the mining era) Please correct me if
I'm wrong.

The dredge was always an interesting place
to explore at its odd angle...many fun
memories climbing on it!

By Kevin E. Musser @ CopperRange.org on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 10:16 am:

Look here for additional information:


By Tina, Howell, MI on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 10:42 am:

It just looks scary!

By jj_greenville_mi on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 11:42 am:

thanks kevin, for the addtional dredge information. another interesting history lesson today. enjoy visiting pasty cam several times daily. especially like the comment postings.

By Jim MI on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 12:26 pm:

While interesting, the reference to dredges posted above is sketchy, and not totally factual. The dredge referred to as #1 was in operation when it sank, not laid up. The dredging operation continued year round.
#2 was obtained from C&H to put into service in order to maintain reclamation operations while #1 was repaired.

By Phil, Manton, MI on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 12:45 pm:

Does anyone remember a person drowning at that dredge around the early 60's? It was someone visiting a friend at work, I believe his name was Philip Ruonavara (spelling?). I did remember some speculation about foul play but that was never confirmed through any type of evidence.
I wonder if a person can still get to the dredge since all that fencing was put up along the roadside.

By Tom, MI on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 01:21 pm:

Yes there was a droowning from a dredge-- but not this one. There was a third dredge operater in the lake. It was owned by C & H Mining Co. and was working the old Ahmeek Mill tailing when the drowning occured. It was in the winter I believe. My brother-in-law often talks about this drowning as he was working the day the body was recovered-- a sad story!
It was dangerious walking out to the dredges in the winter as the 2 X12 planks you walk on were often covered with ice. The planks streched from one pontoon to the next.

By Becky, Lansing/Tamarack City on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 03:09 pm:

What a great landmark. And check out the color of the sky, that's what I call Keweenaw Blue.

By Mary on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 03:53 pm:

Yes you can still get out to the dredge, even with the fencing. There is a spot in the fencing specially put there for people to walk through. Basically the fencing is there to keep wheeled traffic out, so the place doesn't get torn up.

By Bob Brown, Alabama on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 06:35 pm:

Reclamation of the sands is a very large,long and interesting development. It is covered very thoroughly in the book "Red Metal" by Harry Benedict. This is a book which contains discussions on just how much money was made by the original investors in the Calumet and Hecla mines. The addressing and planning of how to recover the tailings is discussed in great detail. At the beginning of the mining operations in 1860, the mine ore was averaging 100 pounds of copper per ton and the tailings contained about 20 pounds per ton. The richest tailings were closest to the shore and the outer edge of the tailings deposit in Torch Lake was about 9 lbs/ton. The tailings were also discussed in address by J. Robert Van Pelt called, "Boston and Keweenaw" delivered to the Newcomen Society of England which met in Boston in 1945. The original Dredge was designed and built by Bucyrus Company of S. Milwaukee. It was a suction dredge, with a steel hull 110 ft X 56 feet and had a capacity to move 10,000 cubic yards per 24 hrs. It could dig from a depth up to 113 feet below the water line. The equipment was electrically operated, the power lines from shore to the dredge strung on towers arising from the pontoons which also supported the discharge pipe. The sands from the Conglomerate deposits were much richer than those from the Amygdaloid (Osceola and Kearsarge Lodes). However, the table from Red Metal shows that the Lake Linden reclamation plant from 1915-1949 treated a total of 37 million tons of sand and had a copper recovery of 418 million pounds of copper for a total PROFIT of $31,378,740. The dredge could produce copper for about 5 cents, but reclamation was shut down along with the mines from 1931-1935 when, in the depth of the depression copper prices hit a low of 2 cents per pound.

By Toivo from Toivola on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 07:25 pm:

By the way - - speaking of numbers - - Let the record show that this evening the well-worn "pasty counter" on the home page of Pasty Central reached 165,000 pasties ordered on the Internet since they started showing the numbers back in the late 90's.


By Curious in Mi on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 07:43 pm:

Does anyone remember Dave Riutta, The man who wrote the Heikke Luunta "Snow Dance" song?
Rumour has it he was on 5th St in Calumet Yesterday washing the windows of Calumet Floral
in temperatures in the upper 40's.Was he really washing windows or was it a disguise for the dance?

By BCT , Mi on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 07:50 pm:

Do you recall the reclamation plant in LL.That's where the sand got processed.My G'father worked there.Told me he heard Mr. Benedict say that the facility paid for itself in 6 mo's. Unheard of!

By Alex Pasty Lover Tiensivu on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 08:15 pm:

165,000 PASTIES SERVED! WOW! (I know where about 100 of them went!)

By Dam Guy, Parasite Creek, Negaunee on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 08:26 pm:

If that is the dredge located near the old Quincy Reclamation site, I dove it in 1977 or '78. It appears to be listing substantially more than it was a few years ago. I have photos of it taken in 1980, but I can't seem to locate them. The Reclamation Center (where they processed the tail-
ings sucked from Torch Lake) is an amazing building. Conveyors brought the rock from the dredge to giant drums, similar to a cement mixer,
where they were mixed with metal(iron?) orbs the size of baseball, which crushed the rock to powder.

By Ned, Kingsford, MTU '71 on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 08:29 pm:

As I understand it, there were only two dredges. C&H owned one and Quincy the other. When Quincy's dredge sank in Torch Lake (it can still be seen just barely sticking out of the water), they purchased the C&H dredge to continue their reclamation process which went on for many years after the C&H reclamation operation was shut down. By the way, Philip Runevaara (sp?)was a friend of mine when growing up in Laurium, he lived in the 500 block of Pewabic Street.

By pegg,fla on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 08:54 pm:

Hey Toivo, How do you put that graphic stuff in your messages. Not that I have anything to put there, I just want to know how it is done.
Please send destructions off-line. I want to learn such things. thanks, pegg

By Jim MI on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 09:27 pm:

The currently visible dredge was purchased from C&H when the now totally sunken one was in for an overhaul, after the overhaul, and while in active operation the first Quincy dredge sunk, the second one was then placed back in service to continue the operation. The copper in the ball mills was sand not rock. it was crushed and then floated off in a floatation process when it attached itself to a vile smelling chemical, floated off and was then run through huge dryers and trucked to the smelter in Quincy.

By Rob Calumet on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 09:35 pm:

This is some good informaton for some one young and wonts to know more about the area. i wont to say thanks for all the info.

By Alex Tiensivu on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 09:48 pm:

Oh... Just what we need... Pegg with graphics knowledge! She'll be throwing snowballs at Fran and I all day... In living color! ROFL

By Fran,Ga. on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 10:02 pm:

Alex,we are in trouble if she figures out how to do that!!Poor defenseless us!

By Full Fledged Yooper on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 10:04 pm:

Good question, "pegg". We, too, are busy wondering now about the graphics! I can't Copy & Paste the pasty counter into this message, so it would be interesting if we could all find out how it is done!!

By Adam, Petoskey MI on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 10:06 pm:

Anyone know how to get into it nowdays??

By Gus in Chicago on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 11:15 pm:

If my memory serves me correctly I believe the husband of our Lake Linden English teacher, Mrs. LeVassuer, was killed when he fell off the roof of a dredge. This would have been in the early fifties. I think it was the one which was mostly submerged up until recently. It was out in deeper water and closer to Hubbell. Does anyone know if it was salvaged for scrap or is it still there, now totally underwater?

By Ken from da UP on Thursday, January 9, 2003 - 11:49 pm:

Mrs. LeVassuer was one of my teachers at the LLHS back in the early 50s. It was fun to be one of her students. I got sassy to her once and I ended up doing a long essay on manners. :o)

By MMLLMI on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 01:13 am:

wow, I just boated up to the dredge and climbed on and explored. But I bet that isn't allowed. It was really nifty. Always an eyesore when I was growing up as a kid in the mid 60's, but now a source of history, and interest and great pasty.net/com conversation! Way to go, Charlie, and all the participants that liven up the day!

By BCT,Mi on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 03:07 am:

Hi Gus: BCT

By Dan Belo- Lake Linden on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 07:45 am:

spooky story;IN 1950 I was to meet Bob Messner on the dredge for our band practice later. I didn't show up, so Bob worried that I drowned. At that moment, my mother was having a nightmare that I drowned. {They also had a signal lite when starting to cross}

By Matt, Metro Detroit on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 10:58 am:

Back when I was an MTU student ('81 - '85), we were once cited by the Houghton County Sheriff for trespassing while we were climbing on the dredge. Eventually the charges were dropped, but we were in and out of the courthouse at least a couple of times before that happened.

We even made the newspaper and the radio news! (Right up there w/ the 24 lbs. of foot-long hotdogs that were stolen from the Ripley A&W!)

By Mike Mehrman, MI. on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 11:15 am:

I remember the drowning on the dredge back in the sixties, I was just a kid. The gruesome thing about the drowning was the body wasn't recovered until the next spring.

By Mary Drew on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 02:57 pm:

Gus In Chicago:
Your memory does serve you correctly! Veronica LeVassuer was my Great-Aunt. I asked my Mom, since that was a bit before my memory would serve me and she confirmed that John (Jack) LeVassuer, indeed did fall from the dredge. They figure he had a heart attack, causing the fall and died from it, because there was no water in his lungs, indicating drowning.

By Bob.B -WI. on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 02:57 pm:

Hello uncle Dan and Curious in MI.,Heikke's still around and plays once in awhile. Hubbell dredge scrapped I believe by Ishpeming Steel Corp.

By LE, Montague, MI on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 05:02 pm:

I love to hear bits and pieces of copper country history. It so happens that I'm reading the best book written about all the copper mined out of the Keweenaw, "Boom Copper" by Angus Murdoch. Ya, eh, I'm a Yooper living with the trolls. (Hi, Joy)

By Mike P Kingsford on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 05:55 am:

To Gus in Chicago, Abig ten four to Mary Drew's comment. By the way, is Gus (serafino II)

By steven Habersetzer. wi on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 01:32 am:

hey! racine WI has nothing compared to the UP.I guess I have to see it to know it. it looks like heaven. hope to see it soon.in person not pictures.love the site. (pinky)racine.love ya! UP. (pinky! I am yoopers wife. sorry about that.I got caught up in the veiw of the pictures.) ROCK ON.

By SMS AK on Saturday, March 8, 2003 - 12:16 am:

Just came across this web site,and it is great!!
The old dredge was still floating when we moved
from Lake Linden.My father worked for Quincy Mining on the dredge that sank,and the replacement(we called the new one)until they shut down. Pictures bring back old childhood memories of the UP.

By J. Randell on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 08:53 am:

My father, Oscar Randell, worked as a dredge operator as well as in the mines, railroad, and smelter for 40+years retiring in May of '68.

By David Whitaker, Michigan on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 06:40 pm:

Seeing that the dredge is a part of the Quincy Mine history, its rustic look only enhances the local landscape.

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