As we headed to Calumet, I stopped at the Quincy Mine to buy tickets for the 4:30 mine tour. We continued on.
I wanted to tour the Calumet Theatre which opened in 1900. Greats such as Lillian Russell performed there in 1909 and Sarah Bernhardt performed there in 1911. Also performing in the early years were Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Lon Chaney Sr., Wallace Beery and John Phillip Sousa. Bob wasn't interested so he stayed in the truck and made phone calls for work.
|Calumet Theatre stage and Five Muses of the Arts murals|
|Acoustically perfect without modern amplification.|
|Box seats to left and right of stage.|
|Close up of Muse mural|
|Sarah Bernhardt playbill|
Next, the history of copper mining drew us to Coppertown USA Mining Museum. That, too, was $4 per person admission. This museum was small, but had so much interesting stuff in it that we deemed it worth the $4 per person.
The following scoop shovel rock remover is relatively new. In the 1800s, men called "trammers" would push the tram car loaded with rocks along the tracks. Heavy, heavy labor...especially considering their shift was 12 hours underground!
In the following art depiction, you can see a couple of levels of the mine. Don't be deceived, the mine was 92 levels deep. At the lowest level, the temperature is 100 degrees with 100% humidity. Not much work was done in the lower levels.
|Simple art diagram of the copper ore mine workings.|
The highly-skilled pattern makers were well regarded. The museum was in the old pattern-making shop. Just think, any metal casting in any factory anywhere required a pattern to make it.
|Patterns made for the mines|
|Patterns made in Calumet|
|Sheffield four-man pump car|
Called a Waites-Bartlet machine, a hand crank (seen on the right side of the photo) when turned at a high rate of speed, would build up enough current to pass through various probes and electrodes (see second photo below). These instruments were inserted into the body orifices or placed externally on the patient's afflicted areas.
|Waites-Bartlet machine will cure what ails you.|
|Probes and electrodes|
|An antique wheelchair|
After spending quite some time in the Coppertown USA Mining Museum, we headed to Hancock for the Quincy Mine Tour. For a senior rate of $17 per person, you receive a guided tour of the hoist building, a cog railway ride overlooking Houghton, and a ride down into the copper mine.
In 1843, six years before the California Gold Rush, one of the nation's first mineral rushes occurred here. Prospectors came to the Keweenaw not for gold, but for copper. Established in 1848, Quincy Mining Company was an early mine in the Portage Lake area. The Civil War increased the demand of copper for munitions and allowed the Quincy Mining Company to grow. This mine became known as "Old Reliable" because of the dividends paid to its investors. Labor unrest and a strike in 1913 combined with open pit strip mining elsewhere started Quincy's slow decline. After nearly 100 years, mining operations ceased in 1945.
The tour takes you into the seventh level of the mine where you explore a 2,400' section. Here's what we saw on our tour...
|No. 2 Shaft-Rock House|
|No. 2 Hoist House (left); Old No. 2 Hoist House (museum)|
|Our guide in front of the Nordberg Steam Hoist|
|Staircase to hoist operator's chair|
|Bob ready to head into the mine|
|Mass copper (see photo below for valuation)|
|Old mine cars|
|Only cog rail tram in the Midwest (and we get to ride it)|
|View of Houghton and liftbridge from the cog tram|
|Entrance (adit) to mine's seventh level|
|How we rode into the mine, pulled by a John Deere tractor|
|Mass copper worth $2,496.00 (as of 9/30/14)|
|Tram car for moving rock|
|"Nothing runs like a Deere"|
|Cog tram car for moving people (like me)|
For dinner we had pizza from Pizza Works in downtown Houghton. We ordered by phone, Bob picked it up, and then we devoured it in the 5th wheel. Great pizza!!
The park attached to the City of Houghton RV Park has a play area based on the children's game "Chutes and Ladders." It looks like a lot of fun!
|Chutes and Ladders play area.|