Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quincy Copper Mine

Today we had to move the RV to a new site. The one (83)we had been in for the last three days had been reserved so we moved over to 79 which was still overlooking the lake. We had to move anyway because we were out of water and our tanks were full. Turns out that traveling with another person fills your tanks up so much quicker than traveling solo. Duh... Emptied the tanks with no accidents and settled in to the new home.

Tony thought it would be great to go see another mine. Do I love my man or what?  Off we go, leaving Miko at home. This time we went to the Quincy Mine which is located about 10 miles south of us in Hancock Mi. What a different experience this turned out to be.

First off, they take you down a 35 degree grade on the outside of the hill in a tram. 35 degrees is super steep. They said that normally the miners would be going down the shafts at a 50 degree grade at three times the speed that we were going. Once we got to the bottom of the hill, we loaded into a wagon which was pulled by a John Deere tractor. It pulled us into Level 7 of the mine. This mine eventually got to 92 levels, but everything below Level 7 was flooded out. The Michigan Tech School had Mining classes there and we saw a classroom carved into the rock. We probably went in the hill about 1800 feet and stopped and got out. Our tour guide Nate took us around the corner and explained how the miners worked through the decades, showing us the various types of drills and explaining how they worked. This mine was in business from 1850 through 1940 or so. He also followed the cave tradition of turning off all of the lights so we could see what true dark was like. Back into the wagon and then the tram up to the top of the hill.

Perky Audrey then took over the tour. Quincy Mine had the largest steam hoist in the world and Audrey explained how it worked and what happened to the copper once it got out of the ground. This was an impressive piece of machinery - it was a gigantic cylinder.   I can't remember how much it weighed but we are talking tons. They said that they have only extracted about 50% of the copper in this mine, but it just became too cost prohibitive to mine the rest of it out.

Home again – we are moving out in the morning so there is some maintenance items that need to be taken care of.

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