Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rock Chute

A rusted rock chute, pointing down at an angle, with chains hanging around it and a rusted yellow background.
A rock chute at the Centennial #3 rockhouse

The Centennial is a very old mine -- originally opened in 1876, it closed very quickly. Calumet and Hecla eventually bought the mine and reopened it, and then it closed again. It was reopened once more by Homestake, but that operation barely got beyond pumping out the water.

This photo comes from the Centennial #3, the "peanut mine". As Mike over at Copper Country Explorer puts it, the Centennial #3 rockhouse looks like "it's going to fall over with the next stiff breeze." The old wooden rockhouse is in very poor condition, and the whole building is leaning severely to one side. The shafthouse isn't doing much better -- it's falling right into the mine itself! The old hoist building was torn down last year, the hoist rope supports have fallen to the ground... everything is disappearing quickly.

This photo is from the rockhouse -- a metal rock chute which used to unload mine rock into waiting rail cars (or, later, trucks). The chains, I think, helped to keep the rock from moving too fast or bouncing around. The background is the side of a rusted rock bin, which stored even more mine rock.

With a little luck, I'll be able to get some more photos of this fascinating location before it finally disappears.


Jay Balliet said...

Please do get more photos of the #3. This is the mine that started my fascination with the history of the Keweenaw.

DC said...

Wilco, Jay! If we get organized, Mike and I might do a "Rockhouses of the Keweenaw" series of photos sometime soon-ish.