Centennial Mine
Centennial Mine Shaft #13

Centennial Copper Mine Michigan

The Centennial Mine Shaft 13 was the last of the shafts near Calumet, MI, to be abandoned and to fill with water. Centennial mined the conglomerate ore body near the Calumet and Hecala conglomerate lode, following the dipping rock layers deep into the earth thousands of feet from the surface. There were seven incline shafts near the community of Centennial that opened operations in 1863 and closed for good in 1966.

Mine Shaft 13 Headframe

Mine Shaft 13, as seen on the right, is the Headframe that was designed to raise and lower the skiffs underground. These skiffs would carry men down into the mine for their shifts and then bring ore to the top on massive rail systems. The catwalk is still well maintained.  This portion of the railing is seen connecting the skiff rails that come up diagonally into the headframe and the operator's house. The mine operators would have to climb up the skiff rails and walk across the catwalk to enter the operations portion of the headframe.

The Headframe at the Centennial Mine is well preserved today.  The gigantic cylinder which comes down from the main body was responsible for funneling ore down through the body of the headframe.  This process would sort out ore.  The excellent ore would continue its journey down, eventually coming out the ore shutes and loaded onto trains.  The rock that was of poor quality would be sent off through the smaller cylinder seen on the front.  This is called the "Poor Shute" and would be carried off to massive piles of "poor rock" still seen all around Calumet today.

View of the operating station and catwalk from underneath the skiff rail.
Smaller cylinder coming down from the headframe is called the Poor Chute.
Headframe with Cable Guides in the back
Massive iron frames of the Cable Guides

Centennial Mine Skiff Rail

The massive skiff that transported miners and ore up and down the shaft is the most important part of the entire operation. It took millions of dollars, countless hours of manual labor, and lots and lots of digging to bring the precious ore up these rails.

View under the skiff rail looking at the Headframe.
View from the bottom of the Skiff Rail looking up into the Headframe

View from the side of the Headframe looking at the Skiff Rail going down into the ground. The warehouse building is currently build over the skiff rail to block the underground passage.
Close view of the current building that is built to enclose the skiff going into the ground.
The massive lumber used to build the frame of the skiff was logged from the Copper Country.

Mine Shaft 13 Loading Chutes

Under the headframe are large openings for railcars to come under and collect the ore that would fall through the cylinders. The loading chutes were pivotal in the transportation of copper ore pulled up from the mine shaft. During operation, it would be common to see rail cars loading ore and moving it along.

Massive Loading chutes on both the right and left of this picture so that two rail cars could come underneath at the same time to collect ore. In the middle are levers that mining engineers would utile to operate the chutes.
A closer look at these iron levers.
The chutes are open in this picture. Imagine ore flowing through them as it dumps into rail cars.
In this picture you can see the opening under the headframe. During operation there would be rail tracks running underneath to move the heavy ore to its next destination.

The Last Calumet Mine

Thanks to Calumet Heritage Center for a great information plague at the site!
Located on Centennial #6 Road

Information and Directions

Directions: Located off of US 41 north of Calumet 1 mile.

Address: Centennial #6 Rd, Calumet, MI 49913