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 was a total of 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 which 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. Still in good condition is the catwalk connecting the stairs on the skiff rails into the headframe. The operators of the mine would have to climb up the skiff rails and walk across the catwalk in order to enter the operations portion of the headframe. Also seen is this picture is a massive cylinder that comes down from the main portion of the Headframe. As the rail cars would come up the skiffs loaded with ore the loads would be dumped down into this cylinder. The smaller cylinder on the front is called the “Poor Shute” in which bad or poor rock would be discharged and not processed any further.
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.
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.
The Last Calumet Mine
Information and Directions
Directions: Located off of US 41 north of Calumet 1 mile.
Address: Centennial #6 Rd, Calumet, MI 49913