Sunday, September 27, 2009

Upper Peninsula Upventure: Keweenaw National Historical Park, Quincy, Part One

South of the Calumet Unit of the Keweenaw National Historical Park is the Quincy Unit, in Hancock.

This was the favorite part of my August trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Click on any image to make it larger.

When Mrs. Marathon Pundit took me to her native Latvia for the first time, she asked me what I wanted to see the most. "Castles," I replied. We saw some, they were mostly ruins, which made it all the more better for me.

But what I didn't know at that time is that 400 miles north of Morton Grove there are castle-ruins of sorts in Michigan's Copper Country.

The Quincy Mine, it got its name because many of the early investors lived in Quincy, Massachusetts, opened in 1846, and except for a period during the Great Depression, it operated until 1945. Quincy, like most Upper Peninsula mining companies, operated on a paternalistic model. The firm owned many of the dwellings that housed its workers, and those homes were among the finest in the area, which allowed Quincy to attract the best employees.

Post World War II prosperity bypassed the Keweenaw Peninsula, which is why the Quincy Mine is mostly ruins. No one was interested in redeveloping, or even tearing down the mine's structures. But the mine shaft is in pretty good shape, and guided tours are offered for a fee. Including the tram ride, the tour takes a couple of hours, and I was pressed for time that day--I wanted to make it to Munising before sundown (I didn't) and because of the morning rain, I got a late start to my mines day. So I skipped the tour.

As with Calumet, there is no fee to enter Quincy.

But the Quincy Unit is still a work in progress. Even ruins need care, and the north end of the park requires a bit of climbing and traversing through thickets to get to some of the rubble. This blog does not advocate law breaking--but I did not see any "No Trespassing" signs. However, be careful. Just last year a volunteer, a geology professor, died in a fall inside the shaft.

By the time I reached Quincy, the weather was perfect--and not just for hopping over boulders. The air was clear--which allowed me to appear to be a better photographer than I really am.

Many of the buildings there, as is the case at Calumet, were constructed with Lake Superior brownstone.

Next: More Quincy pictures, with some intact buildings.

Earlier posts:

Keweenaw National Historical Park, Calumet
Little Gippers Preschool, Calumet, Michigan
A brief history of copper mining
Calumet, Michigan's St. Paul the Apostle Church
Finland, Finland, Finland
Escanaba's Sand Point Lighthouse
Manistique East Breakwater Light
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Wawatam Lighthouse
Whitefish Point Light
The Munising Front Range Light
Grand Island East Harbor Lighthouse
Copper Harbor Lighthouse
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

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1 comment:

Ann said...

nice photos. the brownstone, by the way, is more commonly known as Jacobsville Sandstone. glad you enjoyed the trip!