A Thank You to the DNRE Core Sample Facility and You
Today I had the chance to visit the Department of Natural Resources and Environment drill core sample repository located just outside Marquette, MI. The facility holds thousands of geologic samples taken from all over the Upper Peninsula dating from the late nineteenth century to the present. Melanie Humphrey, who works with the samples, saw the TV6 news story on the Cliff project and emailed me to let me know about some of the documents the DNRE has relating to the mine.
Many of the documents in their possession can also be found at the Michigan Tech Archives (Calumet & Hecla Mining Co. drill reports of the area for example), but the facility had a colored plan of the underground workings I hadn’t seen before. The plan dates from May 1st, 1857, and was created by mine superintendent, John Slawson. Each level of the mine is laid plan view style but without each level lying on top of each other. Each level is also colored differently in order to better differentiate. The shafts are shown in relatively the same location for each level and this provides a guide to follow the workings both vertically and horizontally on the page. You’ll notice that at this time, the Avery Shaft was being sunk from the surface as well as being driven upwards from the lower levels. Also, at this time the No. 4 Shaft is not included in the plan view since it had not been worked to a point where it was located on paying ground yet.
Included is another map from the DNRE core facility: a longitudinal section of the mine from March of 1870, the P&BMC’s last year of direct oversight of the mine work. What you can see here is that there were 5 shafts running south and 4 running north of Cliff Drive. The southern shafts were part of the South Cliff Mine while the shafts located to the right of “the boundary mound” are part of the Cliff Mine proper. Shaft No. 5 (far right near the black “x” shaped drawing signifying a large mass of copper) was actually begun underground and never reached the surface.
These documents are wonderful for the information located within them. I want to thank Melanie and the DNRE core facility for hanging on to these valuable documents and making them available to me (and to you via this blog).
I’d also like to thank those of you who made the trip out to the site last Saturday to take a tour. At 10:00 am we had 20-30 visitors ready to explore and more and more people came throughout the day. If you weren’t able to make it, don’t forget that we will be conducting tours the next two Saturdays as well.