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Weekend Adventuring the Keweenaw

July 27, 2011 in Community, Events, Travel, Uncategorized

Weekend Adventuring the Keweenaw

This past weekend my Dad made a visit from the Lower Peninsula to the Keweenaw!  While he was here, we were able to find time to embarked on some great adventuring around the Keweenaw. So this week, I would like to share with you some of the things I enjoy doing with my parents when they are here to visit, in hopes that it will help spark some fun ideas for you to do with your students when you plan a trip to Michigan Tech!

Quincy Mine-

Dad and I in front of a piece of copper weighing 17 tons that was taken from Lake Superior. Location: Quincy Mine.

My Dad arrived on Friday early afternoon (leaving downstate bright and early at 2:30 AM) ready to begin our adventures! We decided since it was a warm day out, and I have no air-conditioning, that it would be nice to visit Hancock’s local mine, the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.  This mine happens to be 43 degrees year round, which was sounding excellent to both of us!

Here is some background information on the mine: The mine was owned by the Quincy Mining Company and operated between 1846 and 1945, although some activities continued through the 1970s. The Quincy Mine was known as “Old Reliable,” as the Quincy Mine Company paid a dividend to investors every year from 1868 through 1920.

When the mine ceased production in 1945, the Quincy Number 2 shaft was the world’s deepest shaft, at 9,260 feet (2.82 km or 1.75 miles) along the dip of the deposit. To raise and lower ore and workers into this shaft, the worlds largest steam-driven mine hoist was built in 1918 and housed in the Quincy Number 2 Hoist House. The Nordberg Steam Hoist and its reinforced concrete building, built in the Georgian architectural style with brick veneer and Italian-tiled walls, cost over $370,000 in 1918 but was used for only eleven years until it ceased usage in 1929. Weighing more than 880 tons, it lifted 10 tons of ore at 36.4 miles per hour, thus saving $16,080 in fuel bills in its first year of operation. The hoist sat on the largest concrete slab ever poured, containing 3200 cu. yards of cement and over 8 tons of reinforcement material.  The Number 2 Hoist House was built as a reinforced concrete structure on a scale rare for 1918, making it one of the first of its kind.The very decorative Hoist House was used as a showpiece for visiting investors.

Both my Dad and I really enjoyed this experience. The guided tour takes about two hours.  While on the underground tour you’re allowed to see a classroom where Michigan Tech students studied to learn how to mine!
Check out their website:

Copper Harbor-

Saturday morning we decided to head up to Copper Harbor, about 45 minutes north of Houghton! My Dad had never been there before so he was really looking forward to it. Our first stop once we were at Copper Harbor was at the marker located at the northern terminus of US 41. This sign (pictured to the left) shows the route that can be taken from Copper Harbor all the way down to Florida. After leaving the marker, we then decided to head back down to the main area of town and visit some of the shops. Many of the items in the local shops are locally made. The shops are small, but fun to look around in! Much of the stuff is different than anything I would be able to find in Lower Michigan.

My favorite stop on the trip was Mt. Brockway! This is really a site that cannot be missed. Brockway Mountain Drive is a scenic drive just West of Copper Harbor. While on this drive, there are several turnouts and great views that you can stop to see of both Copper Harbor and Lake Superior. The drive reaches a height of 1,328 feet (405m) above sea level, and 726 feet (221m) above the surface of Lake Superior.

Location: Top of Mt. Brockway a spectacular view.

After leaving Mt. Brockway we decided to take the scenic route back down the Keweenaw that takes you to Eagle Harbor.  If you decide to take this route, I strongly recommend stopping at the Jampot.  The Jampot is a well known bakery in the Keweenaw. The bakery is operated by the Society of St. John, a monastery. They have the most delicious baked goods! I cannot help but stop here each chance I get. They make a lot of goods ranging from jelly’s, jams, brownies, muffins, bread, cookies, and much more. It truly is scrumptious!

These are only a few of the locations that are fantastic to go and see. With only having a short period of time while my Dad was here, these locations worked out perfectly for our short weekend. I hope that when you are in the Keweenaw with your students you are able to do some sightseeing, not only of the Keweenaw but overall of  the Upper Penninsula!

Please feel free to email me any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.

Samantha Allen

Update: This year’s Summer Reading Video has been uploaded! Be sure to have your student check it out at