Quincy Mine and Hoist Volunteer Work

Welcome to the Quincy Mine and Hoist Volunteer page! 

For those of you just coming into Houghton, the Quincy Hoist is the large shaft-rockhouse on the opposing hill across the Portage above the town of Hancock. It was one of a number of shafts that mined native copper for the Quincy Mining Company from the mid 1800s to mid 1900s (and please don't let anyone ever try to convince you it's from an old coal mine, some students even at Tech think that's what it is!) During a period of time around the turn-of-the-century, the Keweenaw Peninsulla produced 80% of the country's copper and employed some of the most advanced mining practices in the world. The No. 2 Shaft closed in 1945, but is now a major tourist attraction for the area. 

Unfortunately, it is the only shaft-rockhouse remaining from the Quincy Mining Company. Currently, the Quincy Mine Hoist Association seeks to preserve it, the hoist, and various other relics strewn across it's property. Below, you can find images of Association members, with the help from some of the REAC members, endeavor to move a fixed-up ore cart under the poor-rock loading entrance of the No. 2 Shaft.

Mining and railroads went hand in hand in the development of the Keweenaw district. It is important we recognize that and help restore the few artifacts that remain in the district so some people can get a good a idea of how things really operated 100 years ago.

Enjoy the pictures!

When we arrived, a few spikes still had to be driven home into the ties. I had the great opportunity to attempt doing this. I was awful, but from what many have told me, it is a skill that takes a lot of time to perfect. In the background is the loader with a spike attachment we were going to use to pick-up the ore car.

A good view of the entrance to the poor-rock loading bay.

Preparing things for pick up.

With a surprising amount of ease, the loader lifts up the ore car.

Cautiously backing up...

Makes some sharp turns....

Coming in to set it down...

Probably the most difficult part of the operation. We would get the rear wheels set in place , but the front would we just off enough that they would be hitting the top of the rail.

Still messing with those front wheels...

It's on the rails!

Final positioning, and there you have it! It's a good addition for the Hoist and I hope improvements continue on into the future.

On Saturday, October 12th, REAC adviser Dave Nelson and student members of met up with the Quincy Mine and Hoist volunteer Ron Whiton and others to lay about 130 feet of track next to the old Quincy Mine round house. With nothing but muscles, spike mauls, claw bars, shovels, and some good story telling, the group was able to get the track all spiked and lined before 1pm. Everybody had a great time so be on the look out for the next volunteering event at Quincy or Lake Linden. 

If you wish to volunteer, please head over to our Contact page and shoot us an email!