Print

Mine: Barnum Mine, Ishpeming, MI


Began → Barnum Mine → Became

From: 1868

Owned by: Iron Cliffs Company

Produced: Iron Ore

Method: 

Railroad connection:

Stamp Mill/Pellet Plant:

Until: 1878?

Lifetime Production: 409,328 tons shipped as of 1878. [LSMI-1909]


Ifron Cliffs Company. Section 11, 47-27

West of and adjoining the Lake Superior Mine.

The Barnum Mine, in the Ishpeming Group, together with the Salisbury, Foster and Section 12 Mines, were owned by the Iron Cliffs Company, and adjoins the Lake Superior, the line running east and west between them through a portion of their workings. The old mine is situated on the southeast part of the north half of Section 9, Town 47, Range 27; the new is located on the north half of the northwest quarter of Section 10. The first test pits were sunk in 1867 by A. W. Maitland, and work was commenced in 1868, when further explorations were made by Capt. James R. Gray, who was in charge of the work about two years. He was relieved by Capt. P. Tracy, who in 1872 was superseded by Capt. W. H. Murray. In 1873, Capt. William Sedgwick was placed in charge, and has remained to the present time.

At one time, the mine fell off in product, and showed signs of giving out, when a change of base was decided upon, and the diamond drill set to work, when at a depth of 585 feet a body of ore fifty feet in thickness was discovered. This deposit has been traced under the drift and rock a distance of 3,800 feet. The "A" Shaft was commenced in December, 1879 and was completed in January, 1882. It is 10x14 feet inside the timbers, divided into two compartments, lined with sawed pine timber twelve inches square. In April following its completion, ore was commenced to be taken out, and about twelve thousand tons were shipped in four months.

In sinking "B" Shaft, at the depth of forty-one feet, a vein of quicksand was encountered, which came in so rapidly that further progress was precluded. The shaft was started twelve feet square. An iron caisson ten feet in diameter was sunk inside the shaft, and was got down seventy-two feet, but the men could not get within ten feet of the bottom, as the sand came in as fast as it could be removed. The company are determined to "pump it out," and get down at that point, and if their success proves commensurate with their energy and determination, the quicksand will be barred out, and the shaft will go in. A pump capable of pumping out 1,500 gallons a minute has been decided on, and the shaft must go down.

The "A" Shaft struck the ore at a depth of 424 feet from the collar; its total depth is 485 feet, including the sump, which is fifteen feet wide, thirty feet long and fifteen feet deep. The shaft passes through forty-six feet of ore, the vein of deposit dipping forty-five degrees to the south. This would give thirty-two feet of ore at right angles to the dip. To open up this deposit, two main drifts or galleries twelve feet wide and sixteen feet high are being driven east and west from the shaft, and will be continued indefinitely, or as long as ore is found. Fifty feet from the collar, on each side, cross-drifts will be driven north and south, leaving a block of solid ground 100 feet square around the shaft. Other cross-drifts from the main gallery will be made, so as to prepare as many large slopes as may be deemed advisable, leaving, of course, as many pillars of solid ore as may be necessary to support the roof. In this way a large extent of ground can be kept open ahead of the miners, and there need be no limit to production within the capacity of the single cage on which the ore is to be raised to the surface. The shaft is supplied with a cage lift.

"B" Shaft, which was referred to last year as being something new and novel, has been temporarily abandoned. An effort was made to sink an iron caisson ten and one-half feet in diameter through the quicksand to the ledge, and well nigh succeeded. When, however, it had been forced down to within seven feet of the ledge, the immense pressure crushed the bottom sections into an oval shape and out of line, and it had to be abandoned. It is now the purpose to put in a timber shaft around the iron caisson, which will then be taken out. Work on this timber shaft will be commenced very shortly, and here Capt. Sedgwick proposes to prove that a Worthington pump, at least, can be made to work under forty feet of water, and he intends to un-water the shaft with the one which is now at the bottom. The total product of the mine from 1868 to 1881 was 487,906 tons.

This mine gives employment to about one hundred and fifty men, and can be safely counted on for a product of from forty-five to fifty thousand tons this year under the able management of Capt. Sedgwick.