Railroad: Hecla and Torch Lake Railroad Company

BuiltHecla and Torch Lake RRAbandoned

Built: 1868

Became: Private railroad, date unknown. Closed in 1960's upon closure of mines.

Reference: [MRRC]

This was an unusual 4' 1" gauge line built for the purpose of bringing iron ore from mines near Calumet to stamp mills near Torch Lake. Owned by the Calumet & Hecla mining company.

Mining Railway Being Removed - 1971. Salvagers have started to remove remove the rails of the Calumet Hecla Mining Company’s industrial railway, which once carried carried millions of tons of copper ore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Peninsula. The line, with branches and spurs, is 45 miles in length and stretches from Tamarack Mills to Lake Linden and then northerly to Seneca in Keweenaw County. Removal of the line was caused by a strike which took effect Aug. 21, 1968 against the Universal Oil Products Co., the parent corporation.

Also being removed are the rails of the Copper Range branch line between Mill Mine Junction and Freda, a milling town, Freda once was the location of the Cha;pion Copper Mill, which crushed all Champion Mine rock for more than half a century. The Copper Range Railroad is a subsidiary of the Copper Range Co., which owns the White Pine Mines in Ontonogan County. [Escanaba Daily News, September 4, 1971]