1850 Iron from Lake Superior
The Jackson Iron Co. at Carp River, shipped down by the Propeller Napoleon on her last trip about 40 tons of their iron, in blooms. This fine article of iron is to be taken to Pittsburgh for sale, and, in the very heart of Iron-dom, it will doubtless command the highest price. It has now been thoroughly tested in every manner of use, having been drawn into card-teeth wire, with perfect satisfaction, manufactured into a good article of steel, and sued with success wherever a fine article was necessary.
It was thoroughly tried, for heavy iron work, Messrs. Ward, and was pronounced superior to the best article hereto fore used. The Jackson Iron Co. are the pioneers in the manufacture of this iron, and they are now likely to receive a rich reward for their perseverance and investment. Now that the expense of manufacturing blooms and conducting the business has been ascertained, and its superiority over all other in the country, has been established, they mean greatly to enlarge their works and extend their business. They intend putting on a large force of men, and erecting new furnaces the present season, and we doubt not, will make large shipments of blooms before the close of navigation.
This location embraces a large portion of the Iron Mountain and contains a sufficient quantity to supply the whole country for centuries. It is piled up in irregular stratified masses, easily split or broken up with a crown-bar and Sledge-hammer; and one may break and throw together fifty tons of this ore in a day. To make bar iron from this ore is a cheap and simple process, and the day is not far distant, when the markets around the whole chain of lakes will be supplied with their best article from iron from the Iron Mountain of Lake Superior.
Source: Lake Superior Journal June 19, 1850.
1850 Mining Provisions
TO MINING COMPANIES,
Miners, and other persons connected with them.
THE UNDERSIGNED, Thankful for the patronage her has heretofore received from the Mineral Regions of Lake Superior, would most respectfully call the attention of those persons engaged in that country, to the following List of Provisions and other Supplies, which he has prepared with great care for that Market exclusively:
575 bbls No. 1 corn-fed Mess pork,
429 bbls stall-fed cured Mess beef,
25,000 lbs. sugar-cured 'canvassed Hams',
3,200 " Dried Beef, canvassed,
60,000 " kiln-dried Cornmeal,
500 bushels White Field Beans,
300 " Canada Peas,
500 bushels Dried Apples
100 bbls & half Cucumber Pickles,
50 bbls Sour Kront [Kraut],
500 bushels Onions,
1,000 Beef Tongues (smoked and in Pickle)
4,000 lbs Leaf Lard,
5,000 " Fresh Butter
POWDER AND FUSE
1,000 kegs Blasting Powder, a vert superior article; warranted equal to any manufactured in this country or in England,
100,000 feet Double and Single Safety Fuse,
50 doz canisters Sporting Powder,
100 kegs Rifle Powder.
150 chests assorted Teas,
150 bags do Coffee,
50 hhds Sugar,
25 do Molasses,
60 boxes Refined Sugar,
50 bbls Powdered and Crushed Sugars,
100 6-lb cans Mustard,
20,000 assorted Cigars.
WINES AND LIQUORS
25 half pipes assorted Brandies,
15 do Holland, Schedam and American Gin,
10 casks St. Croix, Jamaica and New England Rums,
30 bbls Irish, Scotch, and old Monongahela Whiskey
30 qr casks Madeira, Port, Sherry, Dry and Sweet, Malaga Wines,
Together with a full and general assortment of all articles usually kept in the Grocery and Provision line.
127 Jefferson Avenue, Detroit
Source: Lake Superior Journal June 19, 1850.
1850 Copper Mining
LAKE SUPERIOR JOURNAL-OCTOBER 1850
A short visit last year to this interesting section of the Lake Superior Copper Mines, left impressions of its future value that induced in return.
And as many of your readers are interested in the mining works of the country, I have thought to give you the rambles of a week here for what they are work.
On landing at the mouth of the Ontonagon one seen at once a great change-its cresent shores are now studded with buildings; several new and pleasant residences have been built, giving evidence of taste and comfort seldom seen, on the Lake. There is also a large increase of mercantile supplies for mining country. Two lines of boats have made weekly trips here during the past summer and have been well sustained. There are also two keel boats making semi-weekly trips to the landings of the mines up the river, giving a life to the place hardly to be expected from its quiet appearance last year. A keel-boat trip up the river is an interesting one, managed by a dozen Frenchmen or Half-breeds, carrying one hack to the early times of river navigation. Here and there may be seen the cabin of the hardy Pioneer subduing the forest, and bringing the rich-self into cultivation; wherever farming is commenced prosperity succeeds, as I have seen no soil more fertile, no farming country promising greater success. The banks of the river present many scenes of rare beauty; the country is heavely timberd and well watered.
Twelve miles from the Lake we arrived at the mountainous range of trap, the mines nearest the river are the "Forest" on the west, and the "Minnesota" in the east. Ground was first broken at the Forest 10 months since; they have sunk a Shaft 100 feet and are drifting at different points, and will ship about 6 tons copper this season, which is favorable for the first season of mining. Several houses have been erected and they will work 30 men during the winter. A whim has also been put up with other necessary buildings for mining purposes.
The "Minnesota" is the cpioneer of successful mining in the Ontonagon district; for the extent of ground opened, it has been extraordinarily productive. Had their stamp-works been in operation in the early part of the summer their shipments would have reached about 400 tons this season. This mine was first opened in the fall of 1838 and commended with about 20 people who were accommodated by one log cabin; now they have a population of 170 people and with the buildings for mining accommodation, which together with stamp and saw mill give the appearance of a respectable village. Their mining work is progressing rapidly; 4 shafts are being sunk, one is now at the depths of 140 feet; the 1st level is being extended so that by spring it be opened 900 feet long. The 2nd level is now about 500 feet. The produce of the mine and the stamp-work on hand must pay a handsome dividend to the Company next season.
The mines of the District are being opened and worked under favorable circumstances.
Several new companies have started into existence and several old ones have been resuscitated which, with practical ability in their management will no doubt succeed. The question formery so much debated in scientific circles as to their being copper here has been solved beyond a doubt. It has also been proved to be more than mere surface indications. The ancient works of the country, every day more and more developed, show that it has been extensively, mined at a former period when ore and the stone hammer were the only tools used.
1850 More Copper From the Mines
Lake Superior Journal 10-2-1850
The pioneer steamer of Lake Superior, the copper-carrying Propeller Independence, Capt. John Halloran, brings down at every trip a cargo of the rich metal. She came in on the 28th ult with 140,000 lbs of mass and barrel copper—about 12 tons being from the North American, 24 tons from the North West and the balance from the Cliff.
Jackson Iron Mining Company
Jackson Iron Compant - Its History and Resources
Lake Superior Journal 8-14-1850
We gather the following particulars in relation to the history and resources of the great Iron Mine of Lake Superior from John Western.
The Jackson Iron Company made their location in the year 1845, and commenced preparatory operations for working the ore in 1846. Erected their works on Carp River, about 4 miles east of their location, and commenced making Iron in the winter of 1846 and 7, which works are still in operation.
The ore is very rich in quality, works remarkable easy, and the iron made from it is thought to be equal, if not superior to even the Swedish Iron.
The location consists of one square mile, at least one-fourth of which is supposed to be covered with ore, appearing in the form of hills, often without any covering on the surface, and terminating in precipices varying in height, up to 150 feet, and apparently composed of pure ore from the bottom to the top, with every appearance of being easy to quarry.
A great extent of country in the neighborhood of the said location is found to contain vast quantities of iron ore, on portions of which locations have been made, and some of them are supposed to contain even a greater abundance of ore than the Jackson location, which gives us reason to believe that these beds of rock ore are inexhaustible.
A great portion of the country in the iron region is said to be covered by dense forests of timber, and a great part of it well adapted to the making of charcoal, and article by which the best quality of iron is made.
The iron region commences at the Jackson location, about 12 miles west of the Lake shore, to which a plank road can be made fore the purpose of conveying the ore, where it would b ready for shipment.
It is thought an effort will be made in Congress this session to get a canal made at Saut Ste. Marie, which, if successful, will make a water communication to the iron region from all parts of the shores of the Lakes below.
Steam power is applicable to the making of iron, and often preferred to waterpower, so that where wood is at hand, the requisite power and material for making the iron are also ready.
To give some idea of the resources of this region in the article of iron, we will mention that the ore on the Jackson location is visible in different places where it is believed to be above 100 feet high-the depth below the surface has not been ascertained-calling the ore on one acre 100 feet thick, and allowing 10 cubic feet of ore to the ton and w find that we have about 135,000 tons of ore on one acre of land.
With regard to wood, suppose the wood on a section of land will average 50 cords to the acre, and that 2 1-2 cords will make 100 bushels of coal and we find the section will produce 1,280,000 bushels of coal.
It takes about 200 bushels of coal to make one ton of iron in blooms, so that one section of land is found to produce sufficient coal to make 6,400 tons of blooms. The last blooms sold by the Jackson Company were sold in Pittsburgh at $67.50 a ton. Allowing the price of blooms to be $50 a ton when made, and the 6,400 tons will amount to the immense sum of $320,000 made from coal produced from one section of land.
Supposing that one half the timber be kept for the use of arms and other necessary purposes, and the other half made into coal, consequently, we should have only half the coal and half the iron, or 3,200 tons on a section.
Allowing that 100 acres only of the Jackson location is covered with ore in the same ration and we find that we have enough to use up the coal on about 930 square miles of land, and to produce nearly 3,000,000 tons of bloom iron on that location alone.
With regard to wood, if in addition to that in the locality of the iron ore, we take a circuit of the coasts around the lakes, bays, islands, &e., (to which water communication may be had after a canal is made at Saut Ste. Marie, ) of the depth of 4 miles which would be a moderate distance for the conveyance of coal, and we find that we have immense resources in the article of wood for the purpose of making ore into iron.
If the settler by clearing the land, could realize a handsome profit from the sale of his coal, and find a market for his supplies of crops, we think it would be the means of quickly settling a large portion of our country, which otherwise would not be settled, at least, for a long time to come, if ever.
All that is required to throw this iron region open to navigation, is the means to make a plank or rail road, over a district of country of about 12 miles to lake shore.
With a canal at Saut Ste. Marie, and a plank road to the Lake, we are perfectly satisfied that Michigan can be supplied with iron at two-thirds the price which the same quality of iron costs here at present, and with a fair profit to the Manufacturer.
The principal draw back in the successful operation of making iron at present arises from the bad state of the roads, occasioned by the dry state of the snow in winter, which prevents it form packing on the track, and in summer, partly from the nature of the soil, and the exclusion of the sun and air from the road by the density of the forest through which it passes. The agent at the works last spring made about six miles of new road to avoid a portion of the old road, which was impassable. He says that it was a hard day’s work for a span of horses to go to the Lake and draw back three barrels of flour to a load in one day, a distance of 8 or 9 miles only,-and that out of about seven tons of blooms made at the works in September last, only about one ton could be got to the lake during the fall, although they had two good span of horses there for the purpose of taking off the iron.
With ore in abundance, and a bountiful supply of wood for coal, no company ever had such facilities for making and marketing the best quality of iron such as is now found to exist in this State, and from the superior quality of the article, it will not affect the interests of our sister States-it coming in competition principally with the best article, imported from abroad, making it still a greater object of National wealth, and in due season, we have no doubt but soon, will be an article of export from, instead of import into the country.
1850 Eagle River Mining
Lake Superior Journal, July 28, 1850
After a pleasant ride of about 24 hours on the supub Steamer Manhattan—with her fine accommodations and gentlemanly and obliging officers, no person can pass the time otherwise, than agreeable—we found ourselves at Carp River, the landing place for the Iron region of Lake Superior. We were soon stowed away in comfortable quarters, by the hospitality of Mr. Harlow, the manager of the Marquette Iron Co., under whose enterprising management, surrounded by many difficulties that can scarcely be appreciated by those unacquainted with commencing business in a wilderness, where ever thing has to be brought from a great distance, and being necessarily compelled frequently to employ men in branches of business they are wholly unacquainted with, in the short space of 12 months has grown up a very respectable establishment. They have now a steam saw mill in operation, which turns out a large amount of beautiful pine lumber, all of which, has as yet, and will for some time to come, be used on the ground. They are erecting a forge house, machine house, engine shop, mill house, barn, store house, dwellings, a church, and all of which are being built in a substantial and durable manner. They are now working about 70 men, and will in a short time be making iron pretty extensively. They have divine service twice ever Sabbath, under the care of a respectable Congregationalist Minister, the Rev. Dr. Morse.
Our next visit was to the oilstone factory of Messrs. Smith and Pratt, who are preparing to manufacture them upon a pretty large scale, with machinery, and judging from the quantity of specimens we examined, this will be an item of Lake Superior production of some considerable importance.
From the Marquette works we traveled some 10 or 12 miles to the Jackson works, who are the pioneers in the iron business of Lake Superior. At their forge has been made all the iron that has been shipped from the Lake. Their machinery is propelled by water, it is in most of its details very imperfect, and it is only wonderful that they can make iron at all—but with the improvements they contemplate making, and the vast amount of water power and ore, owned by the company, there is nothing but capital and perseverance wanting, to enable them to make iron to almost an unlimited extent.
Three miles from the Jackson works brought us into the iron, mines, or mountains, as they might properly be called; and, although we had heard many flattering and, as we thought, exaggerated accounts of these mines, we were not prepared to expect any thing like it. The iron lays in ridges or mountains with acres of it naked and exposed to view, varying from 20 to 200 feet in height, but how far east, west, north or south, or how far it extends downwards, is unknown, but from what we saw, I should think, we hazard nothing is saying there is enough to supply the wants of the civilized world for a number of centuries to come.
It lays in stratified layers, very easily quarried and requiring no selecting, being unmixed with stone, earth, or anything but the ore, yielding form 65 to 80 percent of iron, of a quality, it is believed from actual experiments made, unsurpassed by any iron in the world.
The only obstacle to bringing this iron immediately and extensively into market is some mode of conveyance more economical and expeditious than common roads. Two plans, or routes, both feasible, present themselves; one, by Railroad from the Iron Mountains to Bay de Noquet, Lake Michigan; the other, by Railroad from the mines to Lake Superior, and a ship canal around the Falls at Saut Ste. Marie.
But if there was a Railroad from Bay de Noque to Lake Superior at the mouth of Carp River, through the Iron Mines, and a ship canal around the Ste. Marie Falls, there is Iron enough to keep both ends, or routes at work for centuries to come; and it does seem to me that a matter of such vast importance should claim the early attention and prompt action of Congress.