Arcadian Mine

The Discussion Board: Upper Peninsula History: Arcadian Mine

By Francis W. Carne ( on Friday, January 24, 2003 - 4:22 pm:

I am looking for information on the Arcadian Mining Co. The shafts were located South of the Houghton County Airport. Would appreciate any help.

By Paul Meier ( on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 12:46 am:

The Arcadian was Mr. Rockafeller's attempt to cash in on the copper boom of the 1890's. The mine was developed on a grand scale with a fully equiped surface plant at the mine and a mill at Point Mills. One major flaw was that they failed to develop the mine underground. There was no commercial copper. So it died as fast as it was built. The Mineral Range built a branch to the mine and a direct route to the mill. They kept the line open to the '30's since they used it to haul rock from other mines to Point Mills. You can see a monument to the rail line along M-26, a large concrete abutment still remains.

By Francis W Carne ( on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 7:53 pm:

Thanks Paul for the information. I recently bought some land South of Airpark Rd. on Jahanna Lane. East of Johanna Lane on my property is a timbered hole about 15 feet square filled with water. I was told by Sulo Hiltenen that it was one of the Arcadian Shafts. I know that the New Baltic shaft was in the area. I also found and old plat book at Tech that identified shafts A, B, #'s 1, 2, 3, 4, and New Baltic. But it did not identify their locations. I would like to discover the poperties of this mine if it was one or it's purpose if it was not. On another subject I am pleased to see the restoration of the Painsdale mine. My grandfather, Cy Carne worked there in the office and my Uncle Art Bonneau worked in the pumping level when water was being pumped for Houghton. My father Bill Carne worked in the shops as a joung man. He took me there to watch the skips go up and down. I was very very young. But I still remember. Good Memories!!!

By Paul Meier ( on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 11:42 pm:

Francis, More of Arcadian. It was incorporated in 1898 to work the northern extension of the Isle Royale lode. They sank 7 shafts and quit in 1903. Trimountain bought several of the shafthouses and moved them to their mine. Centennial bought the mill. The hole on your property is probably not a mine shaft since the water level would be much lower most likely out of site and at the level of Portage lake. The shafts should have been capped. But they did have all sorts of other holes about mining sites. Also there were several earlier companies that operated in that area. Whatever the case, it is always wise to be very careful, I discovered a similar hole up on the Cliff years ago. It wasn't a shaft, but some sort of cistern. Also came across a big hole caused by subsidance at the Frontenac location near Central. Always, always look at the ground when you are near an old mine. Best regards, Paul

By Francis W. Carne ( on Monday, January 27, 2003 - 2:34 pm:

Thanks again Paul! There is a large poor rock pile around about 2/3 of the hole. This pile is now about 15' high and runs out in three ridges about 40' wide and perhaps 200'long at the longest. Certainly not enough rock for a deep shaft. You are right about lots of holes. I am awair of eight not including the one in question with in 1500' Our hole as we refer to it has water about 20' down form the surface and apperaes to be 6' to 7' on one side and 10' to 12'on the other. I would bet the water level is about the same as Boston Pond. We have put a 6' fence around the hole with danger signs on it just to be sure. Although it was unfenced for God only knows how long. Fran

By Francis W. Carne ( on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 11:18 am:

Paul do you have any suggestions or sources where there might be old pictures of the Arcadian operations. There is only one picture on the Tech site that shows the New Baltic mine shaft. Regards, Fran

By Paul Meier ( on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 9:10 pm:

Fran, The archives at the MTU library would be the most likely place to find any pictures of the Arcadian if there are any. I recall seeing a distant shot somewhere, but I don't recall where. The Arcadian was such a short lived and spectacular failure that photos of it are rare or nonexistant. Your hole maybe one of the "old" Arcadian shafts. Given the time that the "new" Arcadian was developed, there should be a concrete collar and footings around it there will also be some sort of hoist foundation a few hundred feet away and in line with the shaft. There should be some signs of a railroad roadbed close to the hole. It (the hole)should dip towards Lake Superior at about 50-56 degrees. An old timber framed shaft would also dip the same way. For a view of what the shafthouses looked like, check on views of the Trimountain mine. Sorry I can't provide more, Paul

By Francis W Carne ( on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 8:25 pm:

Again I am indebted to uou Paul! We are in Sunny Florida for the winter and won't be back up there until the end of June. I will save your information and do some investigating. We have a clearing, septic system and power on a ridge about 100 feet from the hole. The ridge crosses Johann Lane about 500 feet from our North line. It runs North and a little West. It is difficult to tell the angle of the shaft as the timbers for the top 15' are gone. There is no sign of concrete. There is a foundation on the West side of Johanna Lane about 300' from the hole. Regards Fran

By Kevin E. Musser ( on Saturday, March 08, 2003 - 2:25 pm:

For those interested in the Arcadian Mine here is a topo map of the location surveyed between 1908 and 1912. The blue marks are know shafts at that time.

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