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The Tamarack & Osceola Consolidated Mine Fatalities

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  • Jaakko Jalmari Kokko (1888 - 1902)
    July 10, 1888 + Ylikiiminki Birth Records 1887-1902 (MKO2-7 IC:4) Sivu 114 29.6.1888 ; SSHY Was left orphaned at the age of 5 when his mother died in 1893. Ylikiiminki parish Children's Book 1891-19...
  • Marco Miana (1877 - 1902)
    ACCIDENT NO. 31. - April 18. A fatal accident occurred at the 33rd level, south of No. 6 shaft at the Osceola Mine. Joseph Mahanna, a trammer, was struck by a piece of vein rock rolling down the stope,...
  • Josip Plese (1871 - 1902)
    ACCIDENT No. 18. — January 21. Joseph Plese, employed as laborer in No. 1 shaft, Tamarack Mine, was, with two others, while riding up from the bottom of the shaft to the 20th level, standing on the rim...
  • Martin Vrbanac (1858 - 1902)
    ACCIDENT No. 49. Sept. 23rd. Martin Verbanich, timberman, with three others, got into the cage at the twelfth level of No. 3 shaft North Tamarack Mine, to go to the surface. When the cage had ascended ...
  • George Frankovic (1868 - 1902)
    ACCIDENT No. 34. — June 5. Occurred at the 13th level, north of No. 3 shaft at the North Tamarack mine, resulting in the death of George Frankavitch, by a fall of vein rock. An inquest was held befor...

The Tamarack, Osceola, Tamarack Junior & Kearsarge mines-

The Tamarack Mining Company was incorporated in 1882 and is opened on the underlay of the Calumet conglomerate reef, (on a tract west of land held by Calumet and Hecla) and to some extent upon the Osceola amygdaloid as well, the latter being opened by means of crosscuts run east from the openings on the conglomerate.

5 shafts were sunk along C&H’s western border with an average depth of over 4500 feet - its deepest shaft dropping over a mile straight down. Shafts 1 and 2 are in the extreme southeast corner of the Tamarack lands, nearest to the outcrop of the conglomerate and consequently get the lode at the least depth, amounting to about 2,240 feet in the case of No. 1 and a little greater depth in No. 2.

Shafts 3 and 4 are known locally as the North Tamarack, No. 4 being about one mile north and between an eighth and a quarter of a mile east of the two southern shafts. Of these shafts, Nos. 1 and 2 have been the richer producers, and have made the greater part of the millions in dividends paid by the Tamarack from the rock underlying barely forty acres of ground, Nos. 3 and 4 are very deep shafts, and proved very disappointing when bottomed in 1894.
The lode is wide at that point, but much below the average richness maintained in the Calumet & Hecla workings and in the southern shafts of the Tamarack. No. 4 shaft has not been deepened since bottomed early in 1895, but No. 3 has been opened extensively, and while carrying much less copper per fathom of ground than the lode gives to the southward, the width of the reef and the large scale of production have rendered it decidedly profitable to the Tamarack company. No. 4 is connected underground with No. 3 and is valuable for ventilation and safety to miners in case of an accident to No. 3. No. 5 shaft was started in August, 1895, after the bottoming of the two shafts at the North Tamarack.

The Osceola mills are on the shore of Torch Lake, adjoining those of the Tamarack. The Osceola and Tamarack companies are under the same eastern and local management, by joining forces the two mines were able to do many things, which it would be unwise for either to attempt singly-as for instance, the installation of the forty-million-gallon pump at the mills which supplied water, through a tunnel, to both the Tamarack and Osceola mills. The larger producer, all things being equal, will make the finished product at the lowest cost per unit. The combination between the Tamarack and Osceola lightened costs in a variety of ways and enabled both mines to take advantage, collectively, of opportunities which could be availed by neither singly. The Tamarack and Osceola mills have been connected by a tunnel running parallel to the lakeshore, and which is fitted with a tram line. The rock of the Tamarack and Osceola mines is hauled to the mills by the Hancock & Calumet railroad. The road has lost its entity, and became a part of the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic system.

The control of the old Lake Superior Smelting Company has passed into the hands of the Tamarack and Osceola corporations. The Lake Superior company has furnaces at Hancock and at Dollar Bay, but the latter works being nearer to the mills, as well as more modern, the Tamarack mineral is all smelted there. At Dollar Bay, the Tamarack and Osceola companies have their wharves and coal sheds. These were formerly on Torch Lake, at the stamp mills. The works of the Tamarack-Osceola Copper Manufacturing Company are also located at Dollar Bay, but this concern has no official connection with the Tamarack or Osceola mines, being a close corporation in which the stock is held mainly by a few large shareholders of the mines named. The Tamarack-Osceola Manufacturing Company makes wire and sheets from copper bought of the two mines.

In 1900, when Tamarack’s five shafts produced more than twenty million tons of copper, the company ranked as the nation’s sixth largest producer. Tamarack provided its employees with houses to rent and an array of community services at two locations. Tamarack location had more than four hundred dwellings, including forty double houses and larger homes for company officials; it also offered a hospital, park, cricket field, church, schools, potato fields, and pasture. The Tamarack Co-operative Store (1890–1937) eventually grew to serve the entire region. North Tamarack location included about fifty residences and a school. The mine worked at a profit from 1887 to 1907.

After C&H acquired the Tamarack Mining Company in 1917, for $3 million, the company was dissolved and most underground operations were closed, facilities dismantled, and many dwellings removed. C&H continued mining at shaft No. 3, however, until the early 1930s.

In 35 years of operation, Tamarack produced 389,215,899 lbs. of refined copper, making Tamarack the second largest producer from the Calumet Conglomerate. The Tamarack Mine has 168 known fatalities; this is subject to change during the research progress.

Tamarack Casualties

The Osceola

The Osceola company was organized in 1873, by E. J. Hulbert, to work the southern extension of the Calumet conglomerate. Six shafts were sunk on this lode by the Osceola, but only one, located near the Calumet & Hecla line, proved profitable. The Osceola proper has 720 acres, with a mile north and south on the Osceola amygdaloid lode, giving one and one-fifth miles of the strike of the lode, which is approximately North 39 degrees East.

In 1877 attention was turned to the underlying amygdaloid, and after many vicissitudes the Osceola has finally become one of the great and profitable mines of the district. The six shafts on the amygdaloid, numbered from north to south, of which the two northernmost, Nos. 1 and 2, are abandoned. No. 3, was the northernmost active shaft, has 3 compartments and is about 3,000 feet deep. No. 4 is 600 feet southward and of the same size, about 3,700 feet deep. No. 5 is 1,300 feet south of No. 4 and is 3,600 feet deep. No. 6, (or “Opechee”) shaft is the southernmost of the mine, being 1,300 feet south of No. 5, and a little less than 4,000 feet in depth. This is the best shaft of the mine. It was also the most productive and in the best ground in 1900. There is good equipment at the older shafts, but the best machinery is at Nos. 5 and 6, which are fitted with Nordberg hoists good for a depth of 6,500 feet. The hoist at No. 5 went into commission in the spring of 1900. The mine is supplied with all the usual machinery in the way of compressors, etc. Water is brought from Lake Superior by the Tamarack water works.

The Osceola Consolidated Mining Company was organized under Michigan laws, in 1873, and reincorporated, in 1903, for a term of thirty years with a capital of $2,500,000. It is controlled by Boston capital; owns over 2.000 acres of land in four separate and distinct mines, covering properties of the Osceola, (North Kearsarge, South Kearsarge and Tamarack Junior mine's; an extensive mill site in Houghton County and considerable holdings of timber and miscellaneous lands in Houghton and Keweenaw counties.) none of which are connected or connectible, as none of the four touch corners at any point. Osceola Consolidated Mining Company, operating its mine at Osceola, has two stamp mills adjoining those of the Tamarack, on the shore of Torch Lake, the first of wood (built in 1886) having been torn down in 1905. The second was completed in 1899, and the third in 1902. As stated, the Osceola and Tamarack companies had a joint boiler house, pump house and wharves.

The Tamarack Junior- The Tamarack Junior is a tract of 120 acres in 11-56–33, one-quarter mile wide and three-quarters of a mile long from north to south, sandwiched between the Centennial on the east and the Calumet & Hecla on the other three sides. It was originally a portion of the Tamarack, but was set off about ten years ago as an independent mine, and opened by means of two vertical shafts. In 1897 it was absorbed by the Osceola Consolidated. It worked the Calumet conglomerate, of which it has a small area of very richly mineralized ground

Osceola Casualties

The North Kearsarge

The Kearsarge Mine, also absorbed by the Osceola in 1897, has 1,120 acres of land on the mineral belt, in Sections 5 and 6, Town 56, Range 32, and in Section 1, 56–33. This mine was opened exclusively on the Kearsarge amygdaloid. The Kearsarge is one of the growing members in the Osceola partnership. It is connected underground with the Wolverine, and the Kearsarge and Wolverine traded ground to the extent of about 134 acres. This was mutually beneficial, giving each property a chance to follow its copper according to the dip of the lode instead of by the section, near the boundary line. No. 3, It is 1,500 feet north of No. 2, and has 3 compartments.

North Kearsarge Casualties

The South Kearsarge

At the end of 1899, the Osceola Mining Company began sinking two shafts between the Centennial and Wolverine Mines that would be called the South Kearsarge Mine, formerly known as the Iroquois, consisted of 160 acres, the southwest corner of Section 7, 56-32. The shafts were sunk on the Kearsarge Lode approximately 1,100 feet apart. The South Kearsarge also had everything needed in the way of transportation and milling facilities, They are fitted with old hoists, discarded from the Osceola, which were adequate for development purposes but replaced for profitable production. Osceola worked these shafts until 1957 when ore grades dropped below economic levels.

South Kearsarge Casualties

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