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Calumet & Hecla Mining Company, Superior Engine House, Mine Street, Calumet, Houghton County, MI



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Data Pages


Item Title
Calumet & Hecla Mining Company, Superior Engine House, Mine Street, Calumet, Houghton County, MI

Location
Mine Street, Calumet, MI

Find maps of Calumet, MI


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS MI-430
Building/structure dates: 1880 initial construction
Significance: The Superior Engine House was built in 1880 to house the hoisting drums for the Calumet mine shafts as well as the air compressors; the most significant piece of equipment included in the building was the Superior engine, also called the "most famous stationary steam engine of its day." The Superior engine was installed in the building in 1881. Engineer Erasmus D. Leavitt, Jr., designed the Superior engine - a steam engine described as "the marvel of the mechanical engineering world" by Leavitt's contemporaries and was the most powerful of the mining company's hoisting engines. The Superior engine has also been identified as a Vertical Rocker Compound Engine; this was built by I.P. Morris of Philadelphia. Used to power machinery at the mine site, it was not until the second World War that the Superior engine was scrapped. The engine house itself measured approximately 62' x 146' and stood three stories tall. The engine house was made of red-brown stone laid in coursed rubble on the first floor, with red-orange brick above. In addition to load-bearing, exterior masonry walls, there appears to be a timber truss system in place inside. The structure was covered by a hip roof.

Subjects
Stone Buildings
Mining
Engine Houses


Related Names
Leavitt, Erasmus Darwin
I.P. Morris Of Philadelphia
Harrington, Kevin, Historian
Nicholas, Wendy, Historian


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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