The original stamp mill was located close to Houghton, on Portage Lake. Runoff silt from the mill went into the lake, however, and threatened navigation in this important channel. The government threatened heavy fines and so the mill was moved.
The new location was on the shore of Torch Lake. Construction began in 1888 and over time was built a boarding house, dock, cistern, six other buildings a pump and boiler house and a railway connecting the mill to Quincy Mine. The facility was completed in 1890 with two stamps, and a third added upon opening. Within two years, an additional two stamps were added.
A second mill was already required, however, and Mill 2 was completed just north of Mill 1 in 1900. A new boiler and pump house were built and in 1916, a large smokestack was added.
Mill 2 was closed in 1922, and the equipment modernized in Mill 1 between 1929 and 1930.
By 1931, the effects of the depression were being felt and Quincy was horsed to close the mine and mill.
In 1938, copper prices were improving and Quincy was able to refurbish and reopen the mill. This wouldn't last long, however, as the end of World War II horsed the mine and mills to close for good.
It was a very warm day, and a walk among the trees was welcoming shade. The ruins in the woods were scarce, yet fascinating. I wished I could have gotten aboard the nearby dredge, but that wasn't to be.
The ruins are on both sides of the road, and go back some distance on either side. There is considerable damage, the result of time, partying, vandals, etc. I doubt it will enjoy the same attention as the smelter, closer to town, which is being restored.