Near Delaware in Keweenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Delaware Mine
A Promise of Prosperity Unfulfilled
The Delaware mine was a failure, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Spurred on by the great success of the nearby Cliff and Central mines, the Northwest Company, the Pennsylvania Mining Company, the Delaware Mining Company, the Conglomerate Mining Company, and others all worked this location during the latter half of the 1800s. They invested heavily in the mine infrastructure and blasted their way to a depth of nearly 1,400 feet. Still they failed. Like the Phoenix mine, the Delaware was a frustrating property. Its native copper fissure veins and conglomerate lodes promised more than they delivered. Mining them cost investors more money than they made.
Delaware's population reached 1,150 in the late 1870s. Its mining operations ranked among Keweenaw County's largest and most modern, boasting two hundred or more structures. Today only a few houses remain. Since 1977, Delaware Mine Tours, located amid the mine ruins, has allowed visitors to experience a bit of mining history as they walk into the first level of the mine, 100 feet below ground.
Photos courtesy Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country
Horace Greeley's Keweenaw Connection
As a rule, there are many easier ways of gaining gold than digging it from the earth...
—Horace Greeley, 1868, Recollections of a Busy Life
Influential newspaper editor Horace Greeley followed his famous advice, "Go west, young man," to Delaware in 1847-48 as an investor in the mine. "An old backwoodsman named Bailey" had discovered a vein of copper and offered Greeley stock in a proposed mining company. Greeley's three-year involvement in the mine included convincing others to invest. Unfortunately for the investors, Bailey's find wasn't at the Cliff or Central locations. Those mines each returned more than $2 million on investments of about $100,000. Greeley fared no better in politics, losing several elections, including the 1872 presidential race against Ulysses S. Grant. Of some consolation, perhaps, nearby Mt. Horace Greeley is named for him.
Erected by Western Upper Peninsula Heritage Trail.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1847.
Location. 47° 25.466′ N, 88° 5.906′ W. Marker is near Delaware, Michigan, in Keweenaw County. Marker can Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7804 Delaware Road, Mohawk MI 49950, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Eagle Harbor House (approx. 3.7 miles away); Eagle Harbor (approx. 3.7 miles away); Michigan DNR Marina (approx. 3.7 miles away); Eagle Harbor Entrance Channel and Range Lights (approx. 3.7 miles away); Riveted Bell Buoy (approx. 3.7 miles away); Iron-Stock Anchor (approx. 3.8 miles away); Wood-Stock Anchor (approx. 3.8 miles away); Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and Museums (approx. 3.8 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Mining Legacy. Visit Keweenaw website entry:
Located 12 miles south of Copper Harbor, the Delaware Copper Mine dates from 1847-1887. Eight million pounds of copper were removed from the five shafts that reached a depth of 1,400 feet with ten levels. You’ll see pure veins of copper exposed in the walls of the mine. (Submitted on July 31, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Delaware Copper Mine. Copper Country Trail website entry (Submitted on July 19, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 19, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 324 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 7, 8, 9. submitted on July 31, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.