Madison Mine

Madison Mining Company

Madison fissure mine slideshow, PNGinc

Madison Fissure Mine slideshow

Madison Mine, Summit-Madison Mining Company, 1852-1882

Madison Fissure Mine History

Madison fissure mine, Keweenaw MichiganOriginally organized as the Summit Mining Company in 1852, the Madison fissure mines were located in the western of Sec. 19, T. 58, R. 30 in Keweenaw county, Michigan. Mining work began by opening two veins about 200 feet apart, south of the greenstone. 1

In spite of adequate start-up financing, favorable geological indications & lofty predictions of early profitability, the mine did not pay. Work was suspended in 1856, the company was reorganized as the Madison Mining Company, and mining resumed in 1863.

Madison powderhouse ruinsEight years of inactivity had resulted in deterioration of surface buildings, so the newly reorganized company repaired houses & the stamp mill before adding improvements. The water-filled mine was dewatered, a new sawmill & engine house were built, and new hoisting & pumping machinery were installed. Shaft number 2 received a new shaft house, a skip & a launder which used water from the nearby Little Montreal River.

By August 1865, $140,000 had been assessed – and only five tons of copper had been extracted, yielding 68 percent. At this time, newly appointed agent Captain John Uren opted to dig deeper before suspending operations, rather than allowing the mine to fill with water. – Dewatering the mine while investors caught their breath was an unacceptable expense.

The company stalled, then leased the mine to Captain Uren for a year under tribute. In 1866 he hauled out 40 tons of mass copper from the east vein. Again the company dragged its feet, refusing Uren more time to deepen the mine.

A period of 10 years of idleness followed. In 1876 the company resumed mining, spending $15,000 & demanding more from investors – unsuccessfully. In debt, the property was sold at a sheriff’s sale in 1878, redeemed by the company in 1879, and a small mining crew resumed work on the east vein after reorganization in 1880.

Mining operations on the narrow copper veins never matched the productivity of the famous Central mine just west of the Madison. In 1886, 1,920 acres belonging to the Madison Mining Company passed into the hands of the Central Mine directors, who purchased them for their timber value. 2

Total copper production from 1852-1882: over 72,000 pounds.

Madison Mine Workings


Depth/Length (feet)

No. 1 West vein


No. 1 East vein


No. 2 East


No. 3


2 adits

1 shallow, 1 deep

1 Annual Report of the Commissioner of Mineral Statistics for 1880 – Page 29-30 of 133

2 “Report by Central Mine directors, statement of the operations during the year 1886” from Mines and Mineral Statistics, 1886 – Page 85 of 113


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