Superiorland Yesterdays

EDITOR’S NOTE: Superiorland Yesterdays is prepared by the reference staff at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

30 years ago

ISHPEMING — The Tilden Mine iron ore pellet plant was closed today after an overnight fire crippled a main conveyor belt. Mine personnel responded immediately to the fire at 1:50 a.m., according to Don Ryan, spokesman for Cleveland Cliffs, Inc., which manages the mine and processing plant. Ryan said quick assistance from the Ishpeming Township, Negaunee and Ishpeming city fire departments helped limit damage to a 100 foot section of the conveyor belt. Ishpeming Township firefighters said the collapsed conveyor shaft was glowing cherry red when they arrived and a column of fire was shooting into the mine’s pellet plant. Despite a snowstorm and near-zero degree wind chill, firefighters had the fire under control within about two hours. No injuries were reported. The fire broke out just one day before a scheduled two-week shutdown of the mine to adjust production. The ore concentrator and mine pit operations will continue until scheduled layoffs begin Saturday.

90 years ago

ISHPEMING — Captain William Thomas, who had temporary charge of underground mining work at the Oliver Iron Mining company’s Holmes property, has been made assistant captain, under Captain Fred Knight, recently transferred from the Chapin mine at Iron Mountain. Captain Thomas succeeded Captain William Hatch at the company’s Section 16 mine in June, 1931, when Captain Hatch resigned because of ill health. From there Captain Thomas went to the Homes when the company took over the property from the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron company and suspended operation at Section 16. For many years before being promoted to the more responsible position, Thomas had charge of all timber work at Section 16. This was a job that required careful attention, as the workings of the mine, as well as the shaft, had been “shifting” for some years before it was closed. Mr. Thomas and his assistants had to work nearly every Sunday and holiday placing new timber in the shaft and underground. As the Holmes mine, with firmer formations, required much less timber than Section 16, this part of the underground work will be looked after by the captain and his assistants and the mine foreman.


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