Fri, December 07 2012 04:27
This 1950s photo from Superior View Studio in Marquette shows the LS&I Upper Harbor ore dock.
The Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad ore dock in the Upper Harbor near Presque Isle in Marquette, MI, celebrated its centennial this year. Observances included a visit from the brig Niagara from Erie, PA - dwarfed by the dock in the color photo, previous post. The 1950's black and white photo above shows the ore dock, railroad sheds, yards and roundhouse; the 75-ft. high trestle over Lake Shore Drive; the 2816-ft. breakwater and light completed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1939; and Presque Isle. Also visible are the remains of the much shorter 1896 wooden ore dock.
Begun in 1911, construction of the ore dock ended in 1912 at a cost of $1,250,000; the first load of iron ore went out August 5, 1912.
Wed, December 05 2012 09:24
The first reinforced concrete ore dock on the Great Lakes, it sits on a base of 9809 pilings of Oregon fir driven 20 feet into the lake bottom. A 9 foot thick cap of reinforced concrete tops the pilings, making a foundation that has endured 100 years of vibration from train engines and ore cars.
Longer ore docks (2300 ft.) in Duluth, MN, were built after the LS&I dock; an earlier (1909) steel dock in Two Harbors, MN, ended its working life 30 years ago. Over the past 100 years, the LS&I dock has loaded well over 400 million tons of ore for shipment. The pockets--200 of them, 100 each side--hold 250 tons of ore each. Thus 50,000 tons of ore await loading into lake carriers.
The next issue of Upper Country will include a photo essay on the 1911-12 construction.
(photos:b&w: Superior View Studio; above, Tom Buchkoe.)