Rogers Mine
Iron River, MI

Iron was first located under what would become Rogers Mine in 1910, about two miles east of Iron River, Michigan. By 1910, the Munro Mining Company was busy sinking the first shaft–work that was slowed when they found that the mine was directly over a quicksand deposit. Knowing the ore was about 125 below their feet, engineers designed and began to sink the first concrete mine shaft on the Menominee Range.

Little by little, they sank the 30-foot diameter concrete tube through the quicksand as a crane with a clamshell bucket emptied the center of the ring. It was costly work, but it gave Munroe Mining time to build a row of modern brick industrial buildings. The shaft and shops were done by 1913. What they did not realize, however, is how water would filter through the quicksand and into the mine below–Rogers Mine was impossible to keep dry. Miners started their work, but were limited to one shift because of the water. Nevertheless, the company installed new hoists and pumps, hoping some technological combination would pay off.

Rogers shipped some ore in its time, but flooding finally forced it to close in 1937. It had reached a depth of about 450 feet. In the 1960s there were attempts to pump the mine, but they were stopped when it was found that dewatering the mine was actually lowering the height of a lake over two miles away…

While the mine was a flop, M.A. Hanna had seen hope in the property and acquired it around 1930 and acquired it from Munroe. They located their main repair shops and laboratory at Rogers, so even when the shafts were left to flood, there was more activity than ever in the 1940s. Hanna eventually relocated its laboratories to the Homer Mine and closed the repair shops by 1956, leaving Rogers Mine to rot. The shaft house and many of the outbuildings were demolished. While some of the buildings were repurposed as a lumber mill, they have since been left vacant and the buildings have fallen into disrepair.