The town of Gay is located along the east side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Its most well-known landmark is the Gay Bar, but a little ways down the road is a tall chimney. It was part of the old Mohawk and Wolverine Stamp Mill. Rail cars full of ore would come into the mill and dump the ore where it would be pulverized and the copper extracted. The remaining sand would be conveyed out to the Lake Superior shoreline. The mill operated from 1900 to 1932 and produced 22 million metric tons of sand. Over the decades the sand has eroded into Lake Superior affecting the spawning of trout and salmon. The state and EPA are working on relocating the sand and controlling the erosion.
When I was there taking photos a lady was placing a sign for the museum and invited me to come to see it. Near the chimney is an old two-story building that served as a school for many years. It has now been turned into a museum and there I learned a lot about the old stamp mill and the town of Gay. It was the first time I have ever been along the east side of the Keweenaw. I mostly travel up the west side to see Eagle Habor and Brockway Mountain. If you are ever in the Keweenaw be sure to take a trip along the east side. The road that travels along the lake is a beautiful drive and you can stop in the town of Gay and learn some history or get a drink at the Gay Bar.
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