Hornitos, California Masonic Lodge No. 98

Old photo, Masonic Lodge, Hornitos, California. Circa 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $12.00            Size:  4 and 1/2 x 2 and 3/4″

Located in the “almost ghost town” of Hornitos, Mariposa County, California…..

This building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the smallest Masonic Hall in California. Built by Italian stonemasons from local schist rock in 1855, it enjoyed a variety of uses until it was purchased by the Freemasons in 1873, and renovated and first opened for meetings in early 1875. The “F & AM” in the Lodge’s sign, if you can read it, is a Masonic term and stands for “Free and Accepted Masons.”

The other sign (which we can’t read) to our right of the building shows a pickaxe. The Hornitos area was an important part of the California Gold Rush, so this sign may have been some type of historical marker.

Sources:  Hornitos Masonic Hall No. 98. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornitos_Masonic_Hall_No._98 (accessed September 18, 2022).

“AF and AM versus F and AM States.” masoniclodgeofeducation.com. (Accessed September 18, 2022).

“National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County.” noehill.com. (Accessed September 18, 2022).

“Hornitos, Gold Districts of California.” http://explore.museumca.org/goldrush/dist-hornitos.html. Excerpt from: Gold Districts of California, by: W.B. Clark, California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193, 1970.

Bub At Shaft House, Houghton, 1937

Photo, Autumn 1937, Houghton, Michigan

Price:  $6.00       Size:  2 and 3/4 x 4 and 1/2″

Another for Copper Country….

Just when I was about to give up looking for a match for this mine shaft, I came across an old photo and postcard. See Mindat’s No. 1 Shaft, Isle Royale Mine. True, the structure showing in that photo is too far in the background to pick out much beyond its outline, but that, along with the old postcard captioned,  “Houghton Mich., Rock House, Isle Royal Mine”  (appearing twice in the Google image search, below) seems to verify the i.d. of the mine, or if not verify, then drive up really close to it 😉 verification-wise, that is. Bear in mind that the postcard was colored, and also (per its reverse) was printed in Germany, for sale in the U. S., so circa 1907 – 1914, and our photo is from 1937, so there could have been some changes by the latter date, then too, any difference we might perceive could be due to the different angle. (i.e. where’s the chimney on the structure on the far left?)

On some last notes….

“Bub” wasn’t found in records, but it’s always worth a quick search; sometimes one gets lucky. And….what was set on top of our photo (or what was it set in) to give it the odd, sort of interior frame? The shape looks familiar, like we could just put our finger on it, but not quite.

Sources:  Isle Royale No. 1 Shaft, Isle Royal Mines, Houghton, Houghton Co., Michigan, USA. https://www.mindat.org/loc-125598.html. (accessed September 10, 2017).

Google.com search for “images of postcards of Isle Royale Mine Houghton MI.” (accessed September 10, 2017).

Tamarack Shaft And Rock House, Calumet, Michigan

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked October 5, 1910 from Calumet, Michigan. Publisher:  Yellow Front Curio Store, Houghton, Michigan. Made in Germany. Series or number:  E10586. Printer:  S L & Co.

Price:  $10.00

I had wanted to get this one up for Labor Day, but ran out of time…It shows a group of miners (and some children in the background) in front of what should be the #2 shaft of the Tamarack mine. The Tamarack ran from 1882 until it was sold in 1917 to Calumet & Hecla, the giant of a company that Tamarack had “drilled under” so to speak, to access part of the Calument Conglomerate, which had been one of the richest copper loads in the world. See the above link for a full explanation.

Teenage miners

Below, a photo taken at the Tamarack, said to be from 1905. The young men front left look to be in their teens still, maybe sixteen, or so. Out of curiosity, this led me to a quick look at the 1900 and 1910 Federal Census records for Calumet. The 1900 shows quite a number of fourteen to sixteen-year-olds, and even a twelve-year-old, Finnish immigrant, John Bortenen. By 1910, in Calumet, there are only two miners that are age sixteen or under from the census:  One of these two entries is for a young lady, fourteen-year-old Myrtle Boase, occupation miner, in the copper mining industry. (Interesting!)

Getting back to the postcard – the sender wrote:

“Dear Isabel:  Did you send my little blue Spalding books? I called at Katerines to day and saw Anabel and Katherine. Please send any letters that come addressed to me dear. Father[?]”

Addressed to:   “Miss Isabel Farrand, 191 Albion St, Houghton Mich.”

From the 1910 census for Houghton, Michigan, Isabel Farrand, is about twelve, daughter of Royal and Jessie Farrand. Was Royal a coal miner? No, his occupation is listed as physician. Anabel and Katherine are most likely cousins to Isabel:  Isabel’s marriage record to Newton Wagner in 1922, Houghton, MI, shows that her mother’s maiden name is MacNaughton. Annabel and Catherine MacNaughton, ages eight and twelve, respectively, are on the 1910 census in Calumet. They have an older brother, Archibald, age sixteen. The parents of the three are John and Rosella MacNaughton. John MacNaughton’s occupation is superintendent at rock houses. And we note that Archie is not working, a testament to the fact that his dad’s job brings in more income than a miner’s wage.

Sources:  Tamarack. http://www.geo.mtu.edu/KeweenawGeoheritage/CalumetGeosites/Tamarack.html. (accessed September 8, 2017).

John Bortenen. Year: 1900; Census Place: Calumet, Houghton, Michigan; Roll: 714; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0174; FHL microfilm: 1240714. (Ancestry.com)

Myrtle I. Boase. Year: 1910; Census Place: Calumet, Houghton, Michigan; Roll: T624_646; Page: 27A; Enumeration District: 0105; FHL microfilm: 1374659. (Ancestry.com)

“File:TamarackMiners CopperCountryMI sepia.jpg.” n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TamarackMiners_CopperCountryMI_sepia.jpg. (accessed September 4, 2017).

Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com)

MacNaughton family. Year: 1910; Census Place: Calumet, Houghton, Michigan; Roll: T624_646; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0104; FHL microfilm: 1374659. (Ancestry.com)