Quincy Mine Hoist

Useful Information

Quincy mine shaft #2 with the old hoist house at the right, c1906. Public Domain.
#2 Shafthouse (left) and the Hoist House (right), Quincy Mine. Public Domain.
Location: 49750 US-41, Hancock, MI 49930.
(47.136635, -88.575122)
Open: Memorial Day to Labor Day daily.
Reservation by online booking system required.
Fee: The Underground Experience: Adults USD 35, Children (6-18) USD 20, Children (0-5) free, Students USD 20.
Above Ground Only: Adults USD 15, Children (6-18) USD 10, Children (0-5) free, Students USD 10.
The Smelter Experience: Adults USD 12, Children (6-18) USD 5, Children (0-5) free.
Classification: MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: VR=2,925 m, 98 levels, Ar=5 km², T=6 °C.
Guided tours: D=135 min, L=610 m.
Bibliography: Larry D. Lankton, Charles K. Hyde (): Old Reliable, An Illustrated History of the Quincy Mining Company., On sale in the mine gift shop for USD 32.95.
Address: Quincy Mine Hoist Association, 49750 US-41, Hancock, MI 49930, Tel: +1-906-482-3101, Tel: +1-906-482-5569. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1920 hoist commissioned.
1931 hoist decommissioned.


Quincy Mine No. 2 Hoist House. Public Domain.
Quincy Mine No. 2 Hoist House. Public Domain.

The Quincy Mine Hoist is the largest steam powered hoist ever manufactured, weighing more than 880 tons. It could lift 10 tons of ore at 16m/s, by serving the two incline skipways of Shaft No. 2, almost 2,900 m long. The overhead winding drum has a lenght of 9 m, divided into three 3 m long sections. The cylindrical center section is 9 m in diameter, both long end sections taper down to a 4.5 m diameter. Wire hoisting ropes, which weight almost 27 tons, could be wound onto a small end of the cylindrical drum as the other rope unwound from the cylindrical section. Thus, the weight of the ropes was in equilibrium and the engine did not have to lift it.

The hoist was powered by two cross-compound Corliss engines with cylinder bores of 81 and 152 cm. The 167 cm stroke drove the drum directly. With steam at 11kg/cm², 1.8 MW was developed at 34 revolutions per minute. In its first year, the new hoist pulled larger loads, faster, thus saving Quincy $16,080 in fuel bills. The hoist operated from 1920 to 1931.

Quincy mine is rather big, being nearly 3 km deep, with 98 levels and an enormous extension of 5 square kilometers. This Shaft No. 2 is only one of 20 shafts and numerous adits, which allow access to the mine. An adit into the hillside nearby, which is connected to the 7th level of the Quincy Mine, is used as an experimental mine by Michigan Technological University. The Mining Engineering program of the Department of Geological & Mining Engineering & Sciences conducts exercises here. The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum at the Michigan Tech has a very interesting collection of minerals from Quincy Mine.

The Quincy Mine is operated by the non-profit Quincy Mine Hoist Association, Inc. The site includes about two dozen buildings along Highway 41.

The tour includes the famous steam hoist, the museum, and Shaft #2. The Underground Tour additionally includes a cog tram ride and a 600 m long underground adit. Both tours are available all year. The underground tour requires helmets, headlamps, gloves and good walking shoes, best are hiking shoes or gum boots. Helmets and lamps are provided. The Smelter Experience tour shows the historic Quincy Smelter from 1898, located on Hancock’s waterfront. It is the oldest and most intact smelter from this period in the world. They also require good walking shoes and warm clothes. When we listed the site it was open all year, but it seems at the moment it is open only Memorial Day to Labor Day. Unfortunately, this is hard to say, as they do not give open hours any more. Probably a result of the pandemic, it is required to book only now for a certain tour. This is quite unflexible and not very customer-friendly.