Repairs needed on Quinnesec Mine fence, mine inspector says

IRON MOUNTAIN – Dickinson County’s mine inspector is calling for fence repairs at the former Quinnesec Mine (commonly known as Devil’s Icebox) in Breitung Township.

In a recent report, Mine Inspector Steve Smith informed Breitung Township Superintendent Joe Rogina that the fence surrounding the site is in poor condition.

“The mine needs to be made safe (and visitors discouraged) until improvements can be made to allow visitors to view the site safely providing that is the township’s intent,” Smith said.

Besides the danger of falling rocks should anyone enter the mine, there are cliffs of approximately 50 feet on some of the edges that are a potentially fatal hazard, Smith said.

Smith said he would like to see fence repairs started this year and completed next year at the latest. Warning signs should be displayed around the perimeter, he added.

Smith, who shared his report with the county, offered his assistance in planning cost-effective ways to complete the project. Many of the existing fence posts are still useable, he noted.

Smith invited a representative of the township to accompany him later this fall when the foliage is down and he conducts a second inspection.

In a report to the county on former mine sites within the Fumee Lake Natural Area, Smith said the Fumee Lake Commission is taking action to address several potential hazards with fencing and/or signage. The commission has received a $1,700 grant towards fencing and is prepared to commit some $2,000 to $3,000 of its own funds.

Also within Fumee, repairs were completed on an Indiana Mine fence, while the Forest Mine fence is already adequate, Smith said. Another inspection will be conducted later this fall.