Eagle Creek Copper Mine

At the Eagle Creek Mine there were doctor offices, boarding houses, power houses, an engine house for trains, stores, school, church

When the mine shut down ore was around 32% copper.

There was some gold taken on the first level of the mine.

The mine was 2000 feet deep at the 18 level. This is how far the skip track went down into the mine. There were two more levels below that with no track. In the 1930's, the mine operated three shifts. Then later in early 40's there were two shifts. Mr. Sizemore was killed the day my father in law went to work. W.W. Calhoun said because of baulk ground.

The 10 level was said to have 35% copper (very rich copper).

A hoist or winch let cable down to the 18 level.

Mine shaft was on about a 45 degree slope.

There was a ladder road that went down the shaft.

The men would ride the skip up and down the shaft to work and about 8 men could ride skip. 80 to 100 men worked for the first owners of the mine. Later, only about 40 to 50 worked per shift.

N.C. Expiration Co. or Tenn.: Copper Co. owned the mine.

The mine shaft was about 12 by 12 Feet.


About two miles below Fontana Boat Dock on the right side of the lake you will see a sign Eagle Creek. About two miles up Eagle Creek on the right you will come to the old copper mine, there depending on the time of year and water level you might see an old foundation of a old doctor office, old boarding house, store house, cross the hollow you might see an old power house, up the hollow you will see a old Rail Road Bed that leads up to the mines. There you will see the mine shaft 2000 ft. deep about a 45 degree angle up cross from the shaft you will see a winch with 2000 ft of cable on it which let the men down the shaft, also pulled ore cars out of mine. Just down the hollow old boiler foundation and shower house.

My father in law W. W. Calhoun work at the mine he walk from Dorsey some 10 miles to Eagle Creek Mine every day rain or snow to work, then every evening walk back home to Dorsey. The first day he worked at the mines a man was killed right below him, Baulk Ground Fell on him. Further up Eagle Creek you will see old chimneys and two primitive camp sites, and old rail road bed. I can close my eyes and imagine the train pulling logs, and copper even gold down the creek and see all those people working and living on Eagle Creek. At one time about 500 citizens on Eagle Creek.


W. W. Calhoun, David Monteith

Mining Terms

Stokes is where ore has been taken out later the pillars were robbed or taking out.

Pen was made to hold up the back walls, pens were 6 ft. 8 x 8 square.

Drift or rooms is term where ore was mined

Baulk Ground cracked back or hanging wall or rotten rock.

Drill Man - man who ran drill.

Chucked - man who help drill man.

Timber Man - man who built pens.

Trammer - man who shovel ore in wheelbarrow or tram car

Skipper - man who dump ore in skip.

Robber - A Man who takes out pillars or robber of the earth

Power man - Dynamite person.

Tram Car - 3 ft. long 3 ft high 2 ft. wide, holds about a ton, HavIs ore to Shaft where skip is push by hand.

Square pointed shovel - used to shovel ore.

Hoist man - Operates the cable.

Skip - Eight men would ride up and down shaft-size 8ft.long 4ft x 4ft hold two ton ore.

The skip - dumped ore into tipple.

Tipple - is where ore is stored before it is transported to southern Rail Road car. Tipple holds about 20 ton of ore.

There was a shower house or changing room, hot water was heated with coal.

Air Tank - operate air compressor by electricity.

Air - operated drill in mine. Electric light--in mine shaft only. Air and water line went up and down mine shaft. The hoist man also operated a bell at the top of the shaft he could let the skip move any distance from one inch to any level of the mine.

Narrow Gage Tract - Train haul ore from topple to Fontana there transferred on Southern Rail Way.

Men wore hats in the mines and lights were carbide lights on hats.