Edwin J. Hulbert


On July 31 I asked that visitors to the website suggest, as the subject of a blog post, a person who had some connection to the Great Lakes States from the 17th to the 19th century. We received this suggestion:
“Michigan state geologist and a founder of the Calumet & Hecla mining company, E. J. Hulbert”.
Below are the more substantive materials that I found in regards to Hulbert.

There is a second page, with an obituary. You’ll find the link to it at the bottom left, under the share icons.

Edwards, George, The Late Edwin J. Hulbert, Mining and Engineering World, Volume 33, Nov. 26, 1910 p 988.  (Page 2 of this post)

Biography of Edwin James Hulbert (1829-1910) in: Hannan, Caryn, Michigan Biographical Dictionary: A-I, (1998) pp 340-342. This book is not in the public domain, but the entry on Hulbert is available online. Not mentioned there is that Hulbert also served as the ‘Vice-President for Houghton County’ of the Pioneer Society of Michigan in the 1870s, which published the annual periodical Historical Collections.

The following book was published in 1893 (actually a collection of several long letters) in which Hulbert described his work and discoveries from 1854 to 1864. Unfortunately it could not be found online.

Hulbert, E. J., Calumet-Conglomerate, Ontonagon Miner Press 1893. 148 p.

Another booklet was published on the same subject in 1899, which was a response by Hulbert to a newspaper article in which it was claimed that his discovery of the Calumet deposit was actually made by someone else. That Hulbert booklet was entitled Calumet Conglomerate Discovery, but also could not be located online.

As the Hannan biography above mentions, Hulbert was employed for a time in producing maps. One was found online:

Booth, John C. and Hulburt, E. J. Geological and Topographical Map of the Mineral District of Lake Superior, Mich., NY: 1864

Books to Consult

Krause, David J. The Making of a Mining District: Keweenaw Native Copper 1500-1870, Wayne State University Press 1992. The sub-chapter “The Conglomerate Bonanza” pp. 234- 238, includes a version of Hulbert’s discovery, a photo of Hulbert, and a little background on the beginning of mining operations by the Calumet & Hecla company. The book is not in the public domain, but this portion is available online.

Richard, T. A. The Copper Mines of Lake Superior, NY: Engineering and Mining Journal 1905. See Chapter 4, pp 42-49, for a short history of the Calumet & Hecla mine that Hulbert founded.

Lankton, Larry D., Hollowed Ground: Copper Mining and Community Building on Lake Superior 1840s-1990s, Wayne State University Press 2010. This book is not in the public domain. See Chapter 7 “The Largest and Best Copper Mine in the World; Calumet and Hecla” pp 74-84. This provides the history of Hulbert’s discovery and the early history of the company. For more on the Calumet & Hecla company, see Chapter 8 “Befitting a Copper King: C&H’s Visible Empire” pp 85-98. Both chapters are available online.

For Further Info on Copper Mining in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula:

Wright, James North, Where Copper was King: a tale of the early mining days on Lake Superior, Boston: Small, Maynard 1905.

The Keweenaw National Historic Park preserves facilities from the copper mining era in Calumet and Hancock in the Keweenaw Peninsula. The park’s headquarters are in the former office building of the Calumet & Hecla company in Calumet, Michigan.

Keweenaw Digital Archives. Michigan’s Copper Country in Photographs. Michigan Technological University.

Your comments and feedback are welcome!