Stuntz Bay Compressor House
The Stuntz Bay Compressor House was built in 1884, and operated until the 1930s. It was demolished for the most part some time in the 1940s. Today, you can still find it by the iconic chimney that remains.
The compressor house’s primary functions were providing compressed air and flowing water to the mine, using large steam engines to turn the pumps. Coal was used to power the engines at first. Kerosene was used for lights. The compressor house’s pumps ran constantly, day and night. Air was pumped through a typical metal pipe, but wood was used for the water pipe. The water pumped from here was used to keep all of the mine’s water tanks full.
The building was later fitted to generate electricity in addition to pumping water and air to the mine. The boathouses along the shore on either side of the Stuntz Bay public boat landing were the first private buildings to be hooked up to electricity, and so the families of the miners who had boathouses would hook up their washing machine in the boathouse to do their laundry.
The Stuntz Bay Compressor House remains are right next to the Stuntz Bay Public Landing, among the boathouses.
Stuntz Bay landing, circa 1941. This composite photo from the St. Louis County Land Explorer map depicts the compressor house.
Sections of the Sanborn Fire Insurance map from 1892, depicting Soudan and the mine, and a cut-in of the Stuntz Bay Compressor House. The map shows details about the building and the machinery in it.
Photos of some of the exposed rock on the side of Stuntz Bay Road. The ripples in the rock are layers that have been folded and twisted and heaved up vertically, and the rock was exposed and worn smooth by glaciers. The ripples and the contrast between the layers of jasper, quartz, and hematite makes interesting patterns that look like they were painted on.
A panorama of the remains of the building, including the base of the chimney.
A full shot of the chimney and a close-up shot from below it.
Photos of parts of the building.