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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/621

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of these excavations bore the marks of an axe, the bit of which must have been about two inches in width. Fragments of charcoal and partially consumed sticks abound. The bark of the white birch is still preserved, though the interior woody portion is wholly rotted. At McCargoe's Cove, Captain William Jacka discovered a wooden shovel or paddle, which showed by its worn and battered side that it had been used in moving dirt. The blade was four and three quarters inches wide, and about twelve inches long. The handle had been broken, but still showed the length of about a foot. It was all perfectly wrought and smooth, and very true in form. A rounded ridge on the upper and lower sides of the blade extended along its middle, tapering off along the same sides of the shaft or handle upward. It was wet and swollen when found, but, on drying, it shrank to a width of three fourths of an inch, and curled out of shape. A restoration of this ancient paddle or shovel is seen in Fig. 2, as drawn under the direction

PSM V19 D621 Ancient miner paddle from isle royale.jpg

Fig. 2.—Ancient Paddle, used by the Miners on Isle Royale for moving Dirt.

of Captain William Jacka, and a cross-section of the blade in Fig. 3: a represents the upper side of the blade, and the ridge, evidently designed to strengthen the instrument, extends to within an inch or two of the end, and gradually and smoothly sinks to the level of the surface. This shovel was found within a few feet of one of the large masses of copper, in the summer of 1879.

Dr. G. K. Galley also discovered a piece of string, about a foot long, made of some raw-hide, supposed to be of the caribou, tied in the middle

PSM V19 D621 Ancient miner tool blade from isle royale.jpg

Fig. 3.—Transverse Section of the Blade of Ancient Miner's Tool, from Isle Royale.

by "a square knot and a half-hitch." This lay under one corner of the copper mass found in May last (1879), and seemed to break on being pulled out, but the remainder could not be secured. When examined, this string seemed to possess the fiber and much of the strength of dried raw-hide, a circumstance that will not allow the assignment of a very great antiquity to the date of the last mining. Caribou were on the island till a few years ago, and are now common on the shore directly north of the island.

In regard to the main implements of the mines, the stone hammers, they seem not to have been made for the purpose for which they were used. Great numbers of them are found in moving the dirt which the miners handled. They are of various sizes and forms, but generally