• NEW: Mining Moderne

    NEW: Mining Moderne

    CCE begins 2017 with a trip back to the Centennial Mine, and a closer look at its more impressive remnant - the No.6 Rock House.

  • The Mystery Stone Buildings of Mohawk

    The Mystery Stone Buildings of Mohawk

    CCE presents a pair of mysterious stone buildings found in the old mining town of Mohawk, in hopes someone can identify them.

  • The Lands of the Phoenix (p2)

    The Lands of the Phoenix (p2)

    CCE finishes up its tour of the old mining town of Phoenix, this time with a closer look at its industrial core.

  • The Lands of the Phoenix (p1)

    The Lands of the Phoenix (p1)

    CCE explores the history and heritage of the old mining town of Phoenix - as it once was and as it is today.

  • A Note of Thanks...

    A Note of Thanks...

    Thank you readers for your generous support!

  • Vaughnville and Robbins

    Vaughnville and Robbins

    We continue along the Cliff Range, exploring the remnants of two of the area's more obscure settlements.

  • The Cliff Range

    The Cliff Range

    We take an overview look at the Keweenaw's famous Cliff Range, and began to explore the mines and mining towns found along its southern end.

  • In Honor of Verna

    In Honor of Verna

    CCE explores Houghton's forgotten park - one dedicated in honor of a local environmentalist activist.

  • DHH


    We return to our old Alma Mater to take a closer looks at its original residence hall - Douglass Houghton Hall.

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    Houses of Worship and Learning

    When it came to sheer numbers of houses of worship the booming metropolis of Calumet just was the undisputed champion of the region. Just after the turn of the century – at the Copper Empire’s peak – the bustling village found itself home to over 20 churches, a half dozen of those catering to the Catholic faith alone. This was mostly due to the towns dense mix of ethnicities and cultures, as immigrants from countries all across Europe packed into the village in search of work at the great C&H Mine. There was also the fact that C&H actively promoted …

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    Of Rock and Sandstone…

    Out of the four main components of any mine (rock-house, shaft-house, hoist house, boiler house) the boiler house has by far been the most elusive to photograph. For a time we hadn’t come across the remains of a single one, until our discovery at North Kearsarge introduced us to these rare specimens. Since then any boiler house we have stumbled across has been survived by only its smokestack and little else. This is probably due to the fact that unlike a hoist or rock house, boiler houses weren’t built atop a massive concrete foundation. Once the walls succumbed, there wasn’t …

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    The Houghton County Street Railway (p2)

    At its height, the great Copper Empire was home to nearly a hundred thousand people. Most of those people lived within a narrow 30 mile tract of land between the Portage to the south and the Allouez Gap near the Keweenaw County line. Along this region operated more then two dozen mines, mills and smelters employing a workforce of over 18,000 workers. The landscape was also home to over 20 cities, towns, and mining locations that housed those workers and their families – some of them modern metropolises in term of size and population. Hancock was home to 8000, Houghton …

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    The Cliff Stamp Mill

    The Cliff Mine, several decades after closing The Pittsburgh and Boston Company had the distinction of sinking the very first copper shaft in the Copper Country, into the hard rock along Hay’s Point in Copper Harbor. This early venture was a disaster, costing investors over $20,000 in the process. But they were not deterred, and turned towards a second piece of land south of Eagle River along the great soaring bluffs of the Cliff Range. This second attempt was a different story all-together, resulting in the first profitable copper mine in the Keweenaw. This would be, of course, the famous …

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    A Few More of Allouez No.3

    Paul Meier brings us more old-school views of Copper Country mines, this time with a look at the Allouez-Douglass Shaft (Allouez No.3) sitting outside of New Allouez. We’ve seen this particular angle before, as Bruce Groeneveld took a shot from the same vantage point (see his shot HERE. Obviously a popular spot to take photos back in the day. Besides showing the complete No. 3 surface plant, this picture is also very interesting to me for what you can see in the background. Peeking out from behind the rock-house can be seen the roof of the Allouez/Ahmeek Methodist Church. The …

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    Top 10 Most Iconic Copper Country WPA Projects

    While the Great Depression greatly effected the entire nation during the 1930s, the Copper Empire was especially hard hit. As copper prices plummeted, mine after mine was forced to shut their doors and lay off their workforce. At the Depression’s peak virtually every mine, mill, and smelter in the region had closed its doors resulting in thousands of workers finding themselves out of work and without pay – nearly three fourths of the region’s population. To help combat this problem,  State and Federal governments instituted a series of publicly funded work projects designed to provide much needed employment to those effected. These projects were administered and funded by a revolving …