• shelden

    The Mansions of College Ave

    Unlike its neighbor across the pond, Houghton’s origins were not tied directly to any mine company. It was instead born from private interests, hoping to take advantage of the mining industry and the related industries that were developing within the Portage Valley in the mid 1850s. That didn’t mean that the city’s evolution was completely absent mining company influence, however. Houghton shared its Portage valley home with several neighboring mines working the adjacent Isle Royale Lode, mines which constrained the village’s original platt. The vast lands of the Huron pressed in from the west, while up the hill it was the neighboring Isle …

  • base

    The Quincy Method (p3)

    Mining at its most basic level is nothing more than an exercise in transporting rock from one point to another. This process begins underground soon after the rock is blasted free from its subterrarian home as it is loaded into tram cars for transportation towards the nearest shaft. There it is transferred into skips and brought thousands of feet up to the surface. While it may seem that this would be the end of the journey, it has really just begun. Now the rock has to be moved to a stamp mill for processing – a complex that is often located miles from the …

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    The Trestle Brothers

    The Falls River is an aptly named ribbon of water which tumbles and cascades its way to Keweenaw Bay from the rugged foothills of the Huron Mountains. There are dozens of waterfalls along the route including four named falls – Powerhouse Falls, Lower Falls, Middle Falls, and Upper Falls. Of those named falls three all exist within a half mile stretch of the river near its mouth, nestled within a picturesque canyon running alongside the western outskirts of L’Anse. While impressive, its not the falls that brought our attention to this section of the tumbling river but instead the pair of high railroad …

  • frontview

    And Not A Drop to Drink (p1)

    The Calumet Brewery out in Lakeview served the residents of the Red Jacket metropolis for a quarter of a century, a history of brewing that was not without its setbacks. In fact the Calumet Brewery once was known as the Miswald Brewery, back when it was owned and operated by a pair of brothers out of Ontonagon. The brothers, however, suffered from an incurable case of bad luck and would suffer not just one disastrous fire in their brewing career, but three. First their original brewery in Ontonagon was destroyed, then their beer depot in L’Anse was burned to the ground. Then …

  • rails

    A Copper Country Time Machine

    Tom Roberts was born and raised in Battle Creek, yet his heart was always in the Copper Country. His family was from Hancock and his grandmother lived in her family home on Lake Street overlooking the Portage. He would visit his grandmother often, and when he did he was sure to bring along his camera to document everything he saw. He was particularly interested in trains, capturing whenever he could the increasingly rare passing of the diesel powered beasts as they rumbled through Hancock. He spent many summers wandering around the ruins of the Quincy Mine – convenient considering his uncle …

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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 …