Central, like all other mining towns along the Keweenaw, were populated by peoples from all across Europe and Great Britain. A substantial part of Central’s inhabitants were Irish and German, and the highest percentage were Cornish. Mining was in the Cornish blood, as they had been mining in Cornwall for generations before coming to the Copper Country. Mine companies knew this, and paid special mind to recruit as many Cornish as they could. These were the cream of the crop, and were treated perhaps a little better then most other immigrants. Status, pay, and housing all reflected this.
It is no surprise that the only church in Central was Cornish. Its denomination was Methodist Episcopal and it’s design complete with distinctive battlemented tower reflected the Cornish ancestry of the parishioners. The church was the only one at Central, with all other faiths an immigrant groups meeting in various other houses and buildings in the town. The church even managed to survive for a time after the mines closure and the subsequent exodus of the population. It finally closed in 1903.
The church managed to survive for over a century, now refurbished to its former glory. It is reopened once a year during the Central Reunion, where ancestors of the hearty souls that once called Central home return to pay tribute to the early pioneers of the Copper Country. Its most prominent feature is its distinctive bell tower, much different then most American churches of the time. Take a closer look below of that tower below:
You can also take a look at the Big Picture and see the church in its entirety.
to be continued…