Monthly Archives: April 2010

The 500 Block (p1)

featured

One could possibly argue that Houghton’s commercial core along Shelden street owes its existence primarily to the establishment of the Douglass House, an upscale hotel that first catered to guests around 1860. As the region’s most prestigious (and wealthy) guests began to take up residence within this wood framed structure …

The 400 Block (p3)

featured

Before leaving the 400 block for good there’s one last building that warrants mention, the Leopold Building. This two story business block was built in 1903 and was named in honor of a Mr Nathan Leopold, a founder of the South Range State Bank. The building was home to two …

The 400 Block (p2)

featured

Originally the 400 block of Shelden was home to two important landmarks – the Haas Brewery and Miller’s Hotel. Today those buildings are gone, but their influences on the block can still be seen by the collection of impressive buildings that popped up within their shadow. In addition to the …

The 400 Block (p1)

featured

Unlike the blocks to the west which remained heavily residential for most of Houghton’s early history, the 400 block established its commercial identity rather early thanks to several Houghton landmarks that took up residence here while the village was still young. The most influential of these was probably Miller’s Hotel, …

The 300 Block (p2) – The Hall Building

featured

For the longest time the 300 block of Houghton’s downtown was an architectural wasteland. Though large in statue the Germania Hotel was no triumph in design, and the remaining wood-framed structures along the block left much to be desired. It wouldn’t be until 1902 that the block received its first …

The 300 Block (p1)

featured

The transformation of Houghton’s Shelden Avenue from residential district to commercial thoroughfare was rather slow and tedious. The streets origins can be traced to a trio of up-scale hotels that first made their mark along the road in the late 1880’s. Small businesses – usually run out of peoples houses …

The 200 Block

featured

The second block of Houghton’s main thoroughfare is bordered by Quincy Street to the west and Pewabic on the East. The block’s early history was dominated by more industrious tenants such as a blacksmith and wagon shop, soap factory, livery, and planing mill. It wasn’t until 1908 that the first …

The 100 Block

featured

As originally platted, the village of Houghton consisted of a narrow tract of land along Portage Lake 8 blocks long and four blocks deep. With most of the village’s waterfront occupied by wharfs and warehouses, the community began to take shape around neighboring Shelden Street. Named after the city’s founding …

Calumet No.3

featured

Here’s a look at the Calumet No.3 shaft, or at least a part of it. It’s been capped in concrete, leaving behind just a manhole cover and this brick lined archway as proof of the old shaft’s existence. The Calumet Mine was of course one of the precursors to the …

The Shore Plant (p2)

featured

After a few small discoveries – including the remains of the original boiler house – we continued onward towards shore in the hopes to discover more remains of the Centennial Mill’s surface plant. It wasn’t long before we came across more remains hidden in the forest, remains belonging to the …

The Shore Plant (p1)

featured

Before the Arcadian Mill had become available, the Centennial Mine was desperately in need of a new stamp mill. Its original inland stamp mill at the mine itself was a relic of a earlier century and could no longer serve the mine’s growing needs. In desperation the mine bought up …

The Mineral House

featured

Once the copper rock has made its way through the stamp mill’s collection of stamps, jigs, and wash tables the resultant separated components are sent their separate ways. For the waste rock this meant a long ride atop a water filled launder, ending in a short drop into Portage Lake. …

The Outer Walls

featured

Finished with our exploration of the grand concrete plateau that is the Centennial Mill’s wash floor, we headed off to find the building’s outer foundation walls. Being a more modern structure the Centennial Mill would have been built to be as fireproof as possible, featuring a concrete foundation, iron skeleton …

Along the Wash Floor (p3)

featured

In addition to the lines of pillars and other foundations scattered across the Centennial Mill’s wash floor there were also a few other interesting items to be found. The sweeping concrete floor was also home to a few sets of narrow gauge rails, the most noticeable of which was running …

Along the Wash Floor (p2)

featured

Looking our across the sweeping concrete frontier that confronted us, we noticed the scattering lines of concrete pedestals and pillars stretched out across the barren surface. These foundations supported the mill’s collection of jigs and wash tables, with the jigs laying up closer to the back of the mill and …

Along the Wash Floor (p1)

featured

Stepping down from the Centennial Mill’s terraced levels we found ourselves overlooking a vast field of concrete, foundations, and a scattering of trees. The surreal landscape we were looking at was once a bustling facility overcrowded with jigs, launders, mineral cars, and wash tables. Today only the faintest remnants of …