Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Iron Box

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Water levels on the big lake are once again down, which means great swaths of the Lake Superior shore are now high and dry. (in fact you can once again walk across to Porter’s Island in Copper Harbor if you wanted to) Low water levels bring to view a lot …

Powder-palooza

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Thought I’d wrap up this mini powder house tour we’ve been on lately with a rundown of all the explosive storage structures I’ve profiled over the years, and even a few I haven’t. These building’s are the iconic copper country ruin, as you can find them almost anywhere. What’s best …

More Ahmeek Powder

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As I noted yesterday, most mines utilized only one powder house that served all its shafts. In some cases a mine would have a second powder house to serve shafts set apart from the majority of the mine’s property. But after continuing up the road from the Ahmeek No. 3/4’s …

Ahmeek Powder

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While most mines utilized an identical set of surface buildings for each shaft along their property, they usually only used a centralized powder house to serve them all. But this layout always coincided with a mine property that was somewhat small and continuous in size, which wasn’t the case for …

Madison Powder

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The Madison Mine is one of the dozens of fissure mines scattered across the Keweenaw’s northern reaches that produced very little copper and even less interest. Organized in 1853 the mine attempted to pillage a pair of small fissures veins a mile east of Central without much success. For thirty …

Copper Falls Powder

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It sits secluded high atop Petheric Hill, deep within the thick forest found along its rugged slopes. No road, or two-track, or even a trail pays it a visit. Over a hundred and fifty years ago it was abandoned by the men that created it. Today it’s lies forgotten by …

The Masonic Temple

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As we make our way up Houghton’s main commercial street we find one last architectural gem of significance to explore – that belonging to the city’s massive Masonic Temple. Built in 1910, this was a rather late addition to the Houghton skyline, but easily makes up for its tardiness in …

The 600 Block (p2)

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Making our way back from the massive bank building anchoring the 600 block we come across the second brick business block to have been built along this stretch of Shelden, visible to the right in the photo above. I don’t have a name for this particular building, but today it …

Downtown Houghton of Old

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A short break from our downtown Houghton tour to take a look back at what it once looked like, thanks to those hi-res images courtesy the Library of Congress Prints and Maps division. The shot above looks down Shelden to the west, from a vantage point along the road just …

The 600 Block (p1)

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While the neighboring 500 block’s claim to fame was its upscale Douglass House hotel, the 600 block’s iconic status would be sealed by the arrival of Houghton’s first stone business block, erected at the corner of Isle Royale and Shelden streets in 1889. Built from brick and faced with locally …

The Douglass House

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Houghton’s commercial district began with the establishment of two hotels – the Houghton and the Douglass – both named Douglass Houghton. But that’s where the similarities ended, as the two businesses catered to a completely different types of clientele. While the Houghton House provided simple and cheap accommodations for the …

The Shelden-Dee Block

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Thanks to the adjacent Douglass House, the corner of Shelden and Isle Royale became Houghton’s de-facto commercial center. Here the city’s most influential and important residents erected grand monuments to the Copper Country’s commercial aspirations, and established the city’s grand architectural jewels in the process. One of these impressive edifices …

The 500 Block (p2)

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Along the north side of Shelden’s 500 block stand just four buildings, all but one of which can be seen in the old photo above. The first of these building’s – the Hartman Block – we’ve already covered and sits just off frame to the left. At the far end …