Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Legacy Less Celebrated

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Its been over half a century since copper mining was active in the Keweenaw, a timespan that tends to smooth over rough edges and gleam over blemishes. The industrial empire that once dominated the peninsula’s landscape has since been reduced to ruin and memory, existing only in old photos of …

M.M. Morrison Elementary

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At its peak the Calumet township school system consisted of a high school, middle school, and over 17 elementary schools scattered arose the greater Calumet area. These satellite schools – most named after past U.S. presidents – were all built in a similar style and with an almost identical layout. …

A Sole Survivor

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For a time the Atlantic Mine was the king of its domain, the only operational copper mine south of Houghton until the arrival of the Baltic near the turn of the century. Though mining a much inferior product, the Atlantic had the advantage of incredibly smirk and resourceful managers who …

1950s Copper Country

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It may be overly simplistic, but in regards to Copper Country history you can divide it into two eras. The first, of course, is the industrial era when the Copper Empire was at its peak and the landscape was under its complete control. The second era is the one we …

The Rocket Range

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The tip of the Keweenaw is as remote and wild as you can get in the Keweenaw, situated over ten miles from any sign of civilization. The rugged landscape is challenging enough in the summer months, let alone the dark and frozen months of a Keweenaw winter. For most of …

The Mill that Clark Built

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It was a mine that had difficulty just getting off the ground. The Clark Mine began at the dawn of the Keweenaw’s original copper rush, around 1853. Before any work could be done, however, the first owner went bankrupt and the property went up for sale. In 1858 the French …

Cultural Amenities (p3)

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So far we’ve travelled a dozen years through the lifetime of Hancock, discovering its cultural institutions as they have cropped up and noted when they have faded away. Today we conclude our series by fast forwarding another dozen or so years, landing at the peak of the city’s growth – …

Cultural Amenities (p2)

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By 1888 Hancock Village had evolved into a regional powerhouse, a center of commerce and industry that was quickly outpacing its neighbor across the canal. It had also already scored a nice collection of churches, easily outnumbering the piddly number found in Houghton. The bourgeoning city wasn’t done yet, and …

Cultural Amenities (p1)

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Last week we took a look at what I considered to be Hancock’s impromptu city center, an area of real estate in and around the public school grounds that the majority of Hancock’s cultural amenities congregated to after the turn of the century. That assertion prompted some debate on the …

Hancock in HD

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Today the Copper Country is just another pretty corner of the country, but a century ago when the mines were operating in full swing the region was of national interest. At the tail end of the Victorian age the wonders and majesty of the industrial age was a sight to …