Michael Forgrave

Downtown Hancock (p1)

100blockposter

The Copper Empire hit its peak in the early 1910s, a time when employment and opportunity was at its greatest fervor in the region. This was a time before the great strike of 1913 would put a knife into the empire’s side and far before the Great Depression would stick a …

The Wright Block and Gartner’s Department Store

vitrolite

The First National Bank building at the corner of Quincy and Reservation was not the first home of the financial institution, as it had already been operating in Hancock since nearly the village’s conception. Back then one of the bank’s tellers was an American by the name of Charles Augustus …

At the Crossroads

bankposter

Hancock’s precarious perch along the steep slopes of Quincy Hill greatly constrained the young village’s original platt. As such the only suitable space for building existed along a very narrow plateau sandwiched between a rugged cliff along the lakeshore and a increasingly steep topography to the north. It was a space that …

The Scott Hotel

middlescott

In 1906 the Copper Country was all grown up. As the new century dawned what was once nothing more then a frontier mining camp had matured into a modern metropolitan region and home to the state’s third largest population cluster. Along with its rise to prominence came a equally strong regional …

The Quincy Ravine

karredgeravine

The land on which the city of Hancock currently stands was once all owned by a young Quincy Mining Company, who first came to the Portage valley around 1846. The mine’s early attempt to find copper were not entirely successful and its original pursuits along the hillside near the campus of present …

Superior City

seven

After some absence, CCE’s reporter on the spot Craig Aldinger returns for another back woods exploring adventure. This time he takes a trek to find the old mining community of Superior City – a platt of land once serving the short lived Superior Mine.  This only took me forever and …

The Mansions of College Ave

shelden

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 …

CC Scrapbook: Missing in Action Edition

quincyhoist

Our look at the lost Milwaukee Hotel along Hancock’s Aztec-inspired Tezcuco Street got me inspired to take a look at a few more lost treasures of the Copper Country – buildings and places long gone before CCE had a chance to document them. Luckily there are many other copper country …

The Lost Temple of Tezcuco

house1

The Acolhua people were one of the three “city-states” to once control the Valley of Mexico – the highland plateau in central Mexico where current day Mexico City is located. The Acolhuan people were advanced both cultural and technologically, living in piece with their neighbors to form what we know …

A Copper Country Time Machine

rails

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 …

And Not a Drop to Drink (p2)

smokepan

The tumultuous life and times of the brewery at Lakeview have created similarly tumultuous remains. Various additions, alterations, and the ramshackle toil of time have sculpted the old masonry structure into something hard to identify, categorize, or simplify. The Calumet Brewery is as an organic ruin as we have explored before, …

And Not A Drop to Drink (p1)

frontview

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 …

Lakeview and its Brewery

breweryposter

As the Copper Country reached the end of the 19th century, the booming village of Red Jacket and its surrounding communities had begun to reach their limits of expansion. Surrounding on all sides by mine property off limits to development, any new businesses or residents hoping to make the mining village …

Behind a Green Veil

morewalls

Though only early June the air was thick and heavy – the relief given by the passing breeze now blocked by the dense collection of trees we found ourselves in. The trees were relatively young, with only a select few protruding through the low canopy of green just a half …

The Quincy Method (p4)

quincyshaftfeatured

As we’ve explored the soaring frame of the Quincy No.2 Shaft / Rockhouse we’ve largely concentrated our efforts on the rock handling components of the grand structure. Yet as its name implies the building has a secondary purpose as well, something a bit less extravagant as rock handling but important none-the-less. …

The Quincy Method (p3)

base

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 …

The Quincy Method (p2)

methodpart2poster

The Quincy Mine’s first foray into placing a rockhouse into its shafthouse was at the old Pewabic No.6, a shaft Quincy had acquired when it purchased its old neighbor in 1891. Known as the “North Quincy”, this shaft was far removed from the rest of the mine’s surface plant including its …

The Quincy Method (p1)

beautyshot

In its infancy, copper mining in the Keweenaw was an especially labor intensive enterprise. In its most simplest form, mining was nothing more then hole digging and with little technological assistance available at the time those holes were dug primarily with men with shovels and wheelbarrows. When rock was encountered the shovels gave …

The Life and Times of Quincy No.2

quincyno2poster

She came into this world in 1856, offspring to a struggling mine trying desperately to make ends meet. She was a twin, her sister next door erected the same year. She wasn’t the mine’s first, and despite her name wasn’t its second either. The Quincy Mine at the time already …

Mining Moderne

poster

The Copper Empire lasted for over a century and a half – its dominion covering several major periods of American history. It was front in center in the country’s Gilded Age of industry, provided copper for two world wars and the war between the states, limped its way through the …

See You Next Year…

poster

A Winter’s Nap Winter has once again laid its cold hand on the land, its harsh winds and heavy snow leaving its mark on the old Copper Country, both in this old postcard and currently as the region has received over 40 inches of snow in just the past few weeks …

The Mystery Stone Buildings of Mohawk

Mohawk Stone Buildings

Perhaps one of the Keweenaw’s more impressive sights are the stone buildings scattered across its cities and old mining locations. These artisticly crafted masonry masterpieces are beautiful to behold, and even in ruin gleam with a majesty and awe reminiscent of the great castles and cathedrals of the old world. While some of these grand …

The Lands of the Phoenix (p2)

Lands of the Phoenix Part Two

As with most Keweenaw mining towns, the community of Phoenix along the Cliff Range ebbed and flowed along with the fortunes of the copper mines at its doorstep. The town’s overseers – the Phoenix Mining Company – toiled away at its trio of mines on and off for nearly forty years until …

The Lands of the Phoenix (p1)

Phoenix of Old

The Eagle River is one of the Keweenaw’s longest natural waterways, running over 10 miles from its marshy headwaters deep inside the peninsula’s interior to its Lake Superior outlet along the sand dunes of the identically named town of Eagle River. While unremarkable for most of its length, it grandeur …

A Note of Thanks…

poster

Dear CCE Readers… As we enter the Holiday season I thought I’d take a break from our usual programming to send a heartfelt and well deserved thank you to all of our wonderful readers! For the past five years I’ve humbly asked for your help in keeping CCE on the air, and …