While the Keweenaw may be best known for its vast treasures of red metal, it was also once briefly home to yet another mining boom – in sandstone. It was in 1861 that a man by the name of George Craig first discovered the peninsula’s stone riches as he travelled along the Superior shore near the mouth of the Portage River. The son of a prominent English quarry operator, Craig knew top quality sandstone when he saw it exposed in sheer cliffs along the shore.
During the next decade Craig attempted to mine the red rock but with little success. He managed to establish one of the region’s first quarries along the Portage River about a mile inland from shore. In the process a short narrow-gauge tramway was built from the quarry to a dock along the river and a small collection of company houses sprung up nearby. This small settlement – known as Craig – was the first along the river, and had the distinction of becoming home to the region’s first post office.