Lake Linden

The shores of Torch Lake were first settled around 1851 by French-Canadian lumberjacks who had arrived to pillage the great hardwood forests to the north. The wide and deep Traprock river that flowed nearby was well suited for floating logs down the valley, prompting a score of lumber mills to be built near the rivers mouth. The fledging settlements became the center of French Canadian culture in the Keweenaw – complete with French-language newspapers, schools and churches.

In 1867 the region would be changed forever with the arrival of C&H’s massive mill complex built along the north end of the lake. Along with the mills came thousands of immigrants from all across the world, diluting the regions rich French heritage and expanding the community substantially. The increase in population brought with it a wide variety of business as well, including the Bosch Brewery in 1874. But it would always be C&H that had the most influence in the town, bringing with it a form of corporate paternalism that it had perfected up the hill at Calumet. The company donated land for churches, built the village’s high school, and provided steam heat and water to many of its buildings. In return the company received content and grateful workers.

Lake Linden’s High School

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For a time Lake Linden’s school building was rather unremarkable; a simple wood framed building built in 1881 for a nominal sum by the C&H Mine. As the surrounding community grew, the school grew as well with several additions, alterations, and internal renovations. By the turn of the century, however …

Lake Linden’s Village Hall

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The great Lake Linden fire that devastated the mill town of Lake Linden also gave it new life, as its fires swept the slate clean and let a new and better city rise from the ashes. A downtown once sprinkled with a hodgepodge of hastily erected wood framed buildings suddenly …

A Bosch Revival (p2)

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The great Lake Linden fire occurred at an almost serendipitous time for beer baron Joseph Bosch. The Torch Lake Brewery was a run-a-way success, and Bosch was profiting handsomely for it. For the son of a German brewer and an old mill worker  for C&H itself, such success was a …

A Bosch Revival (p1)

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While  the development of the old lumber town of Lake Linden may have been driven primarily by the great C&H Mine, it was also greatly influenced by a duo of prominent businessmen who were instrumental in the village’s growth. These were mercantile entrepenur William Harris, and beer baron Joseph Bosch. …

St. Joseph’s School

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It was 1881 when Lake Linden’s first parochial school began holding classes within the private home of Mrs. Pierre Pichette. The first class consisted of about 70 children, but as the village grew so too did the makeshift school. Five years later Mrs. Pichette’s school was instructing nearly 200 students, …

A Tale of Two Churches (p2)

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In the fall of 1905 the village of Lake Linden was in full bloom, its population swelling and its downtown littered with modern stone and brick buildings. A brand new town hall had been completed years earlier, and its soaring bell tower had become a symbol of the village’s progress. …

A Tale of Two Churches (p1)

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The small lumber village of Torch Lake found itself thrust into the modern age with the arrival of C&H’s stamp mills in 1867. It was immediately greeted by an influx of immigrants in search of work at the new mills, and the village exploded in size. Now known as Lake …

The Survivors

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Once the south side of Lake Linden was home to a sprawling industrial complex of massive buildings, miles of criss-crossing railroad tracks, and a soaring grove of soot-spewing smokestacks. This was C&H’s contribution to Lake Linden’s skyline, a trio of industrial buildings that once housed the mine’s mills and reclamation …

A Survivor’s Story

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With the arrival of C&H’s mills to the area in the late 1860’s, what was once a predominantly French-Canadian community found itself besieged by a more diverse group of immigrants looking for work in the newly opened mills. As the village expanded in response, new organizations and businesses developed that …

From the Ashes (p9) – Pearce & Company

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Last up on our tour of Lake Linden’s fire ravaged downtown is a trio of buildings that occupy a prime piece of real estate in the center of the village – at the crossroads of Calumet and Center (now Fourth) just across the street from the village hall. Two of …

From the Ashes (p8) – The Therrian Building

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The great fire was a wake up call to Lake Linden, prompting the village to institute new rules and regulations when it came to what could be rebuilt in the fire’s wake. After the flames were doused and the wreckage cleared the village instituted a strict fire code along its …

From the Ashes (p7) – The Lake Linden Hotel

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Before moving on to the rest of the masonry commercial blocks to be found along the west side of Calumet Ave, we first turn eastward to the opposite side of the road to explore an area that hasn’t been so built up. In fact since the great fire only one …

From the Ashes (p6) – The Bosch Building

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Though cursed by the great fire of 1887, Lake Linden was lucky to have more then one enterprising individuals that were willing to invest in the decimated village. One of those was William Harris, who we have featured in the series previously. The second was Joseph Bosch, a person most …

From the Ashes (p5)

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While Lake Linden may have only been a mill town it happened to be the largest mill town on the Copper Range and the center of commerce along the Torch Valley. By 1918 over 2500 people called the village home, and another 25000 lived in the neighboring communities of Hubbell …

From the Ashes (p4) – LeBeault Block

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As we continue on along the west side of Calumet Street in Lake Linden, we come across a wide gap in the commercial buildings dominated by a large parking lot. The lot belongs to Lake Linden’s senior housing development which sits back along Hecla Street to the west. While open …

From the Ashes (p3) – Hennes & Co

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Across the road from the Harris Block and the Sutton store sits one of its largest competitors – the L. Hennes & Company store. Brothers Louis and Joseph Hennes built themselves a nice mercantile business in the Copper Country, opening their first store in Houghton before opening up several satellite …

From the Ashes (p2) – The Harris Block

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Captain Harris was Cornish, an ancestry that proved incredibly fortunate upon his arrival to the New World and the Lake Superior copper district. His knowledge and expertise in the field of mining earned him the title of Mining Captain at the newly opened Minesota Mine, a position he would hold …

From the Ashes (p1)

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It was just shy of noon on a hot and dry spring day in 1887 when the first alarm sounded. Flames and smoke had been spotted coming from a downtown mercantile block, spreading quickly through the old building’s upper floor. Unfortunately the small village was painfully unequipped for such an …

A Corner Lost in Time

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William Harris was one of Lake Linden’s most prominent citizens, having not only ran a successful mercantile business in town but also serving as the village’s first mayor. After the devastating fire of 1887 decimated twelve city blocks, Harris helped finance the rebuilding effort with several grand – and most …

Showing Its Religious Roots

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It’s most recently known as the E-Center, home to the now defunct Little Gem Theater. Before that it was Lake Linden’s Elementary School, before being replaced by the modern structure now serving the village’s youth. But before all that the building was originally home to a parochial school operated by …