• A Closer Look at Pewabic and Third

    A Closer Look at Pewabic and Third

    One of the more unique houses on our list of Laurium’s rich and famous is this interesting building residing at the corner of Pewabic and Third. The home is the Vivian House, and was built by th...

  • Prosperity Lost (p3) – the Marta Block

    Prosperity Lost (p3) – the Marta Block

    As we continue our tour along Laurium’s main commercial district, we come across one more name to add to our list of whose who for the old village of Calumet’s – Dominick Marta. Mr. ...

  • Prosperity Lost (p4)

    Prosperity Lost (p4)

    Following the impressive sandstone beauty that is the Marta Block our tour of Laurium follows that gem up with a pair of not so glorious buildings – though I’m sure at one time they were. ...

  • The Laurium Commercial School

    The Laurium Commercial School

    While Houghton had the Mining College, and Hancock Suomi College, Laurium had its own institution of higher learning in the form of the Laurium Commercial School. Established in 1899 by a Mr. J. F. Re...

Laurium

“The prosperity of the Copper Country slowly died along with the industry that provided it, until the bottom fell out with the closing of C&H in the late ’60s. While some towns – such as Houghton and Hancock – were able to meek out a life for decades after this calamity other towns were not so lucky. Laurium was not so lucky. Once Laurium sported various large banks, a three story department store and much more. One by one these businesses left with the population that once supported them. Now, very little is left in Laurium – even most of the bars left. Instead, you find deteriorating building after building – most vacant and forgotten. Driving through town – as most people see Laurium – it doesn’t look too bad. But get out and take a stroll along the old forgotten buildings, and a much more dismal sight confronts you. Laurium tells a story known only too well; a tale of once proud and bustling communities forgotten and ignored by the people that once gave them life. A tale of prosperity to ruin in the Copper Country.”

Prosperity Lost (p8)

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After passing by the 1st National Bank you find yourself on the north end of 3rd street, and while the village continues for two more blocks up to 1st Street, the commercial district for all intents and purposes ends here. ... More »

Prosperity Lost (p4)

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Following the impressive sandstone beauty that is the Marta Block our tour of Laurium follows that gem up with a pair of not so glorious buildings – though I’m sure at one time they were. Like their more illustrious neighbor ... More »

Prosperity Lost (p2)

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As was the case with most of the Copper Country’s growing communities, the commercial district of early Calumet was molded by only a handful of influential people. In addition to Mr. Vivian, who we discussed earlier in this series, Larium’s ... More »

Prosperity Lost (p1)

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When Captain Vivian built his store along the newly formed Village of Calumet’s eastern end, the village was still only a child. But with Vivian’s success came a wave of imitators who arrived to Hecla Street to build their own ... More »

Where It All Began

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The Laurium Mining Company was just another in a long line of speculative ventures launched at the dawn of the Keweenaw’s mineral rush, purchasing two sections of land in an area just to the east of the village of Red ... More »

Homes of the Rich and Famous

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As with most American communities, the Red Jacket region was starkly divided by class and social standing. While the village itself was predominantly home to immigrants and laborers, the same couldn’t be said for the neighboring community of Laurium. The ... More »

The Laurium Commercial School

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While Houghton had the Mining College, and Hancock Suomi College, Laurium had its own institution of higher learning in the form of the Laurium Commercial School. Established in 1899 by a Mr. J. F. Reinier, the school offered coursework in ... More »

Columns and Capitals

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As the peninsulas more affluent neighborhood it was no surprise that Laurium’s business district was anchored by two grandiose bank buildings, each apparently built to overshadow their neighbor across the street. On the one corner we have the terra-cotta glazed ... More »

The Sandstone Station

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Early automobiles actually had a rather healthy fuel economy, with the early Model T’s getting about 15-20 MPG and the Model A’s about 25. With standard tank sizes of ten gallons, most early cars had a rather remarkable range, an ... More »

Out of Place

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Sitting at the corner of Pewabic and First Streets in Laurium stands this impressive sandstone building. It’s obviously a commercial block and looks to be built in the standard style with storefronts on the first floor and apartments on the ... More »

Laurium Coal

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Between the twin cities of Calumet and Laurium, its Calumet that’s generally considered to be the more industrious of the two. That makes sense, considering the presence of several railroads scattered along the villages outskirts (including the Mineral Range, H&C ... More »

Pewabic and 3rd

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Today we start another feature here at Explorer: Then and Now. While our exploration journals take a look at the past through the ruins that remain, and Copper Country Window takes a look at the area today, Then and Now ... More »

Prosperity to Ruin

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a town now in ruin The prosperity of the Copper Country slowly died along with the industry that provided it, until the bottom fell out with the closing of C&H in the late ’60s. While some towns – such as ... More »

First National Bank

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Calumet and Laurium are geographical close enough to be considered one town but were light years apart in terms of character. While Calumet consisted of miners, railroad workers and the like; Laurium housed the upper crust of the Copper Country. ... More »