Tag Archives: Architecture

Downtown Hancock (p1)

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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 …

At the Crossroads

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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

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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 C&H Bathhouse

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It’s a rather unassuming structure, the squat brick building found at the corner of the US41 / M26 junction in Laurium. Things aren’t helped by the fact that its facade is largely blocked by several bushy trees along its front – providing a natural camouflage that shields the shy building from prying …

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 …

The Central School

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With the discovery of the great Calumet Conglomerate Lode in 1864, the vast marshlands along the Keweenaw’s central plateau would be changed forever. From the once remote and swampy landscape rose a sprawling industrial complex – the Calumet and Hecla Mines – and with it a quickly growing community known …

The Vanishing of South Range

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The collapse of the great Copper Empire took with it not only the thousands of jobs directly tied to mining, but also thousands of other jobs which complemented and supported those mines. These jobs were often less celebrated and for less skilled, jobs found in grocery stores, hardware stores, restaurants, …

The Presbyterian

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Just outside of village limits atop property original owned by the C&H Mine sits a trio of small churches huddled together within a criss-cross of roads. Today this small little plot of land is often referred to “God’s Little Acre”, and a century ago it was known as Temple Square. …

Saint Cecilia Church

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With the erection of the C&H smelter the small town of Grover quickly became inundated with those seeking employment in the new industry. As hundreds of workers – and their families- moved into the neighborhood they began to congregate around shared cultures and backgrounds. Soon those groups would build houses …

The Only Bank in Town

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By the start of the twentieth century the  town formally known as South Lake Linden found itself with a beorgening commercial district absent one much needed player – a bank. While Lake Linden had a bank, it was a long two-mile trek for those in Hubbell who happened to require …

Gone But Not Forgotten

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After the discovery of the great southern copper lode – the Baltic – companies rushed into the once remote and undeveloped region to cash in on the newly discovered riches. One of those pioneers wast the Champion, first established in 1899 before becoming part of the Copper Range empire a …

Some Old Photos of Buildings

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A few months back one of CCE’s readers sent me a tip on an old photo book about the Copper Country published around 1904. “Souvenir of the Copper Country Upper Peninsula of Michigan” is a 100 page book filled with nothing but old photos of the region taken around the …

The Wright Facade

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The great Copper Empire reached its peak at the height of the Victorian Age, and thus the great buildings and homes that were erected in the Empire’s honor were drenched in more then the usual amount of Victorian exuberance. One of the best examples of this can be found in …

The Legacy of James Dee

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There was much money to be had in in the Copper Country at the end of the nineteenth century, especially for those enterprising souls that could take advantage of a region in its infancy eager to embrace the modern age. One such man was a young Copper Country native by …

St. Ignatius of Loyola

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In a region where Calumet was home to no less then six separate Roman Catholic churches, it seems odd to discover that Houghton could only muster one such house of worship of its own. But that thinking is based on a modern bias, as the roles of Houghton and Calumet …

Grace Methodist Church

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The old wood-framed church that served Grace Methodist Episcopal Church was nothing more then a room with four walls and a roof, hardly a structure representative of the region’s premiere Methodist congregation – known as the “mother church”.  Thus plans for a new masonry structure were begun in 1892, with …

The Croatian Co-Operative

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The idea of the great American melting pot was more myth than reality, at least in the short term. While today the country’s variety of cultures and ethnicity has homogenized somewhat, America at the turn of the nineteenth century was a different story altogether. This was especially true for the …

The Calumet and Hecla Library

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Almost a full decade before Carnegie money found its way to the Copper Country, it was financial support from another capitalist with more local ties that brought the first dedicated library building to the region. That man was Alexander Agassiz, president of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company. Like Carnegie, …

The Schumaker Block

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Frank Schumaker was a first generation American, born in Centriville Wisconsin in 1859. His parents – Frederick and Henrietta – had just arrived to America a few years earlier, leaving their home country of Germany for greener pastures in the new world. When Frank was only nine his father passed …

Making a Statement

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Hancock’s original compliment of public schools were anchored by a large campus sitting in the heart of the city along Quincy Street. The first to be built was the classically inspired brick building seen above, erected to house the city’s secondary school in 1869. The building would soon be joined …

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. Besides a few buildings just across 3rd, the Laurium Commercial …

Prosperity Lost (p6) – The State Savings Bank Building

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Passing Laurium’s incredible redstone clad village hall, you find yourself arriving at the corner of 3rd and Hecla Streets – the centerpiece of Laurium’s commercial district. Like Oak Street was to neighboring Calumet, 3rd Street was the main avenue along which most visitors to Laurium would first enter the village. …

Prosperity Lost (p5) – The Laurium Village Hall

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With the old village of Calumet’s transformation into the village of Laurium, the newly minted village government built a modest two story wood-framed building to house the fire department and village offices. As the village grew so too did the village hall, with multiple renovations and additions culminating in the …

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 early years was also greatly influenced by an entrepreneurial Italian …

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 American Dream in a brave new world outside C&H’s influence. …