Charles Briggs School

Laurium |

Significance

With Laurium’s increased population came and increased responsibility for the health and welfare of its residents. Of primary concern was the education of the village’s youth, which as the village matured had become a greater percentage of its population. While part of the Calumet Public School system, Laurium did not receive financial assistance for the construction of their schools from C&H as did Red Jacket. Even so the village managed to construct itself six elementary schools, with students attending High School in Calumet. The most impressive and largest of these schools was located smack dab in middle of the village – the Charles Briggs School.

Description

This grand sandstone and brick structure was named after the president of the Miner’s and Merchant’s Bank, who also served on the Calumet Board of Education for several decades. Built in 1907 for nearly $30,000, the school was home to a total of ten classrooms spread over two stories. The building stands on a prominent sandstone foundation and features protruding end bays and a hipped roof. Sandstone belt courses further enhance the buildings façade. A short sandstone wall surrounds the school and adjacent school yard.

Gallery

Contemporary Use

The Charles Briggs School served the village for several decades, becoming the last Laurium school in operation when it finally closed in 1977. Unfortunately the building stands vacant today.

Public Access

The old school is under private ownership and is not open to the public. It can be easily viewed from the neighboring roads however.

Directions

The Charles Briggs School sits on the corner of 4th and Pewabic Streets in Laurium’s residential district. From along US41 in Calumet, turn east onto Depot Street (M26) and follow it to the blinking light. Turn right onto Hecla Street and continue downtown Laurium for one block. Turn left onto 4th Street and drive for another three blocks before turning left onto Pewabic Street. The school is on the right.