Calumet

Copper Country Heritage Guide - Locations

It was a land surveyor blazing a path through the swampy highlands in the Keweenaw’s interior who first discovered the great Calumet Conglomerate lode. It was a discovery he kept to himself for several years as he secured the investors necessary to buy the mining rights to the land and form the Calumet Mining Company. Soon after a second company – the Hecla Mining Company- would began work along the lode just south of the Calumet’s holdings. These two mines proved to be highly rich in copper and would later merge to become the most successful mining company in the Keweenaw – the Calumet and Hecla Mine.

Originally known as Red Jacket, the town of Calumet first formed to the north of the great mine in 1864 to serve the workers of the newly formed Calumet Mine. As the mine’s success grew, the town of Red Jacket expanded and profited in response. By 1900 the small town had grown to nearly 5,000 residents, which together with the surrounding mining communities created a sprawling metropolis of nearly 30,000 people. Along its brick-paved streets were all the trappings of a modern metropolis: multi-floor department stores featuring the latest in European fashion, an opulent 1200 seat opera house featuring nationally touring stage plays and acts, and a large elegantly manicured city park designed by one of the country’s most renowned landscape architects.

Calumet was far from a simple mining town. Of course mining was the reason for Calumet’s existence, and it was the mine that provided its residents with most of the modern conveniences they enjoyed. C&H invested large amounts of resources in the community for the construction of modern schools, hospitals, libraries, bath houses, churches, and hundreds of houses for its workers. The mine also provided the town with many of its basic services including water, steam heat, and trash collection. But these resources and services didn’t come without a price. In return for its corporate paternalism C&H exerted a great deal of social control over the town and its residents – squelching dissent and limiting the influence of labor organizations. The result was an environment that nurtured a content and productive work force.

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Agassiz House

Calumet – This impressive home erected next door to C&H’s main offices served as a residence for mine president Alexandar Agassiz.

Agassiz Park

Agassiz Park

Calumet – This large park located within Calumet’s business district features a generous supply of open green space along with a sprinkling of picnic tables.

Albion Streetcar Station

Calumet – The Albion Station was the interurban’s busiest, serving as the line’s main interchange between its Laurium, Calumet, and northern lines.

C&H (Osceola) No.13

Calumet – The modern surface plant which adorns this old C&H shaft was part of the company’s last ditch effort to re-open the Osceola lode and discover new caches of copper.

C&H Bath House

Calumet – In addition to its compliment of public baths available to C&H’s employees, this Classic Revival building built in 1910 also housed a 40 foot swimming pool.

C&H Drill House

Calumet – Built originally to maintain and repair C&H’s massive collection of drill bits, this rubble walled building has recently been converted into a curling rink.

C&H Dry House

Calumet – Underground workers would finish up their days here at the dry house, where they could wash up and change before heading home to a much deserved dinner. This particular dry served C&H’s old Calumet No.3 and 4 shafts.

C&H General Offices

Calumet – This immaculate crafted stone and brick trimmed building was originally built to house the C&H Mine’s general offices but today is home to the Keweenaw National Historic Park.

C&H Machine Shop

Calumet – This massive stone building once housed C&H’s sprawling machine shop, where mechanics would repair and maintain the company’s diverse assortment of mechanical equipment.

C&H Mine Captain’s Office

Calumet – This petite stone building once housed the office and private change room for the one of C&H’s mine captains, who were responsible for managing the day to day operations within the mine.

C&H Pattern Shop

Calumet – C&H’s metal fabrication needs were met by its own in-house casting house, and the patterns for those casts were assembled here in the pattern shop. Today the old pattern shop is home to the Coppertown USA mining museum.

C&H Powder House

Calumet – This small stone building was originally built to store black powder for the neighboring Calumet Mine – a predecessor to C&H. Later the thick-walled structure was converted into a general storage building.

C&H Public Library

Calumet – The C&H Mine built this impressive stone building to house a well-stocked public library and bathhouse for use by its employees and their families.

C&H Roundhouse

Calumet – This massive stone roundhouse served C&H’s own short line railroad and features 15 locomotive stalls along with three additional maintenance bays.

C&H Trestle

Calumet – This small trestle carried the C&H Railroad’s Red Jacket spur over the Mineral Range Railroad’s main line.

C&H Warehouse No.1

Calumet – Served by a dedicated rail spur along its north west face, this massive brick structure was built to house supplies for the burgeoning C&H Mine. Today it continues to be used for storage, but under the stewardship of the national park.

C&H Warehouse No.2

Calumet – As C&H grew by leaps and bounds it quickly became clear that more storage space was needed and a second larger warehouse was soon built. While not as dignified as its brick predecessor, this particular structure was large enough to allow trains to pull directly inside to unload their cargos.

Calumet Brewery

Calumet Brewery

Calumet – These ruins belong to one of the many breweries that could be found all across the peninsula, this particular one belonging to the Calumet Brewery.

Calumet Manual Training School

Calumet – This massive school was originally built by C&H to not only educate the community’s children, but to also provide those children with the skills needed for a future job in in the mine.

Calumet Mill Boiler House

Calumet Mill Boiler House

Calumet – This large brick building is all that remains of C&H’s first stamp mill, built on the shore of Calumet Lake just north of the old mine site.

Calumet No.3

Calumet – Home to a disastrous fire that resulted in the death of eight workers and the closure of the mine for over five months, C&H’s old Calumet No.3 shaft would be sealed off and never opened again.

Calumet Opera House

Calumet – Built in 1900 at a cost of over $70,000, this Italian Renaissance masterpiece houses Calumet’s village offices as well as its magnificently ornate 1200 seat opera house.

Calumet State Bank

Calumet – This Romanesque inspired brick building was built in 1906 to house one of the village’s premier banking institutions – Calumet State Bank.

Centennial No.2

Centennial – The struggling Centennial Mine opened two shafts atop a small slice of the copper rich Kearsarge lode found along the outskirts of its property in 1899 – a move that would end up saving the struggling mine from extinction.

Centennial No.3

Centennial – The Centennial Mine began its life as the Schoolcraft, opening the No.2 around 1869 to only limited success. A half century later C&H would give it another try, erecting the temporary shaft rockhouse seen today.

Curto’s Saloon

Calumet – This narrow building was home to only one of the dozens of saloons that called Calumet home and featured an ornate tiffany styled back bar.

Electric Park

Calumet – Owned and operated by the same interurban railway that served it, this remote park featured picnic grounds along with a large pavilion complete with nightly live music.

Hecla Fire Station

Hecla Fire Station

Calumet – This old fire station was originally built by the mine to protect its surface plant, and is now home to the township fire department.

Italian Hall

Italian Hall

Calumet – Over 70 people lost their lives here on this site when a false cry of fire prompted a stampede for the building’s exit – 60 of them children.

Lakeview Cemetery

Calumet – Established in the popular garden style, this sprawling cemetery outside of Calumet quickly became the community’s preferred burial ground and grew to become the region’s largest.

Michigan House

Michigan House

Calumet – This old hotel and saloon was built by the Bosch Brewing Company to sell its alcoholic wares to visiting businessmen and dignitaries.

Mineral Range Depot (Calumet)

Calumet – Home to the Mineral Range Railroad’s main offices and the region’s busiest passenger depot, this large brick building provided Calumet residents with rail service to Chicago and all points in between.

Mineral Range Oil House

Calumet – This small cement building is all that remains of the Mineral Range’s sprawling Calumet rail yards, that originally included a 16 stall roundhouse and machine shop.

Morrison School

Morrison School

Calumet – This large school buildings was built in 1919 to house the village’s large collection of school children, replacing dozens of smaller schools previously scattered about the community.

Nelson Schroeder Block

Nelson Schroeder Block

Calumet – Conveniently located near the depot, this massive brick building was built to house the Schroeder Saloon along with boarding space on its upper floors.

Osceola No.3

Calumet – This Osceola shaft was the scene of the Keweenaw’s worst mining accident – a tragic 1895 fire that resulted in the deaths of thirty underground workers.

Osceola No.6

Calumet – Located on lands once belonging to the old Opechee mine, the last of Osceola’s shafts was outfitted with a modern surface plant by C&H, most of which continues to stand today.

Paine & Webber Building

Calumet – This simple and petite one story building was home to the Calumet branch of the Paine & Webber stock brokerage.

Red Jacket Fire Hall

Calumet – Easily one of the region’s most impressive structures, this sandstone faced Romanesque Revival masterpiece served as the village’s fire hall for over 60 years.

Ruppe & Son Department Store

Calumet – Housing the Ruppe & Son General Merchandise Store, this incredibly ornate terra cotta embellished brick facade was added to the store’s original building in 1899 to keep pace with its competitors.

Russell Snow Plow

Calumet – A necessary part for any Copper Country railroad, this rolling snow plow was pushed by a locomotive to clear tracks of the region’s 300 inches of yearly snowfall.

Ryan Block

Calumet – This three story sandstone commercial block was built in 1898 to house the E.J. Ryan Store, and features an unique bowed oriel along its front facade.

Schoolcraft Cemetery

Calumet – It was the Schoolcraft Mine that set aside land for the Calumet area’s first cemetery in 1865, a burial ground that was later abandoned and forgotten for several generations until being recently rediscovered.

St. Anne’s Church

Calumet – Built in 1901 to serve the regions French Canadian population, this archetypical Gothic beauty is an intimidating presence along Calumet’s main thoroughfare.

St. John the Baptist Church

Calumet – Em-blazed with the Croatian crest above its from door, this squat brick building served the region’s Croatian population after a more embellished structure was destroyed by fire.

St. Mary’s Church

Calumet – This gothically inspired sandstone church was built around 1896 by Calumet’s substantial Italian born population.

St. Paul’s Church

Calumet – Originally known as St. Joseph’s, this incredibly massive Romanesque cathedral was built in 1909 at a cost of over $100,000 by the region’s influential Slovenian population.

Superior Boiler House

Calumet – This massive sandstone building originally housed a sprawling collection of boilers required to power the monstrous Superior steam engine once housed next door.

Tamarack No.4

Calumet – Dropping over 4500 feet straight down into the earth, this shaft would become infamous when 7-year old Ruth Ann Miller fell down the poorly capped shaft to her death in 1966.

Union Building

Calumet – Built on land donated by C&H and financed by a unique partnership between two fraternal organizations, this three story brick building housed meeting halls for both the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Free Masons.

Vertin Brothers Department Store

Calumet – While originally only a modest two stories in height, the region’s economic prowess prompted the Vertin Brothers to add an additional two stories and create this impressive commercial block.