Copper Country Heritage Guide - Locations

Slicing through the Keweenaw’s midsection is a natural waterway which for generations was used by native peoples to safely cross the peninsula. The waterway stretched inland for over 15 miles, leaving only a two mile portage to reach the west shore. It was this portage that gave the waterway its name, shared by both the lake and river that connects it with Lake Superior. As the copper rush progressed the waterway would be systematically improved to allow larger vessels to reach the mines and cities flourishing inland. In 1855 a lighthouse was built at the river’s mouth to help guide ships into the newly constructed canal – in what would later become known as Jacobsville.

A few years after the lighthouse was opened a stone mason by the name of Craig discovered a deposit of high-quality sandstone just up the river. Craig proceeded to open a small quarry at the site and began shipping the brownstone back east. The deep red color of the stone became highly sought by architects all across the country, raising demand and spurring more quarries to open up shop in the region. One of those quarries was opened to the east of the lighthouse by John Jacob, who would become the namesake for the town that developed in the quarry’s wake. Jacobsville grew quickly and soon found itself at the center of a sandstone empire. In response the town’s population rose to over a thousand by the turn of the century.

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Jacobsville Cemetery

Jacobsville Cemetery

Jacobsville – Established originally in 1892 for the fledging town of Craig, this remote cemetery would later serve the collection of quarry towns and their predominantly Finnish populations established nearby.

Finnish Lutheran Chruch

Jacobsville – Hidden deep within the thick foilage of a cedar forest, this remote country church was built in 1891 by Finnish immigrants working the fields and quarries along the Portage River.

Jacobsville Quarry

Jacobsville Quarry

Jacobsville – One of several such mines sprinkled along the Keweenaw’s south-east shore, this small quarry mined the region’s highly prized deposit’s of red sandstone for use in building construction.

Portage River Lighthouse

Jacobsville – This iconic sandstone tower with detached keepers dwelling was built in 1869 to help guide ships to the mouth of the navigable Portage River.

South Entry Light

Jacobsville – Located at the end of massive half-mile long pier, this octagonal shaped steel tower marks the east entrance to the Keweenaw Waterway.