Our Lady of the Pines

Copper Harbor |

Significance

As mines closed and the copper industry’s fortunes declined, there occured a mass exodus of unemployed residents to greener pastures down south. For the Keweenaw’s catholic population, this mass exodus resulted in the closure of several area churches as their congregations diminished. In Calumet alone, a population that once supported more then a half dozen parishes could only now support two. Along the peninsula’s northern reaches this phenomenon was even more severe, resulting in the closure of more then a dozen churches that had existed in mine locations and port towns for nearly a century.

Today that northern region is served by only three Catholic churches commonly known as Keweenaw mission churches. These churches host visiting priests from Calumet for Sunday Mass on an abbreviated basis, usually only for a few months during the summer. The most northern of these mission churches is the Our Lady of the Pines church in Copper Harbor.

Description

Our Lady of the Pines was built in 1952 to serve the growing number of seasonal residents living in the community, open only during the summer months. The unique church resembles a quaint north-woods chapel, set within a serene evergreen forest. Of peculiar interest is how the structure was built – completely from hand-hewn pine logs. Inside the small chapel a collection of pine pews stand in a large single room topped by an open-beamed roof. Several other rustic north-woods details rounds out its interior decor.

Contemporary Use

The church continues to be used for religious services during the summer months.

Public Access

The church is open to the public for viewing during daylight hours, or for worship services during the summer months.

Directions

The Lady of the Pines church sits on the south side of Copper Harbor, along a short section of 1st Street. From along US41 in Copper Harbor turn south onto Manganese Road (at the corner of the visitor center). Take the first left and then a quick right. The church will be on the left.