Copper Country Heritage Guide - Types

In communities that existed solely to serve the copper mines and its masters, education was often considered superfluous to the children of miners and laborers who were expected to follow in their fathers footsteps and contribute to the household. But mine companies were insistent on a specific type of worker for its mines and mills – one that was educated, skilled, and English speaking.

Towards that end companies such as C&H erected large schools, paid qualified teachers and provided the latest in instructional aids and materials. They built well-equiped machine shops and carpenter shops designed to provide the skills the company desired. Perhaps most importantly, these schools worked to help immigrant students assimilate to the American way of life, and in turn help their parents adapt as well.

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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.

Central School

Central – Only a few foundation walls and a scattering of bricks remain of this massive three story school building erected by the Central Mine for the benefit of its worker’s children.

Charles Briggs School

Laurium – Built in 1907, this stately brick school building was the last of the area’s original elementary schools to close its doors – in 1977.

Eagle Harbor School

Eagle Harbor – As the port town’s population exploded thanks to the neighboring Central Mine, this two story school building was built in 1872 to replace the town’s aging and overcrowded one-room structure.

Gay School

Gay – This unique two story school house was built by the Mohawk Mining company in 1923 to serve the workers of its newly established mill.

Hancock Central High

Hancock – This Gothically inspired sprawling brick building was built in 1922 to replace the city’s original wood-framed structure that had been destroyed by fire.

Isle Royale School

Houghton – Originally known as the Dodgeville School, this brick school building served the children of workers from the adjacent Isle Royale No. 5 and No. 6 shafts.

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.

Old Main

Hancock – This beautiful sandstone structure was built in 1900 to house the nation’s first and only Finnish school – Suomi College.

Painesdale High School

Painesdale – Easily the keweenaw’s most impressive school building, this massive gothic inspired sandstone beauty was built in 1909 by the Copper Range Company, which operated the successful Champion Mine nearby.

Rathbone School House

Eagle Harbor – This small one-room school house built in 1853 is known as the birthplace of the Knights of Pythias fraternal organization.

Redridge School

Redridge – In response to the growing needs of its collection of mill towns along Lake Superior, the Copper Range Company erected this large school building in 1908.

Ripley School

Hancock – This massive sandstone beauty was built by the Quincy Mining Company in 1909 to serve the needs of its neighboring smelter workers and their families.

Salo School

Hancock – This small one-room school houses served the educational needs of Finnish children living among the various farms scattered across the landscape north of Hancock.