1997 Mining History Association Field Trip

 

Keweenaw Peninsula Copper Mines

Houghton, Michigan

June 8, 1997

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The village of Central was built around the Central Mine.  Like many of the early mining towns its population included many Cornish “Cousin Jack” miners and their wives, the “Cousin Jennies.”

The Cornish Methodist Church and several other buildings in Central have been restored through the efforts of the Keweenaw County Historical Society.

This two-story miner’s house is typical of many of the company houses that were built by the mining companies to provide housing for the miners and their families.

A smaller miner’s house serves as the summertime Visitors Center in Central.  A self-guided tour takes the visitor past the restored buildings (some are privately owned) and the many ruins of mining buildings located in the forest.

 

The popular New England saltbox design of this larger house may reflect the Yankee roots of many of the mining investors.

Although decades of deep wintertime snow has removed its roof, this sturdy powder magazine still stands just off one of the main mining roads.

 


The restored Catholic Church of the Assumption is located at the site of the village of Phoenix, a short distance from Central.  Central, Phoenix, and other near-ghost towns host annual summer reunions of residents and their descendents.

The greenstone ridge is a prominent geographic feature in the eastern Keweenaw.  Copper bearing lodes followed the direction of the ridge while fissure veins were perpendicular to it.  Mine dumps are visible below the ridge in Phoenix.

Photo Credits: Johnny Johnsson and Mike Kaas

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