Tuesday, July 14, 2015


St Paul the Apostle Church
We moved from Copper Harbor down to Houghton for 6 days. From this new base we visited Calumet again. There is a new Calumet Visitor Center that was opened by the National Park Service since our last visit in August 2011, which was formerly the Masonic Temple. They did an excellent job of telling the history of the area with an emphasis on the people, their lives, their heritages and the living conditions. We walked around town, off the main street this time, to see what we could find. We went in the St Paul the Apostle Church  and were amazed (again) that this town has such an extravagant building (I didn't take any pictures inside, you have to go there and check it out). The copper boom certainly left some gems behind (pun intended). At the height of the boom there were 34 churches in the area representing all the various ethnic groups and religions of the immigrants as the population of Calumet Township peaked at around 40,000 (the town of Calumet was called Red Jacket at the time). Unfortunately as you walk around off the main drag most are no longer in use and are falling apart as the population of Calumet Township is now around 6,500. Of course, we had to have our favorite pasties at Connie's Kitchen. They are still great!

Laurium Manor
Laurium is a town right next to Calumet. There are some old homes and buildings their too. We decided to do the tour of the Laurium Manor, known also as the Thomas H. Hoatson House, which is a restored mansion built in 1907-8. It is currently operated as an Inn but they also allow self guided
tours. The manor has a number of unique features that we found interesting like a room "papered" with elephant hide. The owners have done a great job of restoring the home and it was admitted to the National Registor of Historic Places in 1994. We enjoyed our tour. Be sure to click on the link and watch the slide show of inside pictures.

These are just a few of the Keweenaw Heritage Sites that have been opened in the western U.P. as part of the Keweenaw National Historic Park. There are Keweenaw Heritage Sites as far south as Rockland. It is really neat to see this partnership with the National Park System in order to save these wonderful historic sites and keep the heritage alive. The area is well worth the visit.

We also walked around Hancock and Houghton and enjoyed the old architecture. Both cities have self guided walking tour pamphlets available. We walked the trail along Portage Lake (on the Houghton side) several times and enjoyed the cool breeze and variety of boats that go by. Portage Lake is the natural part of the Keweenaw Waterway which allows boats and ships to pass completely across the Keweenaw Peninsula. Because of this waterway, some people call the land north of the waterway Copper Island. Since the waterway is partially a man-made canal this is not an officially recognized name.

A note for the picture below. The Ranger III is operated by the National Park Service to service Isle Royale. It also does some local trips in the summer.
Portage Lake as viewed from the
Michigan Tech campus

The bridge deck raises for the
Ranger III to pass

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