The Ghost Town of Copper Falls, Michigan
It seems that there’s a never-ending supply of ghost towns in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula…more and more seem to be found or hidden in past archives.
Here’s one that’s another of the old mining villages: Copper Falls.
Sitting in Keweenaw County, Copper Falls grew around the mine of the same name which opened in 1846. The Copper Falls Company bought 4,000 acres on a 700 foot summit of land, which was later dubbed “Petherick Hill”. The first mine had to shut down just a year later, as the investors’ money was all used up. After the land was surveyed by Douglass Houghton and Sam Hill, a half dozen fissure veins were discovered and a new mine site was implemented.
The new mine had seven shafts and another major ore vein was discovered. By 1853 the community had two boarding houses, twenty-five homes, office, sawmill, and stamp mill. The surrounding area became a town called Copper Falls Mine beginning in 1860 when the post office began operations. The post office lasted until February 15, 1916.
When a cave-in/collapse occurred in 1874 killing seven workers and a fire destroyed the stamp mill in 1878, the mine shut down for a year. Then the mine continued for another twenty-two years until the reduction of the price of copper finally forced the mine to close for good in 1901.
In the 2000s, explorers visit this site all year ‘round. There aren’t as many old buildings left, as with other old northern Michigan mines, but enough to make the trip & trek worth your while. Plus, you never know what you’ll discover in the rubble on top of that mountain!
The gallery below shows some vintage photos of the town and the mine, and a few from the 2000s as well.
Ghost Town of Copper Falls
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