Copper Country Mining Heritage

History abounds in Michigan's Copper Country

History abounds in Michigan’s Copper Country

I spent my college years at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. MTU was established in 1885 as the Michigan College of Mines, for good reason. It’s located in the heart of Michigan’s “Copper Country,” which runs from White Pine to the southwest for over 100 miles to the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Along the way are many small towns still chock full of remnants of the copper mining booms of the past.

Arriving at Tech basically ignorant of the vast storehouse of rich history surrounding me, it wasn’t long before I started to learn about the area’s past. As I began to travel around the Keweenaw, I discovered a new world of photographic possibilities. The galleries in the Copper Country Mining Heritage collection on document some of the remaining historic mining buildings in the Copper Country. Sadly, many have been lost, demolished to reduce the risk of injury to hapless explorers and the lawsuits which would certainly follow.

Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is a four-season photographer’s paradise even without the old copper mining buildings. But, their presence makes this area even more worthy of serious photographic pursuit. Attractions like the rugged Lake Superior coastline, lighthouses, mountaintop vistas, ghost towns, and virgin pine forests await you.