Michigan Copper and Iron Mining History May 5, 2011Calumet, MI

Calumet is a city located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Calumet is home to a rich history of copper mining. The Upper Peninsula has been known for its rich supply of copper, which has been mined and attempted to be mined by many. Calumet was mined by Calumet and Hecla Mining Company who kept the mine in Calumet going until the 1917’s when the price of copper went down to 12 ½ cent a pound. Alexander Agassiz was president of Calumet and Hecla Mining Company which was known for law suits and strikes. Calumet and Hecla Mining Company lost a lot of men when they switched from two man drills to one man drills. The amount of men hurt every year had started to increase more and more. Miners started to believe that it was not worth the conditions that they worked in. With the economic growth of the mining business more and more men were dying. The majority of the men that died were married leaving behind spouses and children. The average age for death at the mine was 21, with most of the men’s age range from 18 to 29. On September 7, 1895 there was a fire in the Osceola mine, which took the life of 30 people. The Western Federation of Miners was a union that decided to help the Calumet miners. The WFM went on strike asking the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company to improve work conditions. Relief works were brought in which lead to fights between the company and the WFM. On December 7 WFM supporters fired shots into the houses of mine workers. On December 24 the WFM gave a Christmas party for the supporters of the union. This turned into a disaster when someone yield out fire, and everyone ran for the door trampling their neighbors and children. The WFM tried to turn the accident into a murderous conspiracy blaming the companies. The WFM realized that they weren’t going to win the strike and decide to cut their losses. Calumet is now home to a population 44,727 people. The town still has most of its original buildings from the copper era.

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This statue in Calumet is of Alexander Agassiz. He was the president of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company.

This is a photo taken in one of the churches in Calumet. The row of stain glass windows as well as all other ordinmentation demonstrates the wealth, commitment, and pride of a community. The church served a religious, social, and community based purpose within the town.-Ashley Holloway
This is a photo taken in one of the churches in Calumet. The row of stain glass windows as well as all other ordinmentation demonstrates the wealth, commitment, and pride of a community. The church served a religious, social, and community based purpose within the town.-Ashley Holloway

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The wealth of the Iron Ore region is best displayed in Calumet Michigan. The elaborate and high class theatre served its purpose as a source of entertainment and distinguishing the social classes associated with the mining industry. – David Eggleston

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This is a piece of Lake Superior float copper that was found to weigh about 9,392 lbs. in 1970. This particular piece of float copper was found about 4 ½ miles southwest of calumet. Float copper is copper that is broken off from fissures or lodes and moved along by glacier deposits until it is dropped off somewhere down river from a copper mine. - Heather Bartels

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This is St. Paul Catholic Church at Calumet established in 1889 by Slovenian immigrants who immigrated to this are to work in the copper mines. The Romanesque building style built of locally quarried Jacobsville sandstone; feature the importance of their Faith that made this structure possible. -Judith Tellez-G


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The fire station of Calumet is built of Jacobsville sanstone Facade and Brick for teh other three walls. It has been in opperation sinse 1898. -Kait Greathouse

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Calumet: This is the location of where an Italian Hall was once located. During hostile strike times, there was a Christmas celebration being held but unfortunately someone yelled fire when there was not a fire. Seventy three people died attempting to leave the building. “Over half were children between six and ten". – Jeff Janofski

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Memorial Mueseum - by Jeff dewatrs

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Seats from the theater in Calumet. The building was made of Jacobson Sandstone. Jordan Harris


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Shute's Saloon located a block down the street from the Calumet Theatre - Andrew Shaver


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Calumet Michigan was once home to the Italian Hall, now after a great fire this is all that stands. - Joe Fuld