The Keweenaw Peninsula is a unique blend of natural
and human history
a rugged, picturesque land which is inhabited and loved by people
of many nationalities. Their taproots are deeply imbedded in the conglomerate formations
from which they and their ancestors wrested millions of pounds of copper, and they are
duly proud of this great heritage.
industry began thousands of years ago when ancient miners attacked exposed veins of pure
copper with huge hammer-stones. The tools and techniques of mining advanced considerably
in the centuries that followed.
Calumet, originally known as Red Jacket, was an interesting
conglomeration of people, buildings, and businesses back in the booming copper mining
days. From 1890 to 1910, 60,000 to 70,000 people of every nationality called Calumet home.
Calumet Township housed 60 saloons, 33 churches, 30 schools and five theatres. There were
Chinese Laundries, Greek Candy Stores, Syrian Fruit Stores, and many other businesses
unique to the area. Along with this, there were favorite locations and hangouts for each
separate nationality to get together.
Before WWI, Germany bought all the Copper from the "Copper
Country." The Copper was put through an Electrolytic Plant which filtered out the
silver, and the silver more than paid for shipping the Copper across the ocean. In 1913
there was a mass exodus caused by a miners strike. Because of this 10,00 people left
In 1921, the government stopped buying copper. The Detroit area
automobile plants were hiring so 6,000 more people headed south to find work. Calumet
slowed down to a crawl very quickly.
The great Depression of May 2, 1932 saw everything shut down. 3,000
more left Calumet and the area came to a screeching halt.
As time went on the population decreased again in 1968 to 12,000 and
at the 1991 census, Calumet Township was home to 7000.