Skip to main content

Great Lakes Road Trip Day 6 Part 2; M-26 from Copper Harbor to Houghton

As I stated previously in Part 1 of Day 6, I decided to take M-26 back to Houghton despite the incoming storm over Lake Superior.  I don't like to drive in the rain all that much but I hate backtracking even more.  Besides, I wanted to see more of the copper mining ruins on the Keweenaw Peninsula.  The current configuration of M-26 is about 96 miles in length from US 41 in Copper Harbor to US 45 west of Mass City.



M-26 runs along the coast for about 24 miles before meeting US 41 in Phoenix.  The first community M-26 passes through Eagle Harbor which has been inhabited since 1844.  The first large industry in Eagle Harbor was of course copper mining which took place at North American and Eagle Harbor mines.  The community is mostly known for the Eagle Harbor lighthouse which dates back to 1871.


The storm from Copper Harbor finally caught up to me at Great Sand Bay between Eagle Harbor and Eagle River.


I stopped in Eagle River next while the rains were coming down.  Eagle River dates back to the Mid-1840s and had profitable mines until the 1870s.  I stopped to see the Lake Shore Drive Bridge which was built in 1915 and the Eagle River Falls below.  The replacement Eagle River Timber Bridge is an arch span constructed of wood which was opened in 1990.








M-26 intersects US 41 in Phoenix and is multiplexed south to Calumet/Laurium.  Phoenix was the location of the Phoenix Mine which was apparently one of the first big copper mining operations in the 1840s in the Keweenah Peninsula.  Really all that appears to be left of the town is a general store-looking building at the junction of M-26/US 41.






M-26 is multiplexed for 14 miles south to Calumet.  The first community south of Phoenix is Mohawk which appears to be a husk of mining village.






Directly south of Mohawk is the village of Ahmeek.  Ahmeek was a mining town that was estalished in 1904 and was located on the Mineral Range Railroad.  Ahmeek had a high population of about 900 during the height of the copper boom but has declined to less than 200.  Ahmeek actually does have a substantial downtown area to see along 5 Mile Point Road.



South of Ahmeek is the communities of New Allouez and Allouez.  Both appear to be related to the copper mining era but I can't find much of substance on either of them.



South of Allouez is Kearsarge which was founded in 1867 and apparently had active mining activity until the 1920s.


Between Kearsarge and Calumet/Laurium there is a sign for Centennial but I can't find anything written about it.  I'm actually surprised more of these communities aren't covered on websites like ghosttowns.com.






Southbound M-26/US 41 intersects M-203 which comes from the west in Calument.  M-26/US 41 bisects Calumet to the west and Laurium on the right before the former splits from the latter on 3rd Street.








M-26 uses Helca Street and Lake Linden Avenue to traverse downtown Laurium.  Laurium essentially was founded alongside Calumet and actually had the name until 1895.  Laurium was generally considered to be the more upscale and wealthier part of the Calumet/Laurium mining community which is reflective in some of the more ornate surviving homes.  The peak population of Laurium was about 8,500 in 1910 and has declined to about 1,900 today.






M-26 starts to head towards the southeast shoreline of the Keweenaw Peninsula crossing through the community of Florida.  I couldn't find anything written about Florida but it just appears to be an extension of Laurium.





Before entering Lake Liden M-26 travels under an abandoned Railroad overpass.





M-26 turns south on Calumet Street through downtown Lake Linden.  I believe Lake Linden was founded in the 1880s and it appears to almost destroyed in a large fire 1887.  The village had a peak population of about 2,600 at the peak of the copper boom but has declined to about 1,000 today.





South of Lake Linden is Hubbell which I can't find much written on.  The community seems to have a lot in common with Lake Linden with similar buildings dating back to the copper boom.






Tamarack City is directly south of Hubbell which has some ruins of the Quincy Mill.






Approaching Portage Lake is Dollar Bay which was settled in 1887.  Apparently the community used to be known as Clark originally.





Approaching the Portage Lake Lift Bridge is one more community which is known as Ripley.  I don't know much of the history of the town but it was the location of the Quincy Smelter, the Quincy Mine is actually in the hills above.





M-26 meets US 41 at the Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Hancock, both multiplex to cross the Keweenaw Waterway.  As I stated previously the current Portage Lake Lift Bridge dates back to 1959.








M-26 splits from US 41 heading southwest out of the city of Houghton while the latter heads through downtown heading southeast.  I stayed the night in Houghton given that it was fairly late getting out of Isle Royale and Copper Harbor earlier in the day.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del

Siuslaw River Bridge - US 101 in Florence, Oregon

  As the Oregon Coast Highway (US 101) was being completed across the State of Oregon during the 1930s, a number of bridges needed to be built to cross some of the state's finest rivers. In Florence, Oregon , the Siuslaw River Bridge was designed and constructed to help fill in the gaps between different coastal communities. Built in 1936, the Siuslaw River Bridge is a bascule bridge flanked by two reinforced concrete arches that spans across the Siuslaw River. The bridge and the river get their names from the Siuslaw tribal people who make their home along the river valleys of this part of the Oregon Coast. Today, the bridge provides a vital link connecting US 101 and the Central Oregon Coast to points north and south. The total length of the Siuslaw River Bridge is 1,568 feet, stretching across the river. But more specifically, the bridge is made up of a north approach with eight spans of reinforced concrete deck girder totaling 478 feet in length. There is a main span in three