• Underground Tamarack Trammer Car

    Keweenaw

    National Historical Park Michigan

Stories

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While the central focus of Keweenaw National Historical Park revolves around history of the region's copper mining industry, the reach of the copper resources and the industry extended far beyond the mines and workers.

The park and the Keweenaw Heritage Sites explore four primary stories or themes connected to copper mining. As more resources, research and staffing become available, these stories will be further developed in publications, exhibits, guided programs and web pages.
 

Natural Resources
The natural environment of the Keweenaw Peninsula, including its geology, copper deposits, forested hills and surrounding waterways, shaped human settlement and copper mining operations which then altered the landscape.

Copper's Value
The changing uses and value of copper for people through time drove the interest and desire to acquire this metal.

Mining Processes and Technology through Time
People’s quest for copper from the Keweenaw Peninsula began as early as 7,000 years ago and illustrates changes from prehistoric surface collection to deep shaft, hard rock mining.

People, Companies and Communities
Copper mining framed the lives and livelihoods of people, companies and communities on the Keweenaw Peninsula. The peninsula’s place names, variety of ethnic and religious centers, and cultural traditions reflect its connection with people from across the globe.

Did You Know?

Photo of a copper ingot

Smelting is the process of heating processed copper ore to the melting point so that it can then be cast into ingots.