An Immigrant Story - John Chellew

The workings of the Cliff Mine shown in blueprint form with shafts and drifts
The plan of the Cliff Mine workings in 1854 shows the mine over ten years before the Chellew's arrived.

Keweenaw NHP Coppertown--Cliff Mine Underground Map--1854

Experienced Cornish miners--and father and son--Richard and John Chellew came to the United States in the 1860s aboard the City of Antwerp, a steamer that later disappeared at sea with all hands. Richard and John came to the Copper Country, joining Richard's brother (and John's uncle) William at the Cliff Mine. They lived with William and his family while they saved up to pay the passage for mother Margaret and siblings Christiana, William, Richard, Grace, and Maggie.

Grave marker for John Chellew.
John Chellew's grave marker at the Eagle River Cemetery tells much about his story.

NPS Photo

John would never see his mother again. A mine accident took his life at 27 years of age in 1875, before the arrival of the rest of the family. He is buried at Eagle River's Evergreen Cemetery. Family members later dispersed throughout the Copper Country, including sister Grace (Allen) who resided in Greenland in Ontonagon County, and brother William who moved to Osceola, Houghton County. Margaret Chellew, a widow, lived until the age of 90 at North Tamarack near Calumet.

Last updated: January 12, 2018

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