It is serenely quiet as you cautiously walk into the deserted towns located up and down the Keweenaw Peninsula. Standing in the overgrown grass, it is hard to imagine that these were lively, often raucous communities in the mid-1800s to early 1900s. America’s first mining boom was roaring to life and unearthing copper produced 10 times more wealth than the California Gold Rush.
But one-industry towns are risky. Rising production costs, a failed miners’ strike in 1913, followed by the Great Depression caused jobs and people to vanish. Now, these phantom towns are vivid reminders of how fleeting natural resources … and prosperity … can be.
Learn more about the Keweenaw’s ghost towns like Freda, Cliff, Central, and Delaware through our YouTube Series: Ghost Towns of the Keweenaw.
Because of its history with natural resource extraction industries like mining and logging, you’ll find many of its ghost towns in the Upper Peninsula. The industries’ booms and busts led to rapid population increases and declines creating ghost towns throughout the region, particularly in the Keweenaw Peninsula due to copper mining activity in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
An image of Madam Modjeska (circa 1900) who is rumored to still make appearances at the Calumet Theatre despite her death in 1909.
In addition to the ghost towns, the Keweenaw Peninsula has other places that draw people intrigued by paranormal sightings and campfire-worthy stories. Two to consider: