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Location:

Delaware Copper Mine

Keweenaw Peninsula on the north side of the Upper Peninsula

Population:

2,116 in the entire Keweenaw county

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The Keweenaw area is composed of some of the oldest exposed sandstone and limestone in the world, with rocks dating back some 1.1 billion years, making it perfect for mineral mining. Archeological evidence from 7,000 years ago indicates that the early occupants of this area, ancestors of the Ojibwe Native Americans, were some of the earliest metal miners in North America. The first mineral boom in the US started in 1843 when people from all over the continent came to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to mine for copper, silver, and iron. Of the several mines established here in the 1800s, the Delaware Copper Mine was one of the most famous. This mine was actively dug from 1847 until 1887 and is now available to explore as a tourist destination. The remoteness and small population have helped the area to stay relatively the same since the copper boom of the 1800s.

There are plenty of activities to do nearby year-round, including camping, hiking trails and paths, and admiring the native flora and fauna. Jacob’s Falls and Hungarian Falls offer beautiful waterfall views, and the Mendota, Eagle Harbor, Eagle River, and Copper Harbor Lighthouses are all within a short drive. Bird watching is a popular hobby in the area, with over 300 species counted by the Audubon Society. Just a few miles east of the mine, Fort Wilkins Historic State Park features army relics. If you’re interested in checking out Isle Royale, one of the few ferries that reach it departs nearby. Just beware of jumping in the water - even in the summer heat, it only reaches an average of 66℉!

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