Begin your visit here at the Central Mine
Visitor's Center to see exhibits and
a video about Central Mine.
Announcements: All of the Keweenaw County Historical Museums are now closed for the season. We thank all of you for visiting our sites and taking part in our activities this summer. We look forward to seeing you next spring. In the meantime we'll be busy this winter changing exhibits, designing building updates, and planning another summer of activities that support the history of Keweenaw County.
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One of the most noteworthy historical sites in Keweenaw County is Central, or Central Mine, a village that once was the home for over 1,200 people, and the site of one Keweenaw's most successful mines. The mine, opened in 1854, produced nearly 52 million pounds of copper by the time it closed in 1898.
Several miners' homes and buildings still stand on the site. In 1996, the Keweenaw County Historical Society acquired 38 acres of the old Central site. Some of the residences are being restored, and a Visitors Center provides interpretive exhibits not only about the mine but also about the miners' families, homes, schools and churches.
Two hiking trails opened in 2005, a fun way to see the various sites in Central. The trails are 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile long through the woods. They provide views of several house foundations, a glimpse at the site of the school house, as well as a magnificent view of the valley from the top of the upper rock pile.
Descendants of Central mining families gather each year, on the last Sunday in July, at the old Methodist Episcopal Church for the Central Reunion. The church, erected in 1868, with its distinctive battlemented tower reflecting the Cornish ancestry of many Central families, closed in 1903. It is reopened on each Reunion Sunday for a service of tribute to the hardy pioneers of all faiths from all the early copper mines that dotted Keweenaw County. The year 2011 will mark the 105th anniversary of these reunions. Visit the Central Mine Methodist Church web site for information on the Reunion and church history.
One of the most memorable and peaceful parts of your visit to Central Mine should be a walk in The Central Memorial Garden located directly across the street from the visitor's Center. Click here for additional photos and information about the garden.
While the Central Mine site is open year-round the Visitors Center is open from mid-June through early October. Please respect the privacy of dwelling occupants when touring the mine site. Donation requested.
Click here to see a PDF copy of our Central Mine pamphlet. Be sure to use your browser's "BACK" button to return to this page after reading the brochure.
Click here for additional information about the mine at Central, the town, it's churches, the Central Reunion, schools, life at Central as well as an array of historic photos.
Hours & Admission - The Central Mine Visitor's Center and display homes are open from mid-June to early October. There is no admission fee for this museum.
Location -The Central Mine Visitor's Center, shown above, is about 5 miles northeast of Phoenix, just north of the intersection of US 41 and the Central-Gratiot Lake Roads intersection. GPS: N 47 24.346 W 88 12.025, Decimal Degrees: 47.40577, -88.20042
Need a map? Click on this small Google Map to open a larger version that will give you complete access to a larger Google map of the area, satellite view, etc. You may use this link to go to Google Maps Help if you are not familiar with Google Maps.
Related Links - You may wish to explore the following sites for additional information about Central Mine.