Menu
Log in

KCHS logo

Caretakers of the past, stewards of the future.

Central Mine

Central

Central Visitor CenterOne of the most noteworthy historical sites in Keweenaw County is Central, or Central Mine. The photo above shows three buildings that are open daily for visitors. From left to right are House #25, The Central Visitor Center, and House #61. Central is 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.

(Photo: The Visitor Center has many interesting exhibits and a video explaining the history of Central mine.)

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. The KCHS has been restoring the buildings at Central. In 2017 they began renting House #8, an old miners house, for weekly rentals to raise income to continue this restoration process. Please see the Rental Tab on the menu above for rental information as well as a slideshow of the inside of the house.

Kitchen in House 61Two 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.

(Photo: The kitchen of House 61 displays many of the devices one used at Central.)

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.

Central Memorial GardenOne 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. 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.

(Photo: We have a group of Master gardeners who maintain the Memorial Garden at Central.)

Visiting Central

Season-
CLOSED FOR THE SEASON. 2024 schedule TBD.

Hours & Admission-
Hours are 9 AM - 5 PM daily.  There is no admission fee for this museum, however, a donation is appreciated.

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.  The street address is 7143 Central Road, Phoenix, MI.  GPS: N 47 24.346 W 88 12.025, Decimal Degrees: 47.40577, -88.20042

Related Links-

NEWS

All sites are closed for the season

Coming this season!
The Lighthouse Gift Shop will be selling local thimbleberry jam. Proceeds will help us maintain our historical treasures with a historicaly renewable resource.

Our thanks to Dorothy Jamison and The Wood'n Spoon for making this available.

Booking Changes are Coming to KCHS Rental Properties.
KCHS is rolling out its new online booking process. As of May 12, 2024, booking for 2025 will only be available on this website.

MORE INFORMATION

KCHS RENTAL PROPERTIES

BECOME A MEMBER


Eagle Harbor Lifesaving Station Gets a Facelift

Volunteers Mark Rowe and Jim Huovinen put the finishing touches on the Lifesaving Museum's recent upgrade.

READ THE NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT


EVENTS

  • No upcoming events until next season


MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software