Keweenaw County Historical Society

Caretakers of the past, stewards of the future


The Phoenix church

St. Mary’s Church was built in 1858 to serve the Catholic residents in the nearby mining community of Cliff, scene of the area’s first major copper discovery in 1844. Services continued until 1899 when the church was dismantled and reassembled in Phoenix, where it was renamed The Church of the Assumption. Masses were held until 1957, when the last service marked a century of providing spiritual guidance to mining families and their descendants.

(Photo: The Blessing of the Pets is an annual event at the Phoenix Church.)

Mass at the Phoenix CHurchIn 1985 the Keweenaw County Historical Society took over the property and began extensive repair and restoration work. The church now appears much as it did when folks from another century knelt in prayer, a fitting memorial to one chapter of Keweenaw’s proud heritage.  Although now deconsecrated, the church is still used for weddings and memorial services. 

(Photo: A Memorial Mass is held at the church each September.)

Visiting the Phoenix Church

Hours & Admission-  The Phoenix Church is open from mid-June to early October.   The 2021 opening date expected is June 21st.  Hours are 9 AM - 5 PM daily.  There is no admission charge for this museum, however a donation is appreciated.

Location- The church is located on US Highway 41 in Phoenix, Michigan, at the junction of M-26 to Eagle River. GPS: N 47 23.354 W 88 16.587, Decimal Degrees:47.389230, -88.27645

Related Links-

KCHS museum sites and the cottage rentals will be opening for the Summer of 2021, except the Bammert Blacksmith Shop which is closed for repairs.  Sites expect to open buildings during the week of June 20th.  See the museum sites’ webpages for opening dates and hours.

Public events have NOT been scheduled, except for the Woodward Concert in Copper Harbor on September 22nd and Cider Making at Central on September 25th; both events will be held outside.  See the Events/Adventures in History webpage for more information.

The Keweenaw County Historical Society’s Board of Directors will follow the COVID-19 Epidemic Orders issued by the State of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services.  These public health orders are updated as needed, so KCHS may need to change access to buildings and events.  This spring, group events held inside community buildings were not allowed.  Therefore, KCHS cancelled the Adventures in History programs for the summer.  

Please check back for updates.
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