Before anybody ever trekked to California to seek all that glitters in 1849, speculators flocked to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for copper in 1843, spurred by reports from the state’s first geologist, Douflass Houghton. Michigan copper was pure and plentiful, and the population of the remote Keewenaw Peninsula exploded as miners flocked from around the world, living in tent cities because houses hadn’t yet been built. Over the next 130 years, more than 5 million tons of copper would be mined. These days, the mines generate money in a different way: The Keewenaw National Historical Park draws visitors who want to learn about the area’s rich mining history.
Detroit Free Press
January 29, 2017