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Great Lakes Road Trip Day 5 Part 3; Exploring Michigan Copper County in Houghton, Hancock, the Quincy Mine and Calumet

I arrived in Houghton just as the solar eclipse was hitting.  I was way too far north to get much of a shadow so I made my way to the visitor center of Isle Royale National Park on Lake Shore Drive to pick up a couple park maps. 






US 41 has an interesting alignment through downtown Houghton with the northbound lanes running on Shelden Avenue and the southbound lanes on Montezuma Avenue.






Most people were interested in looking at the eclipse I was more interested in the old buildings and the Keweenaw Waterway Lift Bridge.  Houghton is the county seat of Houghton County and is by far the largest city in the general area of the Keweenaw Peninsula at about 8,000 residents.  The city was likely settled in the 1850s and grew in importance as port once the Keweenaw Waterway was dredged by the 1870s from a smaller river.  Much of the buildings in use today date from the early 20th century and have a classic "mine town" feel to them.

The copper boom in the Upper Peninsula (I should not…

Great Lakes Road Trip Day 5 Part 2; the long road to Houghton

Houghton is about 204 miles from Newberry across the Upper Peninsula on a series of state trunklines and US Routes that never exceed 55 MPH speed limits.  I did manage to find some stuff worth looking into along the way starting about 12-13 miles west of Newberry on M-28 in McMillan.  McMillan much like Ozark and Allenville I mentioned previously was a railroad town, in this case the Dulth, South Shore, and Atlantic Railroad.  As I understand the story McMillan was settled in 1881 and was likely a fairly large place at the turn of the 20th century.  While there is homes and people in McMillan most of buildings where people would have worked are long abandoned.  I found some interesting buildings on Wetmore Street with an abandoned utilities building and a former Luce County Road Maintenance facility.







Really its just my opinion but M-28 from I-75 west to Marquette ought to be a 65 MPH speed limit zone.  Really there is close to nothing in terms of civilization between those two points …

Great Lakes Road Trip Day 5 Part 1; M-123 Tahquamenon Falls and ghost towns in the UP

My ultimate destination for the day was the Keweenaw Peninsula but started out with a detour to Tahquamenon Falls State Park via M-123.  M-123 is another on of Michigan's odd highways that changes cardinal directions in the middle of the route much like M-22 does in the Lower Peninsula.  M-123 is approximately 96 miles in length if you travel from I-75 to M-28 in Newberry.  It was foggy morning when I got out on the road, the Tahquamenon Falls were 67 miles to the north.








Before big trips like this I always check the maps to see what I can find that might interest me.  At the corner of M-123 and County Route H57 is the community of Allenville which essentially is a ghost town.  I couldn't find much on Allenville other than it was founded on the Detroit, Mackinac, and Marquette Railroad in the 1870s.  Supposedly a fire almost took out Allenville before the turn of the 20th century and there isn't much left today aside from some long abandoned buildings.



Likewise to the north…