Photography by Kath Usitalo

The Keweenaw Peninsula is called Copper Country for a reason. From 1845, when the first large-scale mining operation began, to 1968 when the last mine closed, 10.5 billion pounds of copper were mined. You can sample the life of Thomas Hoatson, owner of the Calumet & Arizona Mining Co., who built a 13,000-square-foot home in Laurium with niceties like a silver leaf-covered domed ceiling in the music room.

In 1989, Julie and David Sprenger rescued the 45-room Victorian mansion and restored it as the Laurium Manor Inn, where guests sleep in the Hoatson family bedrooms and breakfast in the dining room with its elephant hide-covered walls. Self-guided tours are available to the public.

This article originally appeared in the 2018 fall/winter issue of Experience Michigan magazine. The contents of this article were checked for accuracy when it was published; however, it’s possible some of the information has changed. We recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the destinations, attractions or restaurants mentioned in this article.

No portion of this article or magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by the publisher.


Kath Usitalo is the author of three books, “Secret Upper Peninsula: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure,” “100 Things to Do in the Upper Peninsula Before You Die” and “100 Things to Do on Mackinac Island Before You Die.”

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