For some time C&H was the largest singe copper producer in the world, shipping out from the region some 80 million pounds of copper each year. This enormous amount of copper meant an equally enormous amount of profit – $10 million of which made its way into stockholders hands in a single year. While the majority of this money never seen the light of day in the Copper Country, some semblance of C&H’s immense wealth is reflected in its stately administrative office building.
While thousands of men toiled under the earth and in mills and smelters across the Copper Country, C&H’s white collar workforce took refuge in this calico faced 2 and a half story building standing at the entrance to the mine. Built originally in 1887 this impressive building continued to gow in size over the years as the company prospered, first with an addition to the North and then another to the east. The building housed offices for the mine’s managers, draftsman, engineers, and accountants. It also served as the miners’ pay office where the company’s workforce would receive their pay.
The building’s grand importance is evident from the start, as its walls are erected with a random patchwork of irregularly shaped rock that have been worked smooth on their face. Accenting this intricate jigsaw puzzle are red-brick details framing openings and along corners. Segmented arched windows grace the facades, and a large enclosed carriage shed – used by workers in line for their checks – sits at its northern end. The result is a very striking, prestigious, and stately building that matches perfectly its important role in the company.
NOTES: This impressive building still stands today in all its former glory, now serving as the headquarters for the Keweenaw National Historical Park. The building is open to the public as the park’s information center and can easily be viewed from along the adjacent road. A public parking lot sits nearby.
DIRECTIONS: The C&H General Offices sit at the corner of US41 and Red Jacket Road in Calumet. Upon reaching Calumet along US41, take a left run at the third flashing light (Red Jacket Road). The offices will be on the right.