As prospectors migrated southward along the Keweenaw Peninsula the sporadic copper deposits encountered along the northern range gave way to a more uniform and predictable configuration. Here along the central range copper had been deposited along a series of narrow parallel bands - known as lodes. These lodes could be traced along the peninsula for miles, and provided a blueprint to where more copper deposits could be found.
Such was the case with the discovery of the copper-rich Pewabic Lode atop Quincy Hill, which led prospectors on a desperate search for its southern extension. The result was the inaccurately named South Pewabic Mine established at the present site of Atlantic Mine. Unfortunately the mine had missed its mark, sinking it's shafts instead into a copper-poor ashbed lode. The South Pewabic's fate was sealed.
All was not lost however. From the South Pewabic's ashes rose a new mining company, flush with capital and determined to make the lode pay. Within five years the Atlantic Mining Company did just that, and in its wake the town of Atlantic Mine grew and prospered. Alone and secluded on the Southern Range, the town of Atlantic Mine natured a thriving business district and community resources including its own Opera House. At its peak the region was home to over 1800 residents, becoming home for immigrants from all across the world.
NOTES: The Atlantic Mine had done the impossible, creating a profitable enterprise out of a copper-poor lode and growing a thriving community in the process. However it was not to last. A series of massive cave-ins in the spring of 1906 collapsed the mine's working shafts and shut down the mine for good. With the mine now gone most of the towns residents left and the region shrunk into obscurity.
DIRECTIONS: Follow M26 south from Houghton for 4 miles. Turn right onto Erickson Road and continue for another half mile to town.