It wasn't long before C&H's success prompted several more mine companies to set up shop nearby, bringing with them a deluge of new workers to the region. Unfortunately the small village of Red Jacket was physically unable to make room for these new arrivals, since it was bordered on all sides by C&H property. Taking advantage of the situation would be C&H's neighbor to the east, the Laurium Mining Company. In 1877 the newly formed company began selling off lots within its land holding, platting out the village of Calumet in the process. Overflow from Red Jacket quickly moved in and Calumet's population swelled to over 5,000. Before long this growing population would demand its own post office, and the town was forced to change its name from Calumet (a name already taken by the Red Jacket post office) to Laurium.
From the beginning Laurium was primarily a residential community, though it did mange to develop its own modest commercial district. Since most of the area's working class lived in company provided housing, Laurium became home to primarily the rich and elite: mine managers, agents, business owners and the like. Soon the village streets became lined with some of the largest and most opulent homes in the Keweenaw - most built in the elaborate Queen Anne Style.
NOTES: With the demise of the Copper Empire, the region's rich and elite quickly moved out of the area to new mining regions out west, leaving behind the opulent houses they once called home. While Laurium's downtown did not survive the ensuing decades, the grand old houses did. Today many of these houses look much the same as they did when they were first built, and numerous clues to the town's rich heritage can still be seen up and down the towns wide tree-lined streets.
DIRECTIONS: Follow US41 north out of Houghton for 11 miles until arriving at a 4-way stop light. Continue along the highway for a few blocks up to the M26 junction (blinking yellow light). Turn right onto this road and continue along it for several blocks until the highway makes a sharp turn to the right. Follow that turn into Laurium's main street.