If any Copper Country mine company could be considered on par with the size and scope of the great C&H it would be the Copper Range. By 1920 the company had controlling interest in almost the entire southern range, including four mines, five mills, nine towns, a smelter, 70 miles of railroad, and thousands of acres of timberland. At the center of this sprawling empire stood the town where it all began - Painesdale.
Named after Copper Range's chief investor and superintendent - William Paine - the town of Painesdale served as the home to the company's corporate headquarters. Residing in the small community were both the Copper Range Offices as well as the Superintendent's Residence. The town was also home to the Copper Range's first mine opened along the range - the Champion. Due to Painesdale's important stature, the town received a greater share of the company's paternalist offerings including a spectacular sandstone school building and beautifully adorned public library and bathhouse.
NOTES: The Copper Range Company continued operations sporadically at Champion for six decades, finally closing down in 1967. Considering the company was one of the last in the Keweenaw to close, the town has not faired as well as one would expect. While the grand sandstone school continues to be used, the old library and most of the downtown has been vacated.
DIRECTIONS: Follow M26 south of Houghton for about 9 miles. Turn right onto Kearsarge Street to enter downtown.