Thanks mainly to C&H’s unprecedented success, Calumet was flush with prosperity by the turn of the century. With C&H’s success arrived thousands of immigrant workers and soon Calumet and the surrounding communities swelled to metropolitan size. Fore area churches this massive increase in parishioners meant an equally massive increase in tithing. With these new funds congregations began replacing their earlier utilitarian structures with more elaborate European-influence cathedrals. One of the first to do so was French-Canadian Catholics with their erection St. Anne’s in 1901.
This striking sandstone building was strongly influenced by the grand gothic churches built in France during the middle ages. A triplet of gothic-arched entrances line the church’s front façade atop a broad flight of sandstone steps. Along its length stand rows of stained glass windows interspersed with thick sandstone buttresses. Most impressive of all is its massive corner bell-tower, rising some 130’ above the street below.
NOTES: After being deconsecrated, this church fell into neglect and disrepair for several decades. The building briefly was home to a flea market and also had a starring role in a low-budget horror movie (Children of the Night). Recently, it has been beautifully restored and currently serves as the Keweenaw Heritage Center, which offers rotating exhibits on local culture and history that are open to the public for free.
DIRECTIONS: St. Anne’s Church sits at the start of 5th Street, in downtown Calumet. From along US41 in Calumet, turn onto Red Jacket Road (the blinking light) and follow the road into town. As it makes its curve to the right onto 5th Street St. Anne’s Church will be on the left.
FOR MORE INFO: A detailed look at St. Anne’s is available at Copper Country Explorer. Information about the Keweenaw Heritage Center and the rehabilitation work done on the church can be found on the center’s website. To learn more about the Keweenaw’s French Canadian immigrants, visit the MTU Archive’s An Interior Ellis Island website.