Michigan Has A Lost Village Most People Don’t Know About
A once booming industry in the Great Lake State was copper mining in the Upper Peninsula, also known as Copper Country. Many villages were built surrounding the mines and, when the mines closed, the villages were abandoned and ruined over time. But this lost village in Rockland, Michigan, is now a museum that can give you a glimpse into the past.
The Victoria Mine was a series of copper mines located on the west end of the Upper Peninsula in the heart of Copper Country.
The mine operated on and off from 1849 until its closure in 1921 and mined low-grade native copper, pumpellyite, calcite, prehnite, epidote, and quartz. For a ten-hour shift, miners were paid an average of $1 or $2 per day.
Fuel was hard to come by like coal and firewood, so a unique alternative power source was created for Victoria Mine. In 1904, a hydraulic air compressor was built that harnessed the power of the Ontonagon River and gave the mine an inexpensive energy source.
Victoria, the village near the mine, grew to 80 houses complete with a school and general store. After World War 1 finished, copper prices fell which resulted in the closure of the mine in 1921.
There are remains of the village along with a community museum that has lovingly restored four log cabin homes where the miners lived. The site opened in 1976 and offers guided tours to this day.
There are a host of community events held at the village by Old Victoria Restoration. While many former Michigan mining villages have completely fallen into disrepair and are reclaimed by nature, the Rockland community is working to keep its local history alive and well.
To see the restoration work and upcoming events, visit the Old Victoria Restoration Facebook page. Do you have some interesting Michigan history that you would like to share? Submit a nomination form and we may write about it. Another fascinating town from the past is Idlewild which was a Tiny Resort Town Where Famous People Used To Flock To.
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Address: 25401 Victoria Dam Rd, Rockland, MI 49960, USA