Urban Exploration in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan


In August, we visited the Keweenaw Peninsula with our friends, Brian and Thea.  Thea has many fond memories of the area as she spent a lot of time here while growing up.  The Keweenaw is the northernmost point in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is full of awesome old buildings and abandoned mining sites. It’s a really cool place to explore!

And if you need any further clarification on the location…


In an effort to relive Thea’s youth, we went back to several of the places she frequented every summer. First we visited a beach on Portage Lake.  What does this have to do with old buildings and mining, you ask?  Well, many of the beaches are covered with mine tailings. You know, the crap left over after the good stuff was extracted.




Mining dump aside, it’s absolutely beautiful on the lake.  Also, I love this photo of Matt and Brian.  This is so them.

Next, we drove to Mandan, a small ghost town off of Highway 41.  In the early 1900’s, this town boasted 300 people along with homes, a school, and various businesses.  The remnants of these places seem to be long gone, or at least very well hidden in the foliage.  There are about five houses still standing, four of them clearly occupied with fresh coats of paint and modern yard debris.  Thea was a bit disappointed with what she referred to as “the gentrification of a ghost town,” she has vivid memories of wandering around the decaying buildings of Mandan.  So she claimed this house, the last one standing that is still (probably?) vacant.


Our next stop was the Delaware Mine (1847-1887).  We watched a 4-minute video and selected an appropriately sized hard hat and then went on the self guided (!) tour of a mine shaft.





Above the mine, you’ll find what remains of the pump house and the hoist house.  I don’t know which one this is, but I thought the birch trees looked cool.


We also checked out some old buildings in the area, from a safe distance, of course.








And that’s pretty much it for this trip.  On our way out of town, we stopped to check out the Quincy Dredge on Torch Lake.  Isn’t it cool?



Want to see more posts like this?  Check out our Upper Peninsula road trip.

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