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\"The People\'s Portage: Early Travel on the Keweenaw Waterways.\"

July 23, 2014
7:00 PM

Join Lynette Webber, Ranger with the Nation Park Service as she talks about early travel on the Keweenaw.

>> More Info 

 

Keweenaw Heritage Sites
25970 Red Jacket Road
Calumet, Michigan 49913
906.337.3168
info@KeweenawHeritageSites.org

 
 
 

 

Copper Country Firefighters
History Museum
 

The 1898 Fire hall built by the Village of Calumet when copper was KING and money was plentiful. The population of Calumet Village in 1900 was 4,668 and in 2010 was 726. The Calumet Township population peaked in 1910 at 32,845 and in 1910 was 6489 including the two Villages of Calumet and Laurium.

The Historic Calumet Fire Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built using Jacobsville sandstone quarried on the shore of Lake Superior 25 miles from Calumet. Fortunately concrete did not become popular until the early 1900s otherwise the local area would have concrete block buildings rather then Jacobsville Sandstone and possibly no Keweenaw National Historical Park.

The Fire Hall was designed by Charles K. Strand, a local Architect in the Richardson Romanesque design. It is 54 feet wide and 83 feet deep with a full walkout basement. The rear of the Fire Hall was the stable for the six horses used to pull the fire wagons. The horses were used into the 1930's even though the first mechanized fire truck arrived for the Village of Calumet in 1919, a La France pumper made in France and shipped to Calumet over the ocean and then by rail. That fire truck is on display in the museum as is its twin that came at the same time for the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company. Snow removal equipment was not used on the Village streets until the 1930s therefore in the winter with the 200+ inches of snow the snow was "panked" using large rollers pulled by horses and the fire trucks would have their wheels removed and sleigh runners attached and the fire trucks would be pulled to the fire location by horses. Pictures of this are on display in the museum.

There are several other old fire trucks on display, including a 1930 model American La France pumper purchased by the Village of Laurium, a 1942 Ford pumper truck and and a 1957 American La France pumper truck.

Also on display is an 1857 hand pumper wagon in excellent original condition as well as 1900 fire wagons and fire sleds for pulling the fire fighting equipment to the fire locations. Several 1800 hand pulled hose carts are also on display some with small water tanks attached which would use sulfuric acid and sodium bicarbonate placed into the tanks to build up pressures to 150 psi to allow the water to be applied to the fire from a safe distance.

The second story of the building contains many pieces of vintage fire fighting apparatus as well as a patch board that displays patches received from other fire departments. A replica of the brass fire pole used by the fire fighters who slept in the fire hall over night to get the the first floor in a hurry is on display next to the beds used by the full time fire wagon and fire truck drivers.

The Fire hall was used by the Village until the early 1960s when the fire equipment was relocated into the Calumet Village Town Hall by opening up a wall in the Jacobsville sandstone town hall and converting a meeting room into a two stall Fire Station. The Historic Fire hall was used for storage until 1991 when a group of volunteers created the non profit Firefighter's Museum.

 
Copper Country Firefighter's
History Museum
327 Sixth Street
Calumet, Michigan 49913
(906) 337-4579

Visit us at:
 

Hours:
July 1st thru Labor Day 1:30-4:30 PM

Admission Fees:
$2.00/person; $5/family

   
Additional Photos:
Click to enlarge
 
   
   
         
   
         
   
         
   
         
         
 

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