Downtown Houghton is rich with tales of a vibrant history. Today downtown serves as the gateway to the Keweenaw Peninsula. In the not-so-distant past, Downtown Houghton served as the gateway to riches, and has gained a deserving place in history books.

In the mid-1830s, a young American doctor and geologist from Detroit, Douglass Houghton, spent many summers researching and documenting the natural resources of the area. In 1841, one of his reports on the geology and minerals of the Lake Superior region triggered the country's first great mining boom, predating the California gold rush by a decade, and earned Houghton the title "father of copper mining."

This area was built from the prosperity of the copper mining boom, which lasted for over a century. During the peak in copper mining, Houghton County had more millionaires per capita than any other county in the U.S. Thus, Houghton and the rest of the Keweenaw Peninsula earned the nickname "Copper Country."

Houghton is also the birthplace of North American Professional Hockey. The Portage Lakers, Houghton's professional team, were three-time world champions. The original ice rink "The Dee" burned and was rebuilt. The Dee still stands in its original spot and remains a special place in downtown.

CLICK HERE for the Historic Houghton Virtual Tour.