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.
for the Historic Houghton Virtual Tour.