The Abandoned Lake Mine sits a tad south of the small village of the same name in Ontonagon County in the Upper Peninsula. Settled in 1840, it was originally a postal station known as 'Belt' and by 1848, the Belt Mine was opened. The Belt Mines Company bought it out in 1882 but the company failed and in return, they were purchased by the Lake Copper Company in 1905. A post office opened up named 'Belt' in 1908 and re-named 'Lake Mine' around 1910.

According to Michigan Place Names, the Lake Copper Company opened their copper mine in 1909. After producing 7.3 million pounds of copper, the mine shut down for good in 1919. The population of over 500 decreased to a mere 50 by 1927. Adding insult to injury, the Great Depression of the 1930s didn't help - the post office was forced to close, lasting until the end of summer, 1939.

Lake Mine had one general store, and that was about it except for the homes of the miners and their families. The village sat alongside the Copper Range Railroad, and the old railroad water tower stood for many decades afterward. The mine may have had only one shaft but it still did a decent output in just ten years.

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Sitting abandoned now for over 100 years, the old mine sits in the forest, crumbling with shards of rock all around. If you pay a visit, you may be able to find pieces of copper, datolite, and silver among the piles.

As always, heed any “No Trespassing” signs if any are there. Otherwise, you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

Now take a look at some photos of the old mine in the gallery below.

Abandoned Lake Mine, Ontonagon County


The Ghost Town of Central Mine

Clark Mine, Copper Harbor

Abandoned Grand Haven Mine

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