It's called a 'ghost town' but there are still people here. It's the town of Freda, home of the famous abandoned Champion Mine (Freda) Mill in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Bostonian William Paine came to the Upper Peninsula's Houghton County to control the Copper Range Company. A mill was constructed in 1899 in Stanton Township along the shore of Lake Superior. Thanks to the job opportunities the mill brought, a village soon began to grow. A station on the Copper Range Railroad was given to the village along with a post office in 1907.

The village was named after Paine's daughter, Freda and had a residency of 500 by 1910. Along with the stamp mill, throughout the 1910s Freda had a barber shop, Catholic church, doctor, hotel, movie theater, and saloon.

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In 1971, the rails of the Copper Range Railroad were ripped up and the mill was demolished in 1972. Many residents left, looking for employment elsewhere, but a good handful remained. Even though it's called a 'ghost town' by many, Freda became a favorite summer resort getaway.

More people have come to live in Freda over the years and a small cafe' was established. You can find Freda 17 miles west of Hancock on an unnumbered paved road. To explore the old mill, park at the cafe' and walk down a steep path that leads from the parking lot.

These are some of the most extensive ruins you will find anywhere in Michigan. The gallery below features vintage photos of Freda, the townspeople, and the mill, along with a few current ones as well.

Then, come back and take a look at more images - inside and out - of the mill ruins HERE.

The Semi-Ghost Town of Freda, Michigan

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