MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: The Miners’ Cabins in Old Victoria
The Victoria Mine was located in Ontonagon County in the U.P. This copper mine was in operation from 1849 until it closed in 1921. Even though those are the historically recorded years, it's believed mining was done there way back in prehistoric times.
Missionaries discovered a huge copper boulder in the area around the mid-1700's and after a few failed attempts, the first successful mine finally became operational in the 1840's. The area was soon run by the Victoria Mining Company, which also included the Cushin Mine, the Forest Mine and the Nonesuch Mine.
The town of Victoria included eighty houses, a general store, school and stamp mill --- all owned by the mining company. All residents were miners and their families.
While the other mines were forced to shut down, thanks to to the decline of the price of copper, the Victoria stayed open until after World War I. Afterward, the town of Victoria was abandoned and proceeded to deteriorate. In the 1970's, preservation began bringing the town back to life and opened in 1976; guided tours are available to this day. It features a few old miners' cabins, two boarding houses and a family house.
The area is now called "Old Victoria" and the "new" Victoria is just a half mile south, even though that, too, is mostly nothing but a couple of homes and abandoned buildings (SEE PHOTOS).
It's a cool little stop to make on your next Michigan roadtrip, but make sure you take food...there's no restaurants or stores in either town!
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