Copper Country in the Keweenaw is loaded with old mining towns, many of which have become ghost towns. Some have been historically recorded, and chances are excellent that many of the smaller ones that only lasted a few weeks have been lost to time.

One of the Keweenaw ghost towns that still barely exists is Winona in Houghton County. The town popped up around the Winona Copper Mining Company that was organized in 1864. After basically being an unproductive mine, another company bought the land in 1898 under a very similar name, except for one word...this was the Winona Copper Company (minus the 'Mining'). When the community was given a post office in 1899, the town officially became 'Winona'.

Winona sits in Elm River Township, just a few feet away from the still-standing Elm River schoolhouse. The school still operates, with usually a student population of five out of about 13 families that still live there.

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When Winona was a successful mining town, there were many, many establishments and activities. At one time, Winona had a barber shop, boarding houses, boardwalks, brewery, churches, dance hall, depot, five neighborhoods, post office, restaurants, saloon, school, sports teams, and various stores & shops. Out of all those, only a church and the Elm River school exist. The post office closed for good in 1975.

After a few decades of success, the time finally arrived when the demand for copper subsided and prices dipped. Winona closed its mine permanently in 1923 and one-by-one, businesses and people left, eventually turning Winona into mostly a ghost town.

Visiting Winona in the 2000s, you are likely to find the remains of old homes and miners' cabins hidden in the woods, as you'll see in the gallery below. Also of interest is the Elm River school which is another stop you should make when you visit.

The U.P. Ghost Town of Winona


The Old Mining Town of Mohawk, Michigan

Abandoned Mining Building, Upper Peninsula

Delaware Ghost Town and Abandoned Mine


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