Located just north of US-41 approximately 4 miles north of Phoenix. The community, now a part of the Keweenaw County Historic Society Museum Complex, was settled around the Central Mining Company in 1854. It's population went from 1,300 in 1887 to 100 in 1905.
Many of the residence exteriors have been restored and a visitors center provides interpretive exhibits about Central.
Self-guided walking tour maps are available at the Visitor Center.
The site is open year round. Please respect the privacy of dwelling occupants. The Visitor Center is open early June to mid-October from 10 am to 5 pm.
“In 1854 a mine was opened on a fissure deposit of copper atop a craggy bluff overlooking the East Branch of the Eagle River. Like most mines begun along the Keweenaw it was a great gamble, and one that quickly paid off. In the first forty feet of depth the mine recovered over 40 tons of pure mass copper, and became the only mine ever in the Copper Country to make a profit its first year. Quickly the word spread and the workers arrived. Just as quickly the town of Central was born.
The Central Mine’s success would last for over 40 years, and in that time the craggy bluff would become home to over 1200 people becoming one of the most populous places in Keweenaw Country. The town boasted a church, three story school house, post office, telegraph office, and one of the premier telephone services in all of the Copper Country. It also contained dozens upon dozens of houses spread out over a crisscrossing of streets up and down the hillside. But the town was built and sustained by copper and when that copper ran out – as it did in 1894 – the town was doomed. The people left, the houses were abandoned, and the town became yet another ghost town.”