About The Copper Range Depot

Copper Range Depot History

The Copper Range Depot is located at 305 W. Lakeshore Drive in Houghton and started its life as the original passenger depot for the Copper Range Railroad in 1899. 

Pendergast and Clarkson of Chicago constructed the building from brick and red Jacobsville sandstone at a cost of just over $10,000 in 1899. The structure was designed by Thomas Appleton, the chief engineer for Copper Range and served many purposes for the company. The ground floor served passengers with a ticket office, baggage area and waiting rooms. In addition to offering passenger service, Copper Range hauled freight for other companies in the area as well as hauling its own products to the Portage Canal for transport on ships.

Pendergast and Clarkson of Chicago constructed the building from brick and red Jacobsville sandstone at a cost of just over $10,000 in 1899. The structure was designed by Thomas Appleton, the chief engineer for Copper Range and served many purposes for the company. The ground floor served passengers with a ticket office, baggage area and waiting rooms. In addition to offering passenger service, Copper Range hauled freight for other companies in the area as well as hauling its own products to the Portage Canal for transport on ships.

Nearly 20,000 cubic feet of rock were removed from the hillside to accommodate construction of the depot and a staircase extending down from the roadway behind it allowed residents of West Houghton access to the property. The north side of the depot included a 400 foot long wooden platform with an overhanging roof to allow passenger access, freight delivery and collection and community interaction with the property.

While passenger service ended in the 1920’s, freight service remained active for several additional decades. The last train came from McKeever junction in Ontonagon to the roundhouse in Houghton on November 3, 1972 ending an era of rail transport for the company.

The building currently consists of almost 12,000 square feet and three floors. The first floor is the Copper Range Depot family style restaurant offering a dining experience that is filled with train memorabilia from a bygone age. The second floor is under construction to allow daily overnight rentals of the historic layout of rooms and the third floor features one residential apartment.

The building currently consists of almost 12,000 square feet and three floors. The first floor is the Copper Range Depot family style restaurant offering a dining experience that is filled with train memorabilia from a bygone age. The second floor is under construction to allow daily overnight rentals of the historic layout of rooms and the third floor features one residential apartment.