A Return To the Ghost Town of Redridge, Michigan: Vintage Photos 1890-1950s
I guess you could consider the town of Redridge a ‘partial’ ghost town, since there are a handful of residents remaining. Still, it’s not the bustling community it once was over one hundred years ago.
Redridge sits in Houghton County in the Keweenaw Peninsula, along the shoreline of Lake Superior, Stanton Township. The town seeds were planted between 1895-1896 when a stamp mill for the Atlantic Mine was constructed. The post office began operating in late 1895. This post office was dubbed ‘Redridge’, probably due to the red-tinted earth from iron and copper.
In the early 1900s (1900-1916), Redridge had an approximate population of 1,100. Once the Great Depression hit the country, the number went down to about 500. In May 1937 a fire burned down many homes (photo in the gallery below), the Catholic church, and businesses in Redridge, and during the winter of 1939, the Atlantic Mining Company Boarding House burned to the ground during a blizzard. After a depletion of ore, the main mine was shut down, but the post office remained open until July 1957. These days, there are only around 30 residents.
Driving thru Redridge in the 2000s, a casual traveler wouldn’t know the few businesses that were once here:
Atlantic Mine Boarding House
Atlantic Mining Company Store
Baltic Mine Boarding House
Baltic Mining Company Store
Blue Ribbon Saloon
Redridge even had their own town bands…three of ‘em in fact: the Big Band, the Junior Band, and a Hawaiian Orchestra (!).
Aside from some homes just off the main road, Redridge has a couple of old structures remaining - as well as the historic Redridge steel dam that sits on the Salmon Trout River. Before the steel dam was built, a timber dam had been erected on the same site in 1894. Unfortunately, the wood structure wasn’t doing the job that was hoped for, and it was replaced with a steel version in 1901. The Redridge Dam is now considered an extraordinary structure, visited numerous times by Michiganders.
One final note: the only neighborhood in Redridge can be found down an unnumbered, unnamed road. You’ll know when you’ve arrived at Redridge by the old former schoolhouse sitting alongside Liminga Road. Take a look at the gallery below and see what Redridge once looked like over 100 years ago...
Ghost Town of Redridge: Vintage Photos
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