MICHIGAN SHADOW TOWN: Home of “The Biggest Man in the World”
Whether you call this town Boston or Demmon or Boston-Demmon, it still stands with a nice handful of old structures and homes.
Located in Houghton County’s Franklin Township on Boston Road in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Boston was home of the Boston Mine, located northeast of the Quincy Mine in Hancock and operated by the Albany & Boston Mining Company.
Boston was settled in 1893 on the Mineral Range Railroad (later Soo), just seven miles north of Houghton. In 1909 when the population number reached 100, the town name was changed to Demmon.
Old maps show an area called ‘Demmon’ ½ mile north of where Boston lies. Demmon is no longer listed on Michigan maps and not many have Boston either.
The town’s claim-to-fame is a man named “Big Louie Moilanen”, said to be “the biggest man in the world”. How tall? Eight feet, four inches tall, weighing 450 pounds, if you can believe it. He lived in nearby (now a ghost town) Salo but worked in the Boston mines as a youngster. It was his unusual size that eventually killed him. He died when he was 26 years old in 1926. Need proof that he really existed? One of his huge suit-of-clothes is on display in a Calumet museum and you can visit his gravesite in Wasa Cemetery near Hancock.
Home to many wooden shacks once lived in by miners and their families, there’s still quite a bit left to Boston. Old buildings along Boston Road and residents that hang in there, year-after-year (SEE PHOTOS BELOW).
There’s an interesting handful of reasons to drive-thru Boston on your Michigan roadtrip…make sure you add it to your itinerary!