The Shadow Village of Lac La Belle in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Up in the Keweenaw Peninsula lies the community of Lac La Belle (French for “The Beautiful Lake” or “Lake the Beautiful”). Some sites call it a ghost town, but it’s not exactly. Sure, it may be a shadow of its former self, but even though there are no businesses left, the area has become a resort area on the banks of Lake Lac La Belle.
In the mid-1800s, the area was one of the hottest copper mining sites. To help the copper boom along, a few mining companies forked over some cash to help enlarge a canal between Lake Lac La Belle and Lake Superior, as an attempt to get the copper ore freighters to come through with ease. The mine closed down in 1867.
Although the mine didn’t succeed, Lac La Belle did have an impressive stamping plant that was implemented by the copper mines of Delaware and Mendota.
In the photo gallery below is a photo of a funeral in Lac La Belle from 1926. The ceremony was for 18-year-old Waino Jaaskelainen, born in 1908 in Finland. He came to Michigan in 1917 with his mother, brothers and sisters via Ellis Island. He died by accidental drowning on August 11, 1926 in Lake Lac La Belle. He was laid to rest in Ahmeek Cemetery.
Lac La Belle
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