The Lodge was built under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1934.
Our story starts in October of 1929 due to the crash of the stock market which contributed to local decline of the local mining industry profits. On September 12, 1932, the mining companies announced that they were permanently suspending all mining activities. Unfortunately, most of the mining company was in Keweenaw County. About 1,000 families found themselves without work or money. At the time, the state emergency welfare relief commission in Lansing reported a 75.2% unemployment rate in Keweenaw County. Not only was this the highest unemployment rate in the state, but also the country.
Soon, the Depression-era road projects started with hopes of creating work for Keweenaw county residents. President Roosevelt and staff came up with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). FERA gave states and local government financial assistance to assist with the unemployment in Keweenaw County.
Three board members of the Keweenaw County Road Commission came up with a plan to put Keweenaw County’s unemployed back to work by constructing roads and Brockway Mountain Drive. In October 1933, the Road Commission commissioners reviewed several areas to build what was then known as the Keweenaw Park & Golf Course project. 167 acres was given to the county by the Keweenaw Copper Company, formally known as Aetna Mining Company. The giving of this land came with the condition that a 9-hole golf course would be constructed and the park would always be open to the people of Keweenaw County.
Construction started in 1933 under the guidance of architect Ocha Potter and a crew of 124 men. One team of horses was also used to assist with the hauling of trees to be used as logs for the construction of what is now the present-day Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and the cabins.
The outspoken character of the Lodge continues today stronger than ever. People live it and breathe it when they’re here. Our Lodge brings out a boldness and charisma in all of us.
The Lodge is on both the state (1976) and national (1980) registers of historic places.