Keweenaw County Historical Society

Caretakers of the past, stewards of the future


The Phoenix church

St. Mary’s Church was built in 1858 to serve the Catholic residents in the nearby mining community of Cliff, scene of the area’s first major copper discovery in 1844. Services continued until 1899 when the church was dismantled and reassembled in Phoenix, where it was renamed The Church of the Assumption. Masses were held until 1957, when the last service marked a century of providing spiritual guidance to mining families and their descendants.

(Photo: The Blessing of the Pets is an annual event at the Phoenix Church.)

Mass at the Phoenix CHurchIn 1985 the Keweenaw County Historical Society took over the property and began extensive repair and restoration work. The church now appears much as it did when folks from another century knelt in prayer, a fitting memorial to one chapter of Keweenaw’s proud heritage.  Although now deconsecrated, the church is still used for weddings and memorial services. 

(Photo: A Memorial Mass is held at the church each September.)

Visiting the Phoenix Church

Hours & Admission-  The Phoenix Church is open mid-May to early October. There is no admission charge for this museum however a donation is appreciated.

Location- The church is located on US Highway 41 in Phoenix, Michigan, at the junction of M-26 to Eagle River. GPS: N 47 23.354 W 88 16.587, Decimal Degrees:47.389230, -88.27645

Related Links-

ALL KCHS buildings will NOT open in 2020 AND all public events are CANCELED for 2020

Based upon the recommendations of various well-documented public health, government and organizational sources, at the May 21, 2020 Keweenaw County Historical Society Board Meeting it was decided that the Keweenaw County Historical Society not staff any facilities or open any buildings in the summer of 2020 in light of the risk of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It is further the stance of KCHS that the organization does not want to be in a position where we, as an organization, inadvertently spread this virus to visitors or to our volunteers at KCHS facilities/activities in the U.P.

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