World’s largest copper float faces uncertain future

MARQUETTE — Marquette is home to the world’s largest piece of float copper, weighing in at over 28 tons. It sits on Presque Isle, but that may soon change.

The chunk is owned by a private family. They had been leasing it to June and Fred Rydholm, but now they want $250,000 for it, or they’ll remove it from the Isle. June took up the fundraising effort after Fred passed away. She’s applied for several grants, asked for help on radio and TV, but she’s still struggling.

“I’m not a fundraiser, I’m just a housewife!” Rydholm added, “We thought it would be easy to raise money for this, and it wasn’t. Because people have so many other places to put their money that a piece of float copper doesn’t respond like a child needing food!”

June’s husband Fred convinced the family not to sell it for industrial purposes shortly after the float was found. Fred got it moved to Presque Isle at his own expense, even constructing a road onto the property in order to move it. He and June felt that the float was a priceless artifact.

“I’m interested in that history because I think that we start at 1800 when Calumet was mining copper but there’s a history that goes back further. And that’s the history that Fred and I became very interested in,” said June Rydholm, who has been fundraising to save the float since her husband died. “It has a spiritual sense to it and there is an energy when you stand next to it, it’s almost like speaking to you.”

If you’d like to donate to the cause, you can contact June at 906-249-3814