World-record setting slab of native copper gets new U.P. home

HOUGHTON — A huge chunk of copper from Lake Superior has a new home.

It’s a piece of copper that is so big, it needs a roof of its own. A pavilion to shelter a world-record setting slab of native copper was dedicated outside the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Monday.
The 17-ton slap had been on display at the Quincy Mine Hoist after it was discovered on the bottom of Lake Superior.

A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Executive Director Ted Bornhorst said, “It was a vein that was standing on the bottom of Lake Superior, flopped over and then the glacier moved over it. The glacier never moved it so essentially it’s a vein in place-glaciated on one side and rough on the other.”

The slab is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest native metal slap pulled from the bottom of a lake. The structure was made possible by a donation from museum supporters John and Jane Matz of Traverse City.

Bornhorst said, “The donation means a lot to the museum because it adds now to our museum complex and it provides another element for people to come visit. So, our visitors now will have another thing to see and hopefully it will continue to be a drawing card for the museum in drawing more visitors here.”

The slab is on permanent loan from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.