Upper Peninsula steam engine turns a century old

HOUGHTON — A hundred years ago, the Copper Country was bustling with trains through out the area. One of those trains is still running.

During the copper boom, railroad tracks like these sprawled throughout the Keweenaw, bustling with steam engine locomotives. One of those engines was Old #3, which ran between the C & H mills in Lake Linden and the smelter in Hubbell, hauling smelter lag, copper ingots, billets and mineral concentrate.

Old #3 still runs today, and the Houghton County Historical Museum will be celebrating the engine’s 100th anniversary this Sunday.

Houghton County Historical Society Board Member Pam Hawley said, “Steam Engine Number Three is 100 years old. We’re going to have birthday cupcakes, ice cream, our visitors, for five dollars, will be able to ride the train, tour the museum.”

Keeping the engine running all these years take a tremendous amount of effort by a dedicated group of engineers, but it’s worth it.

Hawley said, “As a historical society, our mission statement is to preserve the history of Houghton County and the cultural aspects and so it’s an important piece of the C & H history. It’s one of four engines that the C & H had so we’re happy to have it.”

The museum will be offering rides this Sunday from noon till four.

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