Vertin Corner

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Calumet, MI

Visit the Vertin Corner in Calumet, Michigan
Fine Art, fine food & spirits on the corner of Sixth & Oak streets

The Vertin Corner
Native Americans, the Ojibway, were the first to discover the Keweenaw Peninsula and its rich resources. Their discovery and use of the minerals held in the great cliffs and gorges led to European explorers awareness of the region’s value and ensuing settlement despite the fierce challenges of nature. Copper and silver were known to be present in quantity by the early 1800’s. Copper mining became the pivotal industry by mid-century and by 1900, the Copper Mines were largely responsible for a widely varied, largely immigrant population nearing 80,000. Wealth of a few brought the Arts to the area - particularly Calumet, the then hub of mining companies. Michigan’s first opera house, the Historic Calumet Theatre was constructed in 1897. Ethnic neighborhoods grew with their intrinsic art and architectural elements. The Keweenaw peninsula was a melting pot of economic classes, as well as diverse cultural backgrounds.

Most mines closed by mid-century. Calumet now claims a Village population of 800; Houghton County a population of 36,000. The Vertin Corner resides within the boundaries of Keweenaw National Historical Park (designated in 1992); at the heart of the Village of Calumet, a National Historic Landmark District since 1969, a Local Historic District since 2002.

The Vertin Gallery
The Vertin Gallery was built as Vertin’s Department Store at the center of downtown Calumet in 1885, retailing everything a miner or millionaire family might need. Vertin Brothers & Co. closed as a result of mine closings and the huge structure remained vacant until the Fall of 2004.

Ed Gray, a well established, humble and tireless potter from Fennville arrived in Calumet in the Fall of 2004 with his companion Dakota (even more tireless). Ed rented studio space on the second floor of the Vertin Building and within months had a core creative family of artists exhibiting work in a Gallery set on the first floor. Several are now at home on the second and third floors, as well, in working artist studios. The Vertin Press soon followed - a collaborative effort with an award winning quarterly publication. As of the Fall of 2005, available studio space in the cavernous uilding is now limited and more than 50 artists are represented in the Gallery.

Michigan House Café & Red Jacket Brewing Co
Bosch Brewing Company built this structure in 1905 to serve as The Hotel Michigan with a Tavern and Café on ground level to offer patrons their brew as well as fine dining. The building has remained a restaurant and lodging facility throughout the past century. In 2001, the street level re-opened as Michigan House Café with a full service menu specializing in trout fresh from Lake Superior, as well as great burgers, steaks and large salads. 2004 saw the return of overnight lodging available on the second floor with two suites rehabilitated in vintage fashion. Red Jacket Brewing Company began half-barrel whole grain batch brewing in 2005 offering its signature Oatmeal Espress - a classic stout that stands up well in the historic ambiance of the bar and dining room. All meals can be prepared "to-go". Wireless Internet Access available throughout the building.

Also on this Oak Street block…
Cross Country Sports - 507 Oak St., 906-337-4520 - Since 1962, specializing in Nordic skiing and bicycles offering a complete selection of road, BMX, and mountain bikes. Bike and ski rentals available.

Beadazed - 300 Fifth St., 906-337-8888 - The ultimate rock shop with stones ranging from prehistoric to modern art glass beads. Jewelry, hand made clothing and other fine gifts as well.

Calumet Floral and Gifts - 221 Fifth St., 906-337-1711/900-859-3025 - A beautiful variety of cut flowers, plants and unique gifts including home décor, collectibles and greeting cards. Friendly staff. Delivery available. FTD, Teleflora.

The little corner with a big spirit.

Located near the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Vertin Corner is at the heart of Historic Downtown Calumet.

Follow US-41 North through Houghton and Hancock. Proceed 11 miles north and turn left at the first lighted intersection (Sixth Street Extension or 6th St.) 0.6 miles north on Sixth Street will bring you to the 6th and Oak intersection - the Historic Vertin Corner.

Ed Gray Studio
Kristy Walden Studio
Red Jacket Brewing Co.
The Vertin Gallery
The Vertin Press

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