Central Mine Methodist Church

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Central Mine Methodist Church
Central Mine Methodist Church Central MI 2009.jpg
Location Old Stage Rd., Central, Michigan
Coordinates 47°24′25″N 88°12′13″W / 47.40694°N 88.20361°W / 47.40694; -88.20361Coordinates: 47°24′25″N 88°12′13″W / 47.40694°N 88.20361°W / 47.40694; -88.20361
Built 1869
Architect Multiple
Part of Central Mine Historic District (#74000991)
NRHP reference # 70000278[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1970
Designated MSHS July 17, 1970[2]

The Central Mine Methodist Church is a church located on Old Stage Road in Central, Michigan, in the Central Mine Historic District. It is one of the few structures being maintained in this nearly deserted mining town.[2] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1970.[1][2]


The Central Mine Episcopal Church is a single-story rectangular frame church on a stone rubble foundation with basement.[2] The front facade boasts a large square tower with a belfry and castellations on the top. The exterior is clad in wood siding with outlines along each edge; the gabled roof is shingled. The interior sanctuary is approximately 46 feet by 31 feet; an additional vestibule is located in the case of the tower. The sanctuary is furnished with handmade straight-backed pews.[2]


The town of Central housed workers from the nearby Central Mine, where copper was mined from 1856 to 1898.[2] Beginning in 1856, worship services were conducted in the Central schoolhouse.[3] Construction on the church was begun in 1868[3] as a joint effort between the Central Mining Company and employees, primarily immigrants from Cornwall, England. The church was completed in 1869, and promptly became a community center for the town.[3] Peak membership was over 300 people.[2]

However, after the Central Mine closed in 1898, the population in Central swiftly declined and the church closed.[3] In 1907, one of the original residents of Central, Alfred Nicholls, conceived of the idea of a "homecoming," where ex-parishioners would gather at the church once a year.[3] The idea was implemented, and as many as 200 people attended the annual gatherings.[3] These reunion gatherings have been held annually since, and continue into the 21st century[4]

The church is in nearly original condition, with the only changes made in 1879, when some pews were removed, and in 1968 when a bell was hung in the belfry.[2]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Central Mine Methodist Church Archived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. from the state of Michigan, retrieved 8/19/09
  3. ^ a b c d e f Church history Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine. from the Central Mine Methodist Church
  4. ^ Central Mine and Village from the Keweenaw County Historical Society, retrieved 8/19/09

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