About Us

The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw is a membership based organization. We are open year-round and feature changing exhibits and programs about the region’s natural and cultural history, including interactive exhibits to engage all learners. Admission is free, though memberships and donations are gratefully accepted. We are happy to arrange school and group visits during regular museum hours or by special appointment. Contact Museum Director, Elise Nelson, by email to make arrangements elisen@cityofhoughton.com

  • We're Traditional! We're Traditional! The 1913 Singers
  • We're Friendly! We're Friendly! Night at the Museum
  • We're Mobile We're Mobile Carnegie Trolley Tours


Annual Letter (.pdf)

Mission Statement
The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw connects people to the natural and cultural history of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and to science and technology. The Museum seeks to inspire people of all ages to think critically and creatively about the historical, social, natural, and artistic forces that characterize and continue to shape the region. It is the Museum’s intent to enhance the quality of life experienced by all members of its community.

Annual Memberships are the foundation of our efforts to be self-sustaining. We have two basic annual membership levels –

  • Friend ($25.00 per year)
  • Patron ($60.00 per year

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with no admission fee, our success is dependent upon annual Members and Sponsors. All members receive a 20 percent discount on our summer Carnegie Guided Tours. Our membership year is from October to October.

The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw is privileged to have many local business sponsors. All levels of Sponsorship receive a 20 percent discount on Carnegie Guided Tours, their name on our Annual Sponsorship Wall Plaque, and on the publicity of one or more Carnegie events.


  • Rotary Club of Houghton, 2013


  • Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society, 2012
  • UPPCO, 2011


  • Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Peter Stubbs & Louisa Kramer, 2015
  • William & Nanno Rose, 2014, 2015
  • Temple Jacob, 2012
  • Walmart, 2011


  • William & Ethel Buck, 2017
  • C.M. Morris Group, Inc., 2013
  • Douglass House Senior Living Apartments, 2014
  • Eliason Law, 2014
  • Hugh & Bonnie Gorman, 2015
  • Great Lakes Accounting, P.C., 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Keweenaw Brewing Company, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Keweenaw County Historical Society, 2011
  • Kirkish Furniture, 2014, 2015
  • The Library, 2014
  • Susan & Pat Martin, 2014, 2015
  • Michigan Tech Employees Federal Credit Union, 2014, 2015
  • Mike Lahti Properties, 2012
  • Bob Nelson, Edward Jones, 2012
  • State Wide Real Estate of Houghton, 2013, 2014, 2015 , 2016
  • Superior National Trust & Financial Services, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Peterlin Distributing, 2015
  • Pisani Company, Inc., 2015
  • U.P. Engineers & Architects, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Carol & Gary Vyncke, 2015
  • Wickley Agency, Inc., 2013, 2014

History of the Carnegie Museum

Houghton Public Library c 1911The Carnegie Museum is located in the former public library building in downtown Houghton’s historic district. Built in 1909 with a $15,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie, this two-story sandstone and brick building opened in 1910 as the public library and continued to serve area residents for almost a century. In the spring of 2006, shortly after the Portage Lake District Library moved to its new building overlooking the Portage Canal, a group of citizens interested in preserving local history – including historic buildings – proposed to the Houghton City Council a plan to achieve both ends: to create a museum in the now vacant landmark building. By the fall of that year, the group opened the “Carnegie Museum” with a display of historic photographs. In 2009, the City of Houghton purchased the building from the school district.

Now known as the “Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw” and governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, the Museum offers a variety of exhibits and programs of local interest throughout the year. The Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society has a reading room on our ground floor. In 2012, we began a series of renovations of the building – preserving the historic aspects while adapting it for its new use as a museum. Most recently, we completed restoration of the Community Room on the ground floor level, formerly the Children’s library area. It is now equipped for public presentations including new seating for fifty visitors. Audio / visual equipment will be installed this fall. The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw became a Heritage Site of the Keweenaw National Historical Park in late 2013.

The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw is led by a part-time director, Elise Nelson, and staffed year-round by a group of volunteers. A 501(c)3 non-profit, it is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees. Exhibits, programs, and renovations are supported by our annual memberships and sponsorships, donations and fundraisers. To become a member or to volunteer, please contact the Museum by email (history@cityofhoughton.com) or visit the GET INVOLVED section of our web-site.

Current Board of Trustees-

  • Lucinda Enderby
  • Rachel Lankton
  • Phyllis Johnson
  • Robert Megowen
  • Susan Martin
  • Brita Odegard
  • William Rose
  • Graeleigh Storer

Contact Us
Elise Nelson, Director: elisen@cityofhoughton.com
Email: history@cityofhoughton.com
Tele: (906) 482-7140
Postal: 105 Huron St. Houghton, MI 49931
Museum Location: on the corner of Huron Street and Montezuma Avenue in historic Downtown Houghton, Michigan.


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Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw
105 Huron Street
Mail: 105 Huron Street
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 482-7140
Email: history@cityofhoughton.com

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