Exhibits and Events
The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw features changing exhibits about local cultural and natural history. We also host a variety of events throughout the year including several annual exhibits, events, and recurring programs. Many of our exhibits and events include hands-on activities providing an excellent destination for people of all ages.
The Making of Modern Houghton: 1940-2015
Becoming the Pride of the Upper Peninsula: A Glimpse at the Early Years of the Copper Range Railroad
On loan from the Michigan Tech Archives
Written in Stone: Exploring the Natural History of the Jacobsville Sandstone
Ray Lahikainen Houghton Waterfront Paintings
Beer UP: History of Brewing in the Keweenaw 1844-2014
Current Exhibits Available Online
- Petticoat Patriots: How Michigan Women Won the Vote
- From the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame, courtesy League of Women Voters of the Copper Country.
- Ray Lahikainen: Houghton Waterfront Paintings
- A selection of six paintings of old Houghton by artist Ray Lahikainen. Includes music accompaniment by Mark Oliver & Dave Bezotte.
Virtual Program Videos available online
- Copper Country Streetcars by Bill Sproule
- The Spanish Flu and Hockey by Bill Sproule
- Beyond Brothels & Bars by Jean F. Ellis
- Women in Sports by Elizabeth Benyi
- Notable Women in Hancock History by John Haeussler
- Keweenaw Natural History: From the Archives series:
- Keweenaw Natural History:
Community Events and Programs
Our historic building was opened in 1910 as the Houghton Public Library in order to provide a place for the community to gather and learn. In this same tradition, in addition to hosting our own programs, we maintain a public space for interesting lectures and fun events. Our Community Room, originally a "Lecture Room" and most recently the children's library, has a small stage, audio / video presentation equipment, and seating for 50 people. If you have a program you would like to share with our community and visitors, please contact Museum Director, Elise Nelson, by email to make arrangements.
Annual Events and Programs
Night at the Museum: October
Our annual membership appreciation gala and the launch to our yearly membership drive. Traditionally held in October, admission is one basic museum membership -- $30 “Friend” level -- per adult. $60 "Patron" level admits two adults. We serve local brats, pretzels, wine and beer tastings, hors d'oeuvres, a selection of desserts and non-stop live MUSIC ON BOTH FLOORS!
Holiday Open House: Saturday afternoon in Early December
We partner with the City of Houghton to present a Holiday Open House along with the holiday celebrations in Downtown Houghton. We have our annual gingerbread village and playhouse on display, gingerbread house decorating, pictures with Santa, a string quartet, hot chocolate and treats. This is a great family event to kick off holiday festivities. Free.
Keweenaw Natural History Lecture Series: September through April
Mostly-monthly talks about local natural history. Held in our community room, usually on the third Tuesday of the month from October through April, excluding December. We open the doors at 6:30. Talk begins at 7:00. Free.
Music at the Museum: December through September
Musical events throughout the year, with support from a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Past events have featured local musicians Dave Bezotte and Mark Oliver, Full Send jazz combo, The Thimbleberry Band, Bob Hiltunen, and more. At-will admission fee. Due to the pandemic, our 2020-2021 programs became virtual programs: Ray Lahikainen: Houghton Waterfront Paintings, But You Should Sing!, and Holiday Open House 2020. We are planning live, outdoor events for 2022!
Carnegie Guided Tours: July through September
Summer program of guided tours, on foot, by car, and occasionally by tour bus. Past tours have traced the Isle Royale Mine company, explored the Quincy Mine facilities, learned about downtown Houghton's unique sandstone architecture, toured Temple Jacob and a College Avenue sorority. Tour bus tours are $25.00 / ticket ($20 / ticket for Members). All other tours are $10.00 / ticket ($8 / ticket for Members).
Gingerbread Kits 2021: Early December
Due to the pandemic, we will not be hosting our annual open house, BUT, we will again offer Carnegie Gingerbread Kits to make at home. More information coming soon. Check out this video to see what we did last year!
Gingerbread Extravaganza: Early December
Each holiday season we set up a playhouse covered with fanciful designs made of candy and a village of buildings covered in sweets. You'll see many local icons such as the Lift Bridge, Quincy Mine Shaft, the Houghton County Courthouse, the Dee Stadium, and, of course, the Carnegie Museum covered with colorful candies!
Award Winning Science Projects from The Western UP Science Fair: April
Each spring we celebrate local student scientists by exhibiting their award winning posters from the annual Western UP Science Fair.
Michigan History Day Regional Finalists: May
In May, we celebrate the accomplishments of local high school historians by exhibiting their History Day projects including exhibits, web-sites and documentaries.
Future Exhibits (What we're working on for post-COVID!)
Celebrating the Golden Anniversary of the City of Houghton
The Village of Houghton (1861) was incorporated as the City of Houghton in 1970.
WWI and the Copper Country Homefront 1917-1918
Learn how the people of the Copper Country supported the national war effort from the homefront.
Torch Lake Community
History of mining companies and mining waste around Torch Lake.
Self-guided Walking Tours of Historic Downtown Houghton
We are developing several self-guided walking tours throughout historic downtown Houghton.