408 E. Montezuma Ave. Houghton MI 49931
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408 East Montezuma Avenue

Michigan State Historic Site
Built in 1883 as firehouse & village hall
First Michigan Mining School classes held here in 1885
Renovated as restaurant and nightclub venue c. 2010

"23 students and four faculty members met for the first Michigan Mining School classes on the second floor of this building in September 1886. The fire hall served as home for the school until the present campus was begun in 1889. . . ." - In Progress

The Continental Fire Company built this building to become its new fire hall in 1883, with the bell being installed in 1884. This building replaced the original fire hall built in 1861 near the bridge. It was built in the Second Empire style and is one of the few remaining Second Empire buildings in the Keweenaw peninsula. The flat roof decorated by cresting once featured a beautiful clock tower. The building was built to be two stories high out of brick with stone lintels over the windows. There is a bracketed cornice going around the building at the roof's edge.

The Continental Fire Company occupied the basement where it kept horses and the first floor where it stored fire engines. The second floor contained offices for city officials as well as classrooms for the Michigan Mining School (now Michigan Technological University). The college held classes in this building from 1886 to May 1889. On August 5th, 1966, a bronze plaque was unveiled to commemorate the first home of Michigan Tech. In the early 1900s and 1910s, additions were built to store more oats and hay for the horses and two more fire engines. 

In the 1930s, the City of Houghton moved its offices out of the building and the fire department moved out in 1974 for more space to accommodate its modern equipment. The bell was removed in 1975 and the western addition became an auto store, which eventually moved out in 2011. In 2010, it was sold to become an entertainment center, which opened in 2012 as the Continental Fire Co. 

Sources: National Register of Historic Places Inventory; Image MTU_Book LD3328H3-vi-3

Second Empire