Heritage Center - corner of First St. and N Ave in Lake Linden
The Heritage Center is available June through September for concerts, meetings, weddings, and
other events. Contact
our office for details.
The History of the First Congregational Church of Lake Linden (now the Houghton County Heritage Center)
The Houghton County Historical Society Heritage Center is housed in the former First Congregational Church of Lake Linden.
The church structure was built on land donated by the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company. The structure follows the
Victorian "Stick" style, set upon a non-coursed mine rock foundation and was built by Emery & Curdy, Contractors
in 1886 at a cost of $8,325.00, with materials provided by the mining company. The use of decorative hardwood highlights this
unique building, as well as the intricate patterns of siding and detail on the exterior, making this structure an architectural treasure.
The First Congregational Church continued as an active organization for almost 100 years, ending its service to the community
in 1979. At that time, the structure was donated to the Houghton County Historical Society, and it was planned to use the
structure as a Heritage Center for Houghton County. Over recent years, efforts have been made to restore the structure, and
the community rooms through donations and grants. A $50,000.00 grant from the Americana Foundation has allowed the HCHS to
both restore our wonderful Garret House organ, and undertake the restoration of the steeple. New plumbing, roofing, electrical,
and heating have been supplied through grants from the Leuthold Foundation, the National Park Service, and generous donations
from Mr. & Mrs. John Siller, and others.
Limited building restoration was begun in 1993. The structure is currently restored for use June through September
but is still an on-going process. The paint and repair on two sides of the Heritage Center were completed in 2006 with
the help of a grant from The Americana Foundation. The paint was analyzed to be the original colors, then the North and West
sides of the building were scraped, repaired and meticulously hand painted by LCS, Inc.
1874 Garret House Tracker Pipe Organ
The two-manual Garret House organ at the former First Congregational Church of Lake Linden was constructed in 1874 for the
First Congregational Church of Calumet. It was built by House in the last third of his career as a domestic tracker organ
builder. House built these instruments in Buffalo, New York. The organs have no electric or electro-pneumatic parts, in the
classic style that would be familiar to 17th and 18th century masters such as J. S. Bach. These tracker organs control the
flow of wind traveling to the pipes by the use of wooden rods and levers to open and close both stops and pipe valves. The
wind in the organ that sounds the pipes was originally provided by a person hand pumping the organ to keep the air in the
wind chests below the pipes at a constant pressure. While the newly restored organ can still be pumped, the wind
is now provided by a whisper quiet blower.
The restoration of this unique and significant organ was undertaken in 2001 by the HCHS as part of the overall effort to
restore the church, and was funded by individual donations and a $25,000.00 grant from the Americana Foundation. The
restoration was initiated by Ms. Dana Hull of Ann Arbor, and completed by Mr. Helmut Schick of Ann Arbor, and Rev. John
Cawkins of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their efforts were augmented by many HCHS volunteers, especially Andrew McInnes, of
Your tax deductible gift to the Heritage Center of $1,000 or more will be appreciated with a framed keepsake art piece
of the 120 year old original floor cover. Please make your check payable to Houghton County Historical Society and
designate to the Heritage Center.
Mail to Houghton County Historical Society, Box 127 M-26, Lake Linden, MI 49945
Marilyn Mason Organ CD
Organ Recital by David Short
July 4th Heritage Center Open House
Volunteers are needed and welcomed.
For more information, contact HCHS 906-296-4121