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The Archives

Any event that has lasted over 100 years must have a story. The story of the Central Mine M.E. Church and the annual reunion is best told by the number of individuals who return year after year to the annual Home-Coming. This web site is designed to allow individuals a chance to examine some of the documents that describe the history of the Central Reunion

The first reunion was held in 1097. In 1926 the Reunion Committee decided to create a 20 page anniversary program for the reunion. It was in this program that the first summary of the history of the reunion was printed. It is included below to help you to understand the spirit that has helped this event to survive for over 100 years.

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HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
Central Mine Home-Coming


Central  Mine began its mining operations in 1855, two years later copper was produced and for nearly forty year the "Old Reliable" was a steady dividend payer.


The present Methodist Episcopal Church in that community was built in 1869. To the Cornish Miner are we indebted,very largely, for the erection of that old landmark. Into this section with it unbroken forests, it wild and rugged beauty, these sturdy pioneer came with the beginning of copper mining. Some of them in after year returned to their native land: others remained, made a home for their families, and with them resided till life's toil was done.


From childhood they had been regular attendants at church in the home land across s the sea. The church they prized above all earthly possessions. Without a place of worship life was deprives of one of its richest treasurers.


Church services at Central Mine were fir t held in the little red school house situated a short distance east of the Agent’s use. The actual church membership at that time numbered about twenty-five or thirty souls.  When eventually the life of the mine seemed to be assured the present edifice was built, the mining company furnishing the materials and the community generally, generally most of whom being Methodists, met the cost of labor. Total cost was about $2,000.00  Mr. P. R. Robert, who begins his 85th year on this day, July 25. 1926, and to whom are we indebted for much of this data was superintendent of church construction.


Among the names of those who took active interest in sponsoring early church activities were the agent, C. B. Petrie,P. R. Robert, Geo. H . Satterley, John Rogers, Richard Jackson, Capt. Richard Bree, Thomas Bree, Capt. William Dunstan,John M. Truscott, William Best, Franck Cox, W. J. Hocking, Richard Polglaze, John Edwin, Alfred Cruez, Capt. James Dunstan, Joseph Odgers, James Polkinghorn, Henry D. Quick, Dr. Whittlesey, Joseph Richard, and others whose names cannot be recalled. Many of these old patriarchs have since passed on, but in the hearts of their children, and those who are still with us, there abides. an affectionate memory of the old home that once nestled among the copper-ribbed hills of Old Keweenaw. Truly, home life was simple and uneventful; withal it was home and represented all the endearing charms of that term.


In 1906, eight years after Central Mine suspended operations, the Keweenaw Central R. R. was completed thereby providing transportation facilities throughout that country. In view of these accommodations, a few former Central residents suggested the possibility of a Home-Coming. The suggestion through the press and other avenues seemed to find a hearty response everywhere. E. J. Hall, T. E. Mitchell, and Alfred Nicholls assumed the responsibility for the first meeting. Their decision was to hold a Sunday service at the church, strictly religious in character, and to conform as nearly as possible to the order of worship as was observed in former years. The date was July 21, 1907, with John Kneebone, a former local preacher in charge.


After the morning worship, hot water was provided for those who desired tea or coffee. Thus in family groups on some little green spot about the old home, where once blossomed sweet William and roses, they partook of lunch, reveling in delightful memories, and feasting upon scenes ever dear to their hearts.


During the afternoon men and women who had not seen each other for, possibly, a quarter of a century met, clasped hands, and wreathed in smiles, recalled the days of long ago. It was a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving, a day of delightful reminiscences, a day never to be forgotten.


Today we are observing the twentieth anniversary of our Home-Coming. At each annual event, the church has been taxed to capacity and, apparently, every member seems to feel the devotional spirit of the hour and to grasp the real motive which prompted our gathering together.


The committee are heartily appreciative of your co-operation, financially
and spiritually, which in some measure has been responsible in prompting this Anniversary Program.

John G. Bennetts

E. J. Hall

Edward C. Mitchell

Thomas Uren

Arthur P. Eva

Wilfred N. Holman

Henry Cox

George Roberts

Alfed Nicholls

 

Home-Coming Committee