Houghton’s Copper Range Depot restaurant hosts train history lectures

Topics include the Copper Country’s railway system, train robberies in Michigan, and the inspiration for the ‘Polar Express’ story
The Copper Range Depot is hosting a series of train-themed history lectures for the community...
The Copper Range Depot is hosting a series of train-themed history lectures for the community to come and learn about their history in the UP.(WLUC)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 8:35 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The Copper Range Depot Restaurant is holding several train-themed lectures this week.

The first was Thursday evening when Michigan Tech presenter Dr. Bruce Sproule showcased the history of Copper Country train lines, where community members learned about the web of rails that once covered the area. This included traditional railways, as well as the tram system that also once ran through the area.

The depot-turned-restaurant was once a part of the Copper Range Railroad, where passengers and freight would board.

The owner of the Depot says she hopes those who attend the lectures gain a new respect for the part trains played in the area.

“I’m hoping that they’ll get some appreciation and some education for what the railroads meant to this area,” said Copper Range Depot Owner Trisia Narhi. “And the historical value that they played in the development of the Keweenaw Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula.”

Narhi, who opened the restaurant exactly one year ago, has been working on improving the building and is currently working on making long-time accommodations available on the second floor.

On Friday, a presentation on the No.1225 Steam Locomotive, which inspired the Polar Express movie, will be held at 2 p.m., with another at 5 p.m. focused on a Chicago and North Western No.175 that worked through western Michigan and Wisconsin.

A repeat of the No.1225 Steam Locomotive presentation will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a presentation on Michigan train robberies at 5. All four presentations will be presented by Bruce Kuffer.

The Depot staff hope to continue these types of presentations later into the year.

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