Michigan’s Atlantis – the Search for Copper Island
The lost continent of Atlantis is one of the world's great mysteries. Michigan once was thought to have its own 'Atlantis' a mythical island in the middle of Lake Superior called Copper Island.
Explorers in the 1700s told stories of an island said to be somewhere in Lake Superior that held a huge amount of copper. Some say the island was what we today call Isle Royale while others claim the land is the Keweenaw Peninsula.
According to an historic book on the area, the idea of Copper Island was first recorded by French-Canadian aristocrat Pierre Broucher. Native Americans told of an island in Lake Superior where copper
exists here in abundance... Pieces of copper, mingled with stones, are found at the water's edge almost around the island - along the inlet - under the strata of steep clay - in the copper formed islets that surround it.
So does that sound like Isle Royale? According to the Wikipedia article on the island,
In 1670, a Jesuit missionary named Dablon published an account of "an island called Menong, celebrated for its copper."
When explorers discovered Isle Royale,
Evidence of the earlier mining efforts was everywhere, in the form of many stone hammers, some copper artifacts, and places where copper had been partially worked out of the rock but left in place. The ancient pits and trenches led to the discovery of many of the copper deposits that were mined in the 19th century. The remoteness of the island, combined with the small veins of copper, caused most of the 19th-century mines to fail quickly.
Is Menong really Isle Royale or was there a more mysterious, now lost island somewhere in Lake Superior? It certainly is interesting to think there might be a lost Copper Island that was once part of Michigan's past.