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Aug 26 2021, last revised 12 Apr 2022

The Calumet Brewing Co. was established on 21 Nov 1899 as a stock company controlled by local businessmen in the Red Jacket/Calumet area (1). They included John Knivel, George Hall, F. Schroeder, C. Schenk, and G. Martini (2). The National Park Service noted that the company purchased Miswald's brewery in Lakeview in 1899 (7) after it burnt down. The photograph of the brewery shows a front stone wall with sections of different construction as if the new brewery was built onto the ruins of the Miswald brewery.

Calumet brewery c.1910<br>Courtesy of National Park Service, Keweenaw National Historical Park, Rowe Collection
Calumet brewery c.1910
Calumet brewery<br>Courtesy of <i>Superior View</i>, viewsofthepast.com
Calumet brewery

The photograph of the brewery shows a decorative smokestack. A notice in The Western Brewer from Aug 1909 stated that the brewery was undergoing improvements, including making the boiler house fireproof with concrete, adding a new boiler, and erecting a tile smoke stack constructed by the Alphons Custodis Chimney Construction Co., New York (5). The ruins of the brewery, which are clearly visible today from Tamarack Waterworks Rd., show that great care was taken when the big stack was built. The curved bricks used in its construction were glazed on the outside and darker glazed bricks were used to create a decorative pattern at the top. It is a wonder why such a fancy stack was purchased when Lakeview was never settled as a town and few people would have seen it.

The Calumet Brewing Co. had 13 employees in 1904 (3), 29 in 1910 (8), and 21 in 1917 (4). We found no advertisements for the Calumet Brewing Co. or any notices of beer shipment to the L’Anse/Baraga area in the L’Anse Sentinel, but ads appeared regularly in The Calumet News.

Newspaper ad - The Calumet News, Nov 08, 1909
Newspaper ad - Nov 1909
Newspaper ad - The Calumet News, Dec 20, 1910
Newspaper ad - Dec 1910
 Newspaper ad - The Calumet News, Apr 21, 1914
Newspaper ad - Apr 1914
Newspaper ad - The Calumet News, July 14, 1914
Newspaper ad - Jul 1914

Like with many other breweries, Prohibition in 1918 lead to its demise. During Prohibition, the brewery produced near-beer until 30 Apr 1919 and soft drinks until the company officially dissolved on 13 Aug 1923 (1). The brewery slipped away into history but now the remaining bottles are prized historical artifacts of a pivotal period in Copper Country history. The Copper Country experienced the devastating copper miners’ strike of 1913 and the horrible Italian hall disaster on Christmas Eve of 1913. These two sad historical events set the stage for future decline for the copper mining industry, and the population of Houghton County decreased from a peak of 88,098 in 1910 to 71,930 by 1920 (6). Today it is 37,361 (6).

Calumet's Select Beer label<br>National Park Service, Keweenaw National Historical Park, Curto Collection
Beer bottle label
Calumet's Pride label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Beer bottle label
Calumet Brewing Co. Stock Certificate - 1906<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Stock Certificate - 1906

References

  1. Russell, E. 2014. Calumet Brewing Company Records MS-345. Michigan Tech Archives.
  2. anonymous. 1903. One Hundred Years of Brewing. H. S. Rich & Co., Publishers. Chicago and New York.
  3. Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics. 1905. State of Michigan Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics Including the Twelfth Annual Report of State Inspection of Factories. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  4. Michigan Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics. 1918. Thirty-Fifth Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  5. anonymous. Aug 1909. New Plants and Improvements. The Western Brewer 34(8): 418.
  6. US Decennial Census. US Census Bureau. www.census.gov.
  7. National Park Service. accessed 2021. Calumet Brewery. www.nps.gov
  8. State of Michigan Department of Labor. 1911. Second Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.

83
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: 1900
rarity: scarce
  • same plate for 83 and 84

84
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: REGISTERED (below plate)
date: 1903-1912
rarity: common
  • same plate for 83 and 84
  • different mold marks

85
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: W F & S MIL (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: extremely rare
  • REGISTERED part of plate

86
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: N B B G Co. (?)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: rare
  • different plate design
  • the maker's mark stated in the book was not found on this example

87
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: scarce
  • full mold plate

88
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: ROOT (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905-1910
rarity: common
  • different plate from 87
  • includes REGISTERED
  • O in CO. above the upper edge of CALUMET

89
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: A B Co. (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1906-1910
rarity: rare
  • similar plate design as 86
  • different plate from 94
  • no "," after CALUMET
  • this example has date code: 6 - S

90
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: 1906-1910
rarity: rare
  • different plate from 89
  • REGISTERED near vertical center
  • plate lower on mold than 89

91
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: aqua
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: A B Co (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1906-1910
rarity: rare
  • pint-sized complement of 89
  • this example has date code: 8 - S
91a
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: N B B G CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
rarity: rare
  • different plate from 91
  • smaller font
  • wider space between CALUMET and BREWING
  • L in CALUMET in front of R in REGISTERED
  • different maker's mark
91b
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: S B & G CO (base)
other marks: (none)
rarity: (?)
  • plate indistinguishable from 91
  • different maker's mark
  • this variant was not listed in the book

92
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: colorless
top: cork seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: extremely rare
  • similar plate design to 87

93
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: colorless
top: cork seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: extremely rare
  • pint-sized complement to 92
  • one example has a diamond on the base

94
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: cork seal - tooled
maker's mark: A B Co (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1906-1910
rarity: extremely rare
  • different plate from 89
  • "," after CALUMET
  • this example has date code: 6 - S

95
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: aqua
top: cork seal - tooled
maker's mark: A B Co (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1906-1910
rarity: extremely rare
  • different plate from 91
  • no REGISTERED on plate
  • this example has date code: 6 - S

s6
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: A B Co (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1906-1910
rarity: extremely rare
  • different plate from 89
  • "," after CALUMET
  • different top
  • this example has date code: 9 - S

96
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: A B Co (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1909
rarity: rare
  • pint-sized complement to s6
  • different plate from 91
  • "," after CALUMET
  • same plate for 96 and 99
  • different color
  • date code unclear; appears to be 9 - S

99
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: amber
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: A B Co (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1909-1915
rarity: rare
  • pint-sized complement to s7
  • same plate for 96 and 99
  • different color
  • this example has date code: 9 - S

97
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: REGISTERED (below plate)
date: 1912-1915
rarity: scarce
  • different plate from 83 and 84
  • "," after CALUMET

98
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: N B B G CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1912-1915
rarity: scarce
  • different plate from 88
  • "," after CALUMET

s7
Calumet Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: S B & G CO (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1912-1915
rarity: extremely rare
  • similar plate to 89
  • no "," after CALUMET

abm-23
bottle image
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1915
rarity: ?

abm-24
bottle image
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1915
rarity: ?

abm-25
bottle image
capacity: pint
color: amber
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: N. B. B. G. CO. (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1915
rarity: ?
abm-25a
bottle image
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1913
rarity: ?
  • the heel has "13 2", which might be a date code

abm-26
bottle image
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1915
rarity: ?

abm-27
bottle image
capacity: pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1915
rarity: ?
  • this example was found with label inside