Typical house, 1924 (Historic Preservation Division photo)
Machine Shop (Historic Preservation Division photo)
The "Raymond" (J. Draeger collection)
Montreal Company Location Historic District
Montreal, Iron County
Dates of contributing buildings: 1907-1927
The Montreal Company Location Historic District is a national example of industrial community planning. It also reflects the employee housing policy of the Montreal Mining Company. Mining activity began in the Lake Superior region in the early 1840s with the discoveries of copper and iron ore. Establishment of this industry spurred settlement in the Gogebic Range. Joseph Calvi and his family were among the original pioneers to the area. Joseph Calvi bought a plot of land at the top of Bourne Hill in Montreal. The Calvi Reserve, as it was called, consisted of the only buildings built on private land outside of the mining company lands.
Originally, miners settled around the mining shaft and constructed homes on land leased from the mining company. Streets were placed randomly and houses faced in various directions. Between 1907 and 1917 the company abandoned the informal housing policy and initiated a program of company-owned rental housing. In order to attract and retain laborers, in 1918, 50 pre-cut Aladdin bungalows were built. The Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan was one of America's leading distributors of pre-cut houses.
As labor forces continued to grow the company planned additional housing. A second townsite was platted in 1924. Landscape architect Albert D. Taylor provided the plan calling for construction of 14 family blocks, 31 double houses, 112 single houses and 31 empty lots for future expansion. Although connected to the existing grid-patterned townsite, the addition displays a curvilinear street pattern favored by many early 20th century planners. Taylor further proposed a centrally located school, hospital, chapel, company store, and community garages. Landscape improvements were also made.
The homes in this district are private residences, please respect the privacy of the residents.