On top of Mount Horace Greeley in the Keweenaw Peninsula, sits an abandoned radar base.

Walking through the abandoned Calumet Air Force Station is like being in your own personal episode of “The Twilight Zone”. It was once an actual community, neighborhood, kind of a small town within itself…and it’s all sitting empty.

Rows of homes sit vacant, weeds grow tall, dark windows stare at you as you walk by, occasional graffiti, open doors, trashed buildings, radar towers that look like “War of the Worlds” aliens…..it’s a bizarre feeling and unnervingly quiet and still.

This former community was very respected by its residents and others in the Keweenaw Peninsula. At its peak, it had 200 troops with their spouses and children all living, working, and playing on these grounds.

The base also had a bowling alley, chapel, control center, dorms for single people, gas/service station, general/grocery store, gym, 45 houses with garages for families, library, medical station, racquetball court, two radar stations, radio station, restaurant, and tennis court. Now they are all empty – eyeballing anyone and everyone who attempts to walk these grounds.

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So what’s its story?

Thanks to the start of the Korean War on July 11, 1950, twenty-eight radar stations were commissioned to be built. One of these ended up in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan’s U.P.

On May 1, 1951, aircraft control began operations and radar in 1953. Its function was to locate unidentified aircraft and send interceptors.

In October 1979, radar was removed and the base inactivated. After briefly re-opening with reduced capabilities, it finally closed for good in 1988. It later became used as a reform school, called Keweenaw Academy. In the 2000s it was reduced to being a communications facility for cell phones.

If the temptation bug gets to you to visit, you would be better off getting permission or you could be prosecuted for trespassing. There are many dangerous sections here and the risks of getting hurt are high.

Take a look at the photos below and see what I mean…

Abandoned Calumet Radar Base

 

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