Chassell, Michigan is located just 9
miles south of Houghton and Hancock
Chassell, MI is on the southeastern end of the Copper Country, an excellent place to stay while visiting the Houghton-Hancock area or the Keweenaw Peninsula. (Map).
This pleasant community on Chassell Bay in Portage Lake (part of Lake Superior) was named for John Chassell. He was a French farmer who bought the land in 1867. This was a lumbering, farming and fishing community with potatoes and strawberries the main crops. The Strawberry Festival is still held in July on the first weekend after the fourth. An old-fashioned Christmas celebration is held the second weekend in December.
The town now has art and antique shops along the main street and the Chassell Heritage Center in the old elementary school is an interesting museum. Open during July and August. Tuesdays: 1pm to 4pm. Thursdays: 4 pm to 9 pm. Phone: 906-523-1155
The Chassell Heritage Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to the Chassell Township Museum and the Friends of Fashion Vintage Clothing Collection.
Chassell is located on the edge of the Copper Country and many remnants of mining history and the miner's culture remain.
Chassell is well-known for being located at the headwaters of the Sturgeon River. Fishing is spectacular. There is also fishing on Portage Lake, Keweenaw Bay or the many lakes and streams in the area. In the summer, enjoy mountain biking, hiking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, birdwatching, nature photography and the beautiful clear blue water of the bay. Chassell is located on the Keweenaw Water Trail.
Winter in Chassell
There are many miles of groomed snowmobile trails throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula. (Maps). The Chassell Trail, (#15) takes you to Painesdale and the famed Bill Nichols Multi-Use Trail from Mass City to Houghton.This trail can be accessed using back roads. Turn right (north) for Houghton and the Keweenaw. If you turn left (south) at Painesdale, the Bill Nichols trail takes you to Mass City and Ontonagon. This trail often follows the railroad grade of the old Copper Range Railroad.
The Chassell-Houghton snowmobile trail on the old railroad grade will be open for the winter of 2010-2011. Snowmobile rentals for the Chassell area at Houghton Power Sports in Atlantic Mine and M&M Power Sports in Hancock.
Cross country ski on the many trails, including the 8K groomed cross country trail that starts in Chassell. The trailhead is just west of the Heritage Center. Maps are available locally and the trails are well marked, but be sure to take a compass.
Downhill ski enthusiasts can have a great day at Mount Ripley in Hancock. This steep ski area features a chair lift, bar lift, instruction, rental, ski shop, food, and a tobogganing and snowboard area. Call (906) 487-2340 for snow conditions and more information.
The small town of Chassell produces some outstanding sports teams. l956-57-58, the Chassell High School Basketball teams established a Michigan State Record which still stands. The Chassell basketball teams won the State Championship in class "D" in '56-'57 and '58 and established a Michigan State Record of 65 consecutive wins.
Photo: Portage Waterway Lower Light by Mary Deloria