Museum manager Coriane Penegor is a walking encyclopedia of local information, presented with the passion of the history buff who loves to tell the stories behind the artifacts. If she’s got time, she may walk you through the maze of unexpected items in the museum – pieces of a B-17 plane that crashed in the Porcupine Mountains in the 1940s, a replica of the cabin of Ontonagon’s founder, copper mining tools, logging tools, fishing gear, furniture, paintings, clothing, a typewriter collection and more.
There’s a replica of the Ontonagon Boulder, a 3,708-pound mass of float copper found nearby (the real deal is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.).
Tours of the 1866 Ontonagon Harbor Lighthouse start here. Middle/high school students serve as summer interns at the museum, so they also help conduct lighthouse tours. A prompt from Penegor – “Who can tell our visitors what this is and what it was used for?” – brings rapid replies from the interns who seem to have caught her enthusiasm along with the information.