In 1900, Calumet was a booming town in the center of Michigan's copper mining industry. The largest company in the region, Calumet and Hecla, operated its works between the villages that became Calumet and Laurium.
Mines drew a diverse population, including Cornish, Scots, Italians, Finns, Swedes, Croatians, Slovenians, and French Canadians. French Canadians, under the administration of Reverend J. R. Boissonault, built a church dedicated to St. Anne. The architectural firm of Charlton, Gilbert and Demar designed the structure, built of red sandstone from the Jacobsville quarry.
Many of the building’s details derive from the flamboyant of rayonnant style of the late Gothic period in France, reflecting the heritage of its congregation. The sandstone is cut in square and rectangular shapes and randomly laid. The stones of the piers, water table and window surrounds are smoothly finished at the edge and hammer dressed toward the center. Stepped lancet arches of the portals show indications of horizontal tooling on the vertical faces of the arch.
Deconsecrated by the Catholic Church in 1966, the building housed a flea market in the 1970s and 1980s and was the scene of a horror movie early in the 1990s. Over three decades, the building was vacant or underutilized. From 1966 to 1994, the building received no maintenance. Beginning in 1994, efforts to rescue the building began. Volunteers, donations and grants have reversed the pattern of neglect that nearly doomed one of Calumet’s most significant and dominant structures.