Saloon 1898-1910 John Tambellini 1910-1920 Michael Sullivan Others
Gunsmith 1914-1920 Michael Knight
Barber Ca. 1917
Soda Parlor 1930 Narciso Bianchi
For our first blog post of 2017, we're taking a look at 512 Portland Street in Calumet, sometimes referred to as Curto's Wine Cellar. This Calumet DDA-owned building is set to receive a new roof this summer.
Probably built after the 1870 fire that destroyed much of Red Jacket Village, 512 Portland St. was a residence on the edge of town. The village expanded around it, making the house a prime business location.
Numerous businesses occupied the basement and first floor while apartments housed many over the years. John Tambellini owned the building and operated his Santiago de Cuba saloon here from 1898 through 1910, when his new building next door was complete (now Luigi’s). The saloon was then run by Irish-born Michael Sullivan. Scots-English Michael Knight was the only gunsmith in town when he used part of the first floor. During Prohibition, Narciso Bianchi of Copper Queen Whiskey fame had a “soda parlor” in the basement.
Residents and businessmen of at least nine ethnic backgrounds worked and lived here, in one of Calumet’s oldest extant buildings. Stained glass windows highlight the surviving basement storefront, once a feature of many of Calumet's commercial buildings.
Compiled by Lynette WEbber, Keweenaw National Historical Park