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Our Building Turns 100

In January 1917 Chassell lost two of its 3 school buildings to fire. Charles Worcester, the owner of the town's lumber business, and his wife Mary, donated the money to build a new elementary school. It was named the H. E. Southwell Memorial School in honor of Mrs. Worcester's father.

The new school is pictured above in 1919 during the WWI Homecoming celebration.

The school closed its doors in 1992 and since then has been maintained by the Chassell Historical Organization.

We are honored to care for this historic building which houses our township's history and artifacts.

Old Paper Transparent



Since our beginning in the early nineties, we have made our home in the old Chassell Elementary School, now known as the

CHASSELL HERITAGE CENTER.  The Heritage Center and adjacent privately-owned High School Building are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


We strive to preserve the history of Chassell Township, to keep alive our cultural heritage, and to share that heritage with our citizens and visitors.  As an official Heritage Site of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, we adhere to high standards in our preservation work and in our exhibit creation.



Cpl Charles J. Sauvola

The CHO is currently seeking names of WWI veterans from Chassell. In 1919, the Daily Mining Gazette reported that 106 men from our township served their country during WWI. If you have a name  of someone from Chassell that served, please contact us through this website. Photographs and military service information is appreciated. Please visit the WWI page to see the current list. Thank you!


The Chassell Heritage Center will be open for the 2023 Summer Season in July and August and our hours are Tuesday 1PM to 4PM, Thursday 4PM to 8:30PM and Saturday 1PM-4PM.


New exhibit in mid August 2022

  • The Railroads of Chassell- A display explaining the significance of the railroads to Chassell. Two railroads served Chassell:  the Duluth South Shore & Atlantic and the Houghton Chassell & Southwestern. The roles of railroads were different, one bringing logs to the town’s major industry and the other connecting to the outside world. We’ll explore the railroads through maps and figures to better understand the role these roads played in Chassell. This display was created by Mark Worrall for the CHO.


New exhibits created in 2021 include:

  • The Class of 1921-This exhibit showcases the first graduating class in Chassell Township School.

  • The Soumis Carriage-A 1890s era carriage purchased by William Soumis in the 1930's.

  • Chassell-Built by Lumber-Our updated lumbering exhibit features the Sturgeon River Lumber Company and the Worcester Lumber Company.

  • Farming-The updated farming exhibit features early immigrant French Canadian and Finnish farmers in Chassell, potato, strawberry and dairy farming.



Other Summer Happenings

Friends of Fashion will present the 2023 Fashion Show "The Secrets of Portage Entry" on Sunday, July 30th at 2PM at the Chassell Heritage Center Auditorium. Tickets are $10.00 for adults or $5.00 for children. Cash or check payable to CHO is preferred and will be available at the door or may be purchased in advance from any FOF member or at the Chassell General Store.

A schedule for our Thursday Evening Programs for the 2023 season can be found on the PROGRAMS page. Shows featuring live musical entertainment or historical speakers are held on Thursday evenings at 7PM in the Chassell Heritage Center Auditorium. There is no admission fee, but donations are welcomed and appreciated. Come join in the fun Thank you.

WWI Chassell Military
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