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The Last Frontier gift shop closing its doors

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The bar inside the Last Frontier gift shop is an original fixture to the longtime business.

COPPER HARBOR — The Last Frontier gift shop is closing its doors permanently in April, and the remaining inventory must be sold.

“We’re downsizing,” said Country Village Shops owner Barb Foley, “so I won’t be completely retired. I just won’t be working quite as hard as I have been.”

The sale, she said, will begin on Friday, March 22.

“We’re going to have one week. I have to be out of the building on the 15th of April,” Foley said, “so we’ll do a week and see what happens.”

Foley said all inventory is marked down 50%, because she does not want to have to pack up a store full of unsold merchandise, and the inventory of the Last Frontier is not a good fit for the Old Country Store, which she will continue to operate.

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The inventory in the Last Frontier gift shop in Copper Harbor will be reduced for quick sale beginning Friday.

“For the most part, the types of gifts that we sell in the Old Country Store have been more in fitting with an 1800s store,” said Foley, “so we’ve always tried to keep that here.”

In the Last Frontier, she said, she was not confined by an established theme, and could stock it with whatever seemed like a good mix of merchandise and gifts.

Foley became owner of the Last Frontier, on Sixth Street, along with the Old Country Store, on Main Street, in the 1960s upon the death of her father, who had been owner and operator previously.

For those who have long enjoyed the homemade fudge available at the Last Frontier, Foley said that is not going away. The fudge operation will be relocated in the back of the Old Country Store.

Foley does not know what will become of the former gift shop. While the building has been sold through a realty company, she said she has no idea who purchased it or what their plans are.

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The Last Frontier gift shop in Copper Harbor will be closing its doors permanently in April after decades in business.

Until the late 1960s, the business was the Last Frontier Cocktail Lounge and Trading Post. It was a popular destination from the 1940s until Foley gave up the liquor license. As of March 2024, however, the building still retains its original appearance and fixtures.

While the Last Frontier, after more than 80 years, will be gone, the Old Country Store will continue to operate. Foley said that just like every year, the Old Country Store will be closed for the month of April, but will reopen in the first week of May, just in time for summer.

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