2019 Mining History Association Tour

Fayette Historic State Park,
Michigan History Center,
Fayette, Michigan
June 10, 2019



Fayette Historic State Park is located on the Garden Peninsula on the Lake Michigan side of Michiganís Upper Peninsula.  Most MHAers opted for driving the direct route but a few made a short detour through the historic mining town of Gwinn (see the last photo gallery).


Tour Route:  Direct route, Marquette (A, top left) to Fayette (B) with optional return route via Gwinn (C). (Mapquest)

The early morning weather was a bit wet, cool, and blustery, but by afternoon it was picture perfect as seen above. This mosaic of photos of Snail Shell Harbor shows the Fayette Industrial Area (left) and the Town Center (right). Fayette was built by the Jackson Iron Company to produce charcoal pig iron, a value-added product that eliminated the high cost of transporting raw ore containing waste to the lower lake ports. From 1867 to 1891, over 229,000 tons of pig iron were produced in Fayette. The furnaces shut down due to the exhaustion of hardwood resources needed to make charcoal. Today, it is one of the best-preserved historic 19th Century villages in the Midwest.

A detailed Visitors Center model of Fayette in its heyday provided an excellent introduction to what awaited the MHAers outside.  The Furnaces are seen at the left above and the Town Center and residential area are at the right. 

Troy Henderson, Historian for several State Parks in the Upper Peninsula, started the walking tour at a high point overlooking the Fayette Town Center.

The tops of the Iron Furnaces are to the right of the previous photo.  These buildings contained the boilers, blowers, and brick hot blast ovens for preheating the air before it entered the furnaces.

This interpretive sign shows the layout of the furnace complex.

In this historic photo, workers of all ages pose at the hot blast ovens.

Photos Courtesy Dawn and Johnny Johnsson, Pat and Mike Kaas.

CLICK HERE for Photo Gallery 2 of 4

CLICK HERE to Return to the Marquette Meeting Page

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