Mining History Association

Annual Conference, June 6-9, 2019

Marquette, Michigan


The Mining History Association’s 29th Annual Conference will be held in Marquette, MI, on June 6–9, 2019.  Marquette is a charming, historic and conference-friendly town of about 20,000, situated in a spectacular Lake Superior shoreline setting.  Founded in 1849, Marquette became the business hub and the iron ore shipping port for the mines in Ishpeming, Negaunee, Republic, and other towns on the Marquette Iron Range (see the map at the right).  The Marquette Range is the largest of the four iron ranges in Michigan.  The Gogebic Range straddles the Michigan-Wisconsin border about 140 miles west of Marquette.  The Eastern and Western Menominee Ranges lie about 70 miles southwest of Marquette.  The Marquette Range and the Menominee Ranges will be the focus of many of the MHA program activities.  For more on the mining history of the area, see the link below.


MHA program sessions will be held at the Masonic Center Auditorium, which is located in the heart of downtown Marquette and just a short walk from the conference hotel, the Landmark Inn. Parking during formal sessions and the Friday evening Awards Banquet  is available in a large parking ramp located behind the Masonic Center. A convenient rear entrance to the building and meeting rooms is located about one city block from the Landmark Inn.


While both current mining and the industry’s rich historic legacy remain prominent on the Marquette Iron Range, the region now boasts a more diversified economy.  Tourism thrives across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the “U. P.” as the locals call it.  If you were born in or lived in the U. P. (or wish you had), you qualify to be called a Yooper! 


Marquette is home to Northern Michigan University, with a student population of 7,900 in 177 degree fields, including 25 graduate programs.  Its 350-acre campus is located one-mile northwest of downtown.  It includes over 50 facilities including the Seabourg Science Complex, library, university theater, two art galleries, and a sports and recreation complex centered on the all-wood Superior Dome.


There is plenty to do in Marquette in addition to soaking up the mining history.   From the shoreline, Lake Superior looks like an ocean.  During a storm, it acts like one, too.  Like many shore towns, Marquette has several lighthouses.  The pretty, red, Marquette Harbor Lighthouse warns vessels to keep clear of the peninsula of rock on which it stands.  A visit to the lighthouse and the nearby Marquette Maritime Museum requires only a half mile walk along the harbor from downtown.  Follow the City Multi-use Path along the shoreline beyond the lighthouse and you will encounter nearly a mile of excellent beach.  The water will be refreshing and it is a great place to catch a few rays.  The trail continues for 2 miles along the water to Presque Isle with its modern ore and coal dock.


You can also take a hike or go biking in the Iron Ore Heritage Trail.   It is a 47 mile long interpretive trail that runs from 10 miles east of Marquette to Republic in the west.  It passes through Marquette, Negaunee, Ishpeming, Humboldt, and finally Republic.  Excellent signage tells the story of the mines, the towns, and the people along the way.





Our conference hotel, the elegant and historic Landmark Inn in downtown Marquette, is ideally situated near the Masonic Center Auditorium sessions venue, and an easy walk to the Lake Superior shoreline, the historic ore dock, and a broad array of downtown shops and eateries.  There are also a number of chain motels nearby offering rooms at various rates.  The Landmark’s conference rate is $149.00 per night, plus tax (good only until May 6, 2019). The number of blocked rooms is limited, so EARLY RESERVATIONS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED.  Be sure to mention the Mining History Association when booking your conference-rate room at the Landmark.


Landmark Inn

230 N. Front St.



Additional Downtown Lodging:


Hampton Inn Marquette Waterfront (.05 miles)

461 S. Lakeshore Blvd.



Ramada Marquette (.05 miles)

412 W. Washington St.


Holiday Inn (3 miles)

1951 Highway 41



(Numerous other lodging options are available along the US Hwy. 41 corridor.)


There are several campgrounds located near Marquette including:

Marquette Tourist Park (RV/Tent) (2.5 miles from downtown), 2145 Sugar Loaf Ave., Marquette, 1-906-228-0465.

Rippling River Resort (RV/Tent/Cabins) (3 miles from downtown), 4321 M-553, Marquette, 1-906-273-2259. 

State Forest Campgrounds.  Information can be located at




Getting to Marquette by Air


Sawyer International Airport


For attendees traveling by air, Marquette is served by both Delta and American through the nearby K. I. Sawyer International Airport.  Car rentals (Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Hertz, and Alamo) are available at the airport.  Shuttle services are also available:


Marq-Tran Regional Bus Shuttle, 906-225-1112


Marquette Limo, 906-226-7772


Travel by Automobile


For those wishing to drive to the conference, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (the U. P.) and the Lake Superior region has a lot to offer visitors and locals alike. Marquette is accessed from the East and West by US Highway 2 and Michigan Highway 28.  From the South, US Highway 41 takes you north from Green Bay, Wisconsin.  CLICK HERE for THE SCENIC ROUTES TO (OR FROM) MARQUETTE by “Married to a Yooper.”



On average, June weather in the Marquette environs is pleasantly mild and sunny.  Highs are generally in the mid- to upper-60s (slightly warmer inland), with lows around 50.  Some rain can be expected in any given week, although June rain events are seldom prolonged.  The “Big Lake” calls all the shots, and attendees will be wise to prepare for conditions that may vary widely from seasonal averages.  Most MHA conference regulars know the drill.





NOTE: All Registrations must be received by May 15, 2019.


Everyone attending the Marquette conference must pay the appropriate general registration fee.  Additional activities and events are to be selected and paid for a la carte as shown on the Registration Form.  Please make all checks payable to the Mining History Association or use PayPal (see below).  Some events and activities can accommodate only a limited number of participants, and rosters for those events will be filled on a strictly first-come, first-served basis as determined by the postmarks on Registration Forms as they are received.  Thus, it is important that ALL REGISTRANTS mail in that completed form, even if registration fees are paid via PayPal!  Please provide all contact information requested on the form so we can reach you promptly, if necessary.

Please double check the total on your registration form before sending payment. Some browsers may not support the pdf caculations on the form.

Payment via PayPal:  Registration fees may be remitted via PayPal by using the on-line Registration Form at the MHA website. Please note, however, that a 3% service fee will be added and, as mentioned above, the completed Registration Form still MUST be printed out and mailed to:

MHA – 2019
Mark & Lynn Langenfeld
N7111 County Road CC
Monticello, WI  53570-9586

The Registration Table will be open at the following times and locations for Registration Packet Pick-Up:

Wednesday, June 5
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Landmark Inn lobby

Thursday, June 6
8:00 am – 11:00 am, Landmark Inn lobby
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Landmark Inn lobby

Friday, June 7
7:00 am – 11:30 am, Masonic Center


Michigan’s Iron Ranges.


Early surface mining on the Marquette Iron Range at the Jackson Iron Mine in Negaunee (ca1860).


Shaft and ore stockpiles at the Negaunee Mine.


Underground mining at the Vulcan Mine on the Menominee Iron Range near Norway, Michigan.


The Ropes Gold Mine near Ishpeming (ca1882-1897).


Aerial view of the Mather “B” Mine between Ishpeming and Negaunee, the last of the underground mines (ca1970s).


Taconite mining at the Cliffs Resources Tilden and Empire Mines.


The Marquette Harbor Lighthouse and Lake Superior beaches are just a short walk from downtown.


(Photos courtesy Library of Congress, Michigan Tech Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Cliffs Natural Resources, USGS,



Views of the past and present along the Marquette Iron Range.  (Left to Right) One of the two Cliffs Shaft Mine concrete, Egyptian Revival obelisk headframes, ca1919, and a Koepe Hoist on top of the adjacent modern “C” shaft and headframe, ca1952, in Ishpeming, MI.  Marquette ore dock No. 6 with wooden railroad trestle, ca1932, and its current state of preservation.





PLEASE NOTE:  The Presidential Luncheon on June 8th has limited seating.  Early registration is highly encouraged.  Rosters will be filled on a strictly first-come-first-served basis based upon order of registration postmark.  Please be certain that your contact information is complete on your registration form so that we may contact you promptly regarding refunds or waiting lists.

Welcoming Reception, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Thursday, June 6, 2019. Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum, 501 W. Euclid St., Ishpeming, MI. Cost $20 per person.  (Pre-registration is required. Transportation by personal vehicle, ride sharing encouraged.) The 2019 opening reception will be held at the Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum in the historic mining town of Ishpeming.  The striking backdrop for the opening sequence of Otto Preminger’s classic crime/courtroom drama, “Anatomy of a Murder,” is the unmistakable profile of the unique and iconic Egyptian Revival-style A and B shaft houses of the Cliffs Shaft mine.  They are now preserved at the museum along with the mine’s dry, warehouse, shops and modern-era “C” shaft.  A light meal and beverages will be served, and attendees will be free to explore the museum's grounds, buildings, and extensive mineral display. Museum docents will be on hand to interpret exhibits and answer questions.

Awards Banquet, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., Friday, June 7, 2019. (Cost $35 per person. Pre-registration is required.) A social hour and the annual MHA Awards Banquet will be held at the Masonic Center ballroom.

Special post-banquet speaker:  8:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Noted photo historian Jack Deo will present “A 3-D Trip to the Mines in 1870.” Using state-of-the-art 3-D and digitizing technology, Jack will take us into the visual depths of the Upper Peninsula’s historic iron and copper mines as recorded by vintage stereo view cards.  Don’t miss this unique and fascinating presentation!

Presidential Luncheon, Noon-1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Cost $25 per person.  Seating is limited to 80.  Pre-registration is required.)  The Presidential Luncheon will be held In the Harbor Room of the Landmark Hotel.  The luncheon program will include the “Passing of the Presidential Pick” from Keith Long, MHA President 2018-19, to Stephanie Saager-Bourret, MHA President, 2019-20.  The Presidential Lecture will follow. 



PLEASE NOTE:  Many of the tours have limited capacities.  Early registration is highly encouraged.  Rosters will be filled on a strictly first-come-first-served basis based upon order of registration postmark.  Please be certain that your contact information is complete on your registration form so that we may contact you promptly regarding refunds or waiting lists. Participants in Thursday’s tours are STRONGLY encouraged to pick up and review their registration packets Wednesday evening.

Cleveland-Cliffs Tilden Mine Overlook and Historic Cliffs Cottage Tour, 9:30 a.m. – Noon, June 6, 2019, (Limited to 25 participants.  Cost: no charge.  Pre-registration is required.)  The tour will depart from and return to the Landmark Inn.  Bus transportation will be provided.  Departure at 9:30 am, SHARP!

TOUR UPDATE.  The morning tour is already full. Cliffs has promised an afternoon repeat of this tour; the time is from 1:30 to 4 p.m.  Those requesting the morning tour will now be added to the afternoon tour until it is also full.

This tour bus will make its first stop at the pit overlook at the Tilden mine.  Opportunities for a first-hand view of this last operating iron mine on the Marquette Range are now infrequent.  The Tilden pit currently measures 1.5 miles E/W, 0.7 miles N/S, and is 1,400 feet deep. Taconite pellets made from the mine’s hematite ores were first produced in 1974, and it is expected to continue operations for at least another 15 years.

The second stop is at the remarkable Cliffs Cottage.  Built at the turn of the last century, the “cottage” served as Cleveland-Cliffs president William G. Mather’s residence and headquarters during his frequent visits to the company’s mines.  After expansion in 1903, the cottage saw increased use for business purposes, including board of directors’ meetings and meetings with local mine managers.  Although the cottage remains in use today (housing visiting executives and engineers, and hosting a variety of civic events), much of the original ambience remains – including the billiards and sitting rooms, and the polished jasper hearths.

PLEASE NOTE:  NO PHOTOGRAPHY is permitted on Cliffs’ properties.  Long pants, closed-toe shoes and all supplied safety equipment must be worn at all times.

Cleveland-Cliffs Tilden Mine Overlook and Historic Cliffs Cottage Tour, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., June 6, 2019, (Limited to 25 participants.  Cost: no charge.  Pre-registration is required.)  The tour will depart from and return to the Landmark Inn.  Bus transportation will be provided.  Departure at 1:30 am, SHARP! This is a repeat of the of the morning tour described above.


PLEASE NOTE:  NO PHOTOGRAPHY is permitted on Cliffs’ properties.  Long pants, closed-toe shoes and all supplied safety equipment must be worn at all times.

Tour of the Humboldt Mill, Lundin Mining Corporation, 10 a.m. (at the mill, 4547 Country Rd., 601, Champion, MI 49814) - Noon, Thursday, June 6, 2019.  (Limited to 20 participants. Cost: no charge.  Pre-registration is required. Long sleeves/pants and closed-toe shoes required.  Transportation by personal vehicles, ride sharing encouraged.) 

TOUR UPDATE.  The morning tour is full. Check below for the afternoon tour from 1:30 to 4 p.m.  Those requesting the morning tour will now be added to the afternoon tour until it is also full.

Lundin’s underground Eagle mine, not part of the tour, is located about 27 miles northwest as the crow flies from Marquette, produces high-grade nickel/copper ore.  That ore is transported by truck to the Humboldt Mill for processing.  The mill is located about 23 miles (approximately 40 minutes) west of Marquette at the village of Champion.  At the Humboldt Mill we will learn about the history of and operations at the Eagle mine, and see what happens to the nickel/copper ore after it leaves the mine site.  This is a walking tour, beginning at the administrative office. The tour follows the circuit of crushing, grinding and flotation processes, taking the ore from haul truck to concentrate shipment via rail car.  Visitors should be prepared to spend about an hour walking on site, including up and down stairs and over metal gratings, and must be able to tolerate strong odors.  Participants should carefully preview all information and requirements set out at before signing up for this tour.

The Humboldt mill is itself historically significant in its prior roles as the primary mill for the co-located Humboldt iron mine for which it was built, later as the gold mill for Callahan Mining Corporation’s mid-20th-century operations at the nearby Ropes mine, and as an industrial minerals plant for the Minerals Processing Corporation.  Lundin has since completely upgraded the mill to modern standards and metallurgical technology for processing its nickel/copper ores.  The long-abandoned and flooded Humboldt pit is now used for environmentally friendly tailings disposal. 

PLEASE NOTE:  NO PHOTOGRAPHY is permitted at the Humboldt mill.

Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives Open House, 1:00 pm – 4:00 p.m., Thursday, June 6, 2019.  (Transportation by private vehicle, ride sharing encouraged).  The extensive collections housed at the Northern Michigan University Archives in Marquette include a remarkable assemblage of more than a century of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron (CCI) Company and other mining industry records, documents, and photographs, many of which will be on special display during the Open House.  Conference registrants who are unable to attend the Open House are encouraged to visit the Archive during its regular business hours.  Additional information is available on the Archives web page, .

Rock and Mineral Collecting Trip, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Thursday, June 6, 2019.  (PRE-REGISTRATION WITH THE TRIP LEADER IS REQUIRED.  Transportation by personal vehicles, ride sharing encouraged.)  Some MHAers won’t call a conference complete until they have had an opportunity to wield a rock hammer.  Thus, we have arranged for representatives of the Ishpeming Rock & Mineral Club to guide interested individuals to one or more of the better local collecting sites.  Because this is not a formal MHA event, participants are asked to pay a modest fee ($10.00) to the trip leader to cover the host club’s liability insurance expenses.  Please pre-register directly with the trip leader, Bob Clark, at 906-235-6440 or  no later than May 10, 2019.  Identify yourself as an MHA2019 attendee.

Historic Downtown Marquette Walking Tour, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m., Thursday, June 6, 2019. (Limited to 25 participants. Cost $14 per person.   Wear comfortable walking shoes.)  The tour will begin in the lobby of the Landmark Inn.  This 12-block walking tour features downtown Marquette and some of the finest buildings constructed in the history of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Participants will learn about the city’s rich history and see many of its magnificent old red sandstone and white limestone buildings. Featured sites include the Peter White Public Library, The Marquette County Courthouse, and St. Peter’s Cathedral. Other sites include the Statue of Jacques Marquette, Harlow’s Wooden Man and, time permitting, the iron ore dock and customs clearing house in Marquette’s Lower Harbor. Your host and guide for the tour will be Fred Huffman from Marquette Country Tours. Fred is a noted local historian and tour guide with over 30 years in the tour business.  Note: Access to interiors of the Courthouse and Cathedral is subject to availability.

Tour of the Humboldt Mill, Lundin Mining Corporation, 2:00 p.m. (at the mill, 4547 County Rd., 601, Champion, MI 49814) - 4:00 p.m., Thursday, June 6, 2019. (Limited to 20 participants. Cost: no charge. Pre-registration is required. Long sleeves/pants and closed-toe shoes required. Transportation by personal vehicles, ride sharing encouraged.) This is a repeat of the morning tour described above.

TOUR UPDATE.  The afternoon Humboldt Mill tour is full.

Michigan Iron Industry Museum Open House, Special Session and MHA Membership Meeting, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 8, 2019.  (Transportation by private vehicles, ride sharing is encouraged.)  The museum located at the historic site of the Carp River Forge between Marquette and the neighboring towns of Negaunee and Ishpeming.  This special Saturday afternoon session in the museum auditorium will feature a short film, “Iron Spirits,” and a special presentation at 3:00 p.m. by Mary Tippet, “Barnes-Hecker: The Legacy of Michigan’s Worst Mining Disaster.”  The session will conclude with the Annual MHA Membership Meeting.  Members will also be free to explore the museum exhibits and its extensive grounds.  There is no charge for this event, but free-will donations to the museum are encouraged. 

Special Saturday Evening “Tour, Tasting, and Documentary,” 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., June 8, 2019, Negaunee High School.  (Pre-registration is required. Cost: $15. Transportation by personal vehicles, ride sharing encouraged.)  A VANISHING BREED - THE MEN AND MEMORIES OF THE MATHER B.  The last of the Marquette Range’s underground mines, Cleveland Cliffs’ iconic Mather B, operated from 1950 to 1979.   Bottoming at 3,660 feet, the mine produced a remarkable 42-million tons of high-grade natural iron ore (almost 57-million tons when combined with the connected Mather A mine).

The staff and students of Negaunee High School offer MHAers a unique opportunity for a first-hand look back at the Mather B by visiting the school itself - which, before being repurposed, served as the mine’s dry, shops and administrative offices.  Attendees will get a through-the-fence view of the Mather B hoist house and shaft cap, and a brief tour of the service tunnels which remain below the school - largely untouched since the mine closed.

A light supper of the regional favorite cudighi sandwiches will then be served in the school cafeteria (you haven’t REALLY experienced the Michigan U.P. until you’ve had both a pasty AND a cudighi).  Supper will be followed by a showing of the acclaimed student documentary film, “A Vanishing Breed – The Men and Memories of the Mather B,” in the school auditorium.

All-day Field Trip, The Menominee Iron Range, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Sunday, June 9, 2019.  (Cost: $55 per person.  Pre-registration is required. Transportation by bus.  Limited to 55 participants.)  The tour will depart from the Landmark Inn.  The Menominee Iron Range lies about 50 miles south of the roughly parallel Marquette Range.  Because of the steeply dipping orebodies common to the Menominee Range, most of its mines went underground from the start.  The range was in continuous production from 1870 through 1978.


This all-day tour will explore the range from west to east by air-conditioned motor coach.  Stops will include the substantially intact, early-20th-century Cardiff and Caspian mine headframes (the last two headframes still standing in Iron County, MI), the Iron County Historical Museum (where we will partake of a traditional pasty lunch), the spectacular 1893-vintage, 725-ton, E. P. Allis Cornish pumping engine and mining museum at Iron Mountain, MI, and the “Iron Mountain” (Vulcan) tour mine, where we will go underground for a first-hand sense of the scale and substance of historic Menominee Range mining.  (Local historian/geologist Tom Mroz will join us there to help interpret both the geology and development of the eastern end of the range.)


This will be a long day (crossing time zones from EDT to CDT, and back again), but not a particularly strenuous one.  There will be ample time to “rest and recoup” on the motor coach between stops, and there are numerous points of interest and plenty of Northwoods scenery along the way.  Water and light snacks will be available on the bus.

TOUR UPDATE.  The Menominee Iron Range tour is full.


All-day Post-Conference Field Trip, Fayette, Michigan, An Iron Smelting Town, 10:00 a.m. (at Fayette) – 4:30 p.m., Monday, June 10, 2019.  (Cost: $16 per person. Pre-registration is required.  Limited to 30 participants.)  

Please note: The Fayette historic townsite is located approximately 92 miles and about a two-hour drive SSE of the Landmark Hotel.  Please plan carefully to ensure an on-time arrival at Fayette.  There is no individual admission fee, but each vehicle must display a park pass (currently $16 [annual] for vehicles with Michigan license plates, and $9 [one-day] for those with out-of-state plates), available on site.  The cost of the vehicle pass is NOT included in the trip registration fee.

The Michigan History Center has offered us an exceptional opportunity for a detailed tour of what is perhaps one of the most picturesque and best-preserved historic village in the mid-western United States: the Fayette Historic Townsite.  From 1867 to 1891, Fayette was a busy smelting town, producing charcoal pig iron from ores supplied by nearby Michigan and Wisconsin mines.  It was constructed by the Jackson Iron Company with the objective of producing a value-added iron product and saving the transportation cost associated with shipping the waste components of the iron ore.   Today, it is preserved in a state of arrested decay on the scenic north shore of Lake Michigan. This spectacular historic site invites visitors to explore numerous domestic and commercial structures, as well as the iron furnaces and charcoal kilns themselves.


The site historian, Troy Henderson, and docents will provide two optional walking tours – one focusing on the site’s industrial history, the other on the civic and social dimensions of a remote 19th century company town.  A catered lunch (included in the registration fee) is planned at the historic Fayette Hotel.


Non-registrants are encouraged to independently visit the remarkable Fayette townsite.  However, only trip registrants may participate in the walking tours and catered lunch.


VISITOR INFORMATION (Accessed, May 6, 2019)


Michigan Travel,


Upper Peninsula Travel,


Marquette Tourism,

The Landmark Inn,

Ishpeming-Negaunee Tourism,




Boyum, Burton H., The Saga of Iron Mining in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, John M. Longyear Research Library, 1983.

Reed, Robert C., Michigan Iron Mines, Michigan Geological Survey, 1957,

Allen, R. C., Gold in Michigan,, Michigan Geological Survey, 1980,



Terry Reynolds

Stephanie Saager-Bourret

Erik Nordberg



Mark and Lynn Langenfeld

* Program and Registration Materials will also be published in the Spring 2019 Mining History News (MHA Newsletter).


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