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Michigan Iron Industry Museum

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73 Forge Road
Negaunee, MI 49866
United States
Regions: Upper Peninsula
(906) 475-7857
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Overlooking a picturesque river valley near Negaunee, this fine little state museum, open free of charge, shows in dramatic displays how U. P. iron was central to America's industrialization.

The museum is in the rugged, wooded hills at the place on the Carp River where an iron forge was built in 1848. That was just four years after Burt discovered iron not far from Teal Lake. The whole area was a wilderness at the time, well beyond the boundaries of settlement. rnRed outcrops of conglomerate rock in this area are a stunning foil for the dark green of conifers. The forge here converted ore directly into wrought iron shipped to Boston, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and the U.S. Naval Yard for use in the manufacture of nails, bolts, wire, boiler plate, steam engines, ordnance (military supplies), and ship construction.rnIt took an acre of hardwoods to make five tons of iron. Little remains of the long-abandoned forge. Some parts of it have been discovered through archaeological research. Today a pleasant nature trail leads from the museum past the 19th-century forge site. The delightful setting, fragrant with pine and meadow grasses in summer, makes this a nice place to linger.

It's a handy rest and exercise stop for travelers heading across the Upper Peninsula.rnAn excellent, insightful tape-slide show, "Life on Michigan's Iron Ranges," shows how hard the mostly immigrant work force labored — for 60-hour work weeks — and how much work the women did to support their families: gardening, cooking, taking in boarders and their wash. Upper Peninsula mining began before farmers and normal town developers had settled the area.rnrnFundraising has built a new 4,000-square-foot museum expansion. It has a gallery for temporary exhibits including artifacts from the permanent collection. This location is the headquarters for all U.P. sections of the Michigan state historical museum system and is the ultimate destination to gain some insight into Michigan history.

Dates/Hours of Operation
October - April   Monday - Friday; 8am - 5pm

May-September   Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-4:00 and closed on Mondays until Sep 30th

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