Photo Gallery Friday: Michigan Iron Industry Museum, Negaunee
Photo Gallery Friday is a regular feature on Travel the Mitten that will help showcase photos from places where a few pictures just aren’t enough to show off everything.
Iron ore was first discovered in 1844 near present-day Negaunee and mining began in 1847. Though things are much quieter today, the Negaunee area was once home to many productive mining operations. Since 1987, the Michigan Iron Industry Museum has helped preserve the history of these mines and the people that worked in them. The Iron Industry Museum is one of a handful of Michigan History Center branch facilities across the state. Admission is free, but donations are welcome and appreciated. We visited this museum recently, and were very impressed with the amount of artifacts and informational displays on hand. In the photo gallery below we’ll share a handful of pictures from our visit. First, here’s a brief list of some of the museum’s highlights:
Many informational plaques posted on the trails that surround the museum
Displays highlighting the different workers in mines: brakeman, teamster, blaster, etc.
Iron Industry Technology Timeline Display
Comparison display showing mining in Michigan in 1900 vs. 2000
Many mining equipment artifacts
Extensive displays showing how mined ore got to port and how it was shipped
the William G. Mather Auditorium, a theater that shows the film Iron Spirits
displays showing how important Michigan’s iron industry was to the war effort
information on the Carp River Forge site which was located here in the 1840s
an interactive “mine explosion” exhibit
a memorial to those lost in the Barnes-Hecker Mine tragedy
In addition to all of the great things you’ll find inside the museum there are more displays outside, as the museum is one of the focal points of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. The Iron Ore Heritage Trail is a 47 mile long trail for hiking and cycling that runs from Marquette to Republic. The Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee and Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum in Ishpeming are two of the focal points along this trail and have parking areas for trail users. Stay up to date with special events and current hours of operation by checking out the Facebook page for the Michigan Iron Industry Museum. See the map at the bottom of the page for the museum’s location – it is very easy to find on M-28/US-41.