Michigan Roadside Attractions: World’s Largest Limestone Quarry, Rogers City
Michigan Roadside Attractions is a periodic feature on Travel the Mitten that will explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to unusual.
Michigan is home to some of the World’s Largest and Longest Things, as we profiled in an earlier post. Rogers City is home to the world’s largest limestone quarry, currently owned by Carmeuse North America. Visitors can check out an expansive view of the quarry from a viewing platform on U.S. 23 Business Route, and they can also watch freighters load at port from Harbor View.
The quarry view overlook can be reached by taking the U.S. 23 Business Route north off of U.S. 23 and following it for about a half mile.
Harbor View is located near the main entrance on Calcite Rd. From the quarry view area continue north on the business route, then head east on Park Dr. and follow it to the lake and Calcite Rd.
The Michigan historical marker near the main entrance tells more of the history of the quarry and surrounding area: “Limestone is a mineral raw material essential in making steel, chemicals, and cement. Henry H. Hindshaw, a geologist, established in 1908-09 the commercial value of this area’s limestone for industry. The high purity of this deposit and the availability of water transportation led to the development here of a port and quarry. Both are named Calcite, after the principal ingredient of the stone. The Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company, founded in 1910, began operation in 1912. Purchased by Carl D. Bradley and the United States Steel Corporation in 1920, the company came under the ownership of U.S. Steel upon Bradley’s death in 1928. In 1951 the company became a division of the corporation. Self-unloaders of the division’s Bradley Transportation Line carry limestone from this, the world’s largest limestone quarry, to industrial ports around the Great Lakes.”
Other nearby attractions include the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse, Ocqueoc Falls and P.H. Hoeft State Park. Rogers City is located on the Lake Huron shoreline north of Alpena and south of Cheboygan.