Michigan Roadside Attractions: Norway Spring
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.
On the side of US-2 just west of the small Upper Peninsula town of Norway sits a rest area with an added attraction. This is a good stop for a picnic, and be sure to fill up your water bottle or jug with some water from the artesian well here. A Michigan historical marker on site gives the history of the spring as well as a look into the history of the Norway Spring and the surrounding area.
In 1878 a sawmill was erected here as the first industry in the Norway – Vulcan area. John O’Callaghan was owner of this mill which supplied early mining number needs until 1902. This spring was caused by a 1094 foot hole which was drilled in 1903 by the Oliver Mining Company in search of iron ore. The hole cuts several steeply dipping porous strata that trap water at the higher elevations to the north. The difference in elevation causes pressure: this pressure is released by the drilled hole demonstrating the principle of the artesian well. On the slope to the north are the obscure workings of the Few and Munro mines, operated in 1903-1922, now owned by the Ford Motor Company.