Small Museum Visit: Cliffs Shaft Mining Museu

History Underground, Where the Calendar is Still Turned to 1967

The history of many communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are tied into the natural resources that surround, or are underneath, them.  One of the more unusual historic sites is the Cliffs Shafts Mining Museum in Ishpeming, Michigan.  This iron ore mine closed in 1967, but some of the buildings associated with the mine survived and a museum was opened in 2002. 

Preservation efforts are on-going, but the “just left” atmosphere was amazing at the time of my visit – miners last calendars and artifacts were still in place.  Nearby some of the old open pit mines are now water filled enormous “lakes” which must be seen to truly understand the scale of the mining in the surrounding communities.

Location: Ishpeming, Michigan (UP)
Construction date: The Cliff Shafts Mine (aka Barnum) began operation c. 1867, but iron ore was first mined in the area in the 1840′s.
Interpretive focus: multiple periods
To learn more:

Ishpeming, Michigan

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