Negaunee and Ishpeming
In many ways, these twin towns 15 miles west of Marquette represent the heart of the iron range. One of the Upper Peninsula’s earliest iron mines, the Jackson Mine, opened here in 1847; the nearby Empire and Tilden Mines mark the end of the era, the last operating iron mines in the range.
Ishpeming and Negaunee pretty much faded right along with the glory days of mining. The economy never quite recovered from the closing of the area mines in the 1960s, and the once-vital downtowns were further displaced by the commercial strips along U.S. 41, which passes just north of town. But anyone who enjoys tidbits of history will find these towns intriguing, with their leftover ornate storefronts, ramshackle antique shops, and fenced-off cave-in areas—where the land once and for all has succumbed to its mining heritage.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel