"Home of the Hematites" Ishpeming by yooperprof

Ishpeming Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 29 photos

Iron Mines Present and Past

Iron. It's the reason why this part of Michigan has permanent European settlements of any size. Iron was discovered here in the 1840s, and has been mined in one manner or another continuously for more than 150 years now. At one time there were hundreds of iron mines in operation; now there are only two. (And soon - perhaps in five years, perhaps in twenty - there will be none.) Open pit mining as practiced in the twenty-first century is pretty amazing. I strongly recommend taking a tour - while you still have the chance to see this enormous industrial endeavor in operation.

a post-industrial landscape

Hematite is the name of the type of iron ore which is found on the range here. It's also the team name of the High School in Ishpeming. But Ishpeming also has a "natural side" - if that is what you can call it. In the photo, I'm sitting on top of a slag heap - on land which was once operated as a mine but which is now being "reclaimed" (at least partially) by "nature." But make no mistake: man's imprint will be long remembered on the iron range. Currently, a slag heap outside of Ishmpeming qualifies as Michigan's highest point above sea-level.

Birthplace of organized ski-ing in the USA!

"The sport of skiing was introduced to America in the 19th century by Scandinavia immigrants. The first ski club in Michigan, and one of the first in the country, was formed at Ishpeming in 1887. It held its first public ski meet on February 25, 1888. The longest jump was one of 35 feet. Since then this city has produced many famous ski jumpers who gained their experience on renowned Suicide Hill. Here in this city the National Ski Association was formed on February 12, 1904. The National Ski Hall of Fame and Ski Museum is located here because of Ishpeming's historic role in developing skiing in America."

  • Last visit to Ishpeming: Jul 2007
  • Intro Updated Jul 20, 2007
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