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Fayette Historic State Park, Garden

5.0
#6 of 18 in Historic Sites in Upper Peninsula
State Park Historic Site
Fayette Historic State Park is the state park of the historic town of Fayette in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located on the Big Bay de Noc of Lake Michigan in between Snail Shell Harbor and Sand Bay, on the southern side of the Upper Peninsula, about 17 miles south of US 2. Fayette was the site of an industrial community that manufactured charcoal pig iron between 1867 and 1891. The town has been reconstructed into a living museum showing what life was like in this town in the late 19th century.HistoryFayette was once one of the Upper Peninsula's most productive iron-smelting operations. Fayette grew up around two blast furnaces, a large dock, and several charcoal kilns, following the post-Civil War need for iron. Nearly 500 residents—many immigrating from Canada, the British Isles, and northern Europe—lived in and near the town that existed to make pig iron. During 24 years of operation Fayette's blast furnaces produced a total of 229,288 tons of iron, using local hardwood forests for fuel and quarrying limestone from the bluffs to purify the iron ore. When the charcoal iron market began to decline, the Jackson Iron Company closed its Fayette smelting operations in 1891. Another event leading to the demise of the Jackson Iron Company was the use of the hardwoods and limestone to purify the iron, leading to the exhaustion of hardwoods in the area. This was the main source for purifying the iron and therefore led to the decline of the Jackson Iron Company. After shutting down operations, many residents left Fayette in search of employment elsewhere, though some chose to stay nearby and used the land for farming.
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127 reviews
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  • We didn't realize how much there was to see here when we planned our stop. You have the main village when you walk in but then there are pathways around by the water with houses and ruins as well. A l...  more »
  • Just visited again, have been here several times. I think it is the most serene place in Michigan. Big Bay Da Noc is stunning. It is such a quiet and historic place to see. Very easy to walk around ar...  more »
  • If you only get a short time in the UP, definitely make this a place to stop. It shows off so many of the amazing attributes of the upper peninsula - all in one stop. The most obvious is our unique in...  more »

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