Fayette Historic State Park, Garden

5.0
#6 of 18 in Historic Sites in Upper Peninsula
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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Fayette Historic State Park Reviews
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131 reviews
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  • August 14, 2017
    When we checked in August 10, 2017 the ranger asked what site we would like and I asked which one was nearest the pit toilets. He laughed and said that modern toilet and shower building was fully oper...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    Fayette is an amazing historic town - preserved and providing a small glimpse into what life was like in the early 1800s in Michigan. The campground is a little rough, but the sites are fine and the r...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    This park, about an hour from Munising and much closer to Manistique and Escanaba, is well worth a half-day visit. It's a remarkable sight -- a whole 19th-century town scape preserved in varied ways. ...  more »

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