Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum, Ishpeming

4.2
#19 of 26 in Museums in Upper Peninsula
The Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum is a former iron mine, now a heritage museum, located on Euclid Street between Lakeshore Drive and Spruce Street in Ishpeming, Michigan. The museum, operated by "Marquette Range Iron Mining Heritage Theme Park Inc.", celebrates the history of the Marquette Iron Range. The site was designated a state of Michigan historic site in 1973 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.HistoryThe Iron Cliffs Company was established in 1865 by a group of New Yorkers including Samuel J. Tilden. They obtained property in Marquette County and opened their first mine, the Barnum Mine, in 1867. Two shaft, the "A" and "B" were sunk. The company obtained three more mine pits by 1870. In 1877, Iron Cliffs began exploratory drilling on this site overlooking Ishpeming. Drilling uncovered iron ore, and in 1879 the company opened the Cliffs Shaft, then known as the "New Barnum". A new boiler house and engine house were built on the site in the early 1880s.In 1888, the name was changed from "New Barnum" to the "Cliffs Shaft." However, more changes were afoot: in 1891, the assets of the Iron Cliffs Company were merged with that of other iron companies in the area, including the Jackson Mine and the Cleveland Mine, to form the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, with William G. Mather as president of the merged company. A new dry was built after a disastrous fire in 1901. The original timber headframes over the A and B shafts were replaced with concrete headframes in 1919; a larger modern "C" shaft and headframe was built in 1955.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
29 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • July 21, 2017
    We had a good tour by a knowledgeable guide. The saved artifacts and the logical sequencing of the story comes together and starts to make sense. There are opportunities for hands on involvement and t...  more »
  • July 12, 2017
    Although the actual shafts have been closed and capped, you do get to go into the access tunnels on the full tour. Check tour times before arriving. There are lots of things to see before or after the...  more »
  • February 21, 2017
    It's sometimes surprising how the legacy of a big, robust industry like mining can almost vanish overnight. This group of enthusiastic volunteers has tackled the daunting task of preserving the rich (...  more »
Google
  • July 6, 2017
    Very informative tour guides, great educational experience for families.
  • November 27, 2016
    Very informative about an important industry to this area. Love the mineral displays.
  • November 6, 2013
    Very interesting to see what men and women did for the work of iron mining! This mine had a great safety rating - wish all shaft mines were run this well!! Great tour - WORTH THE STOP!!!

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