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Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum, Ishpeming

Categories: Specialty Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 25+ reviews on the web
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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  • This was informative and personalized tour. Friendly retired miners giving tour. Great artifacts. Huge space. The guy was candid, glib, excited to share history and his story of local mining. Well wor...  read more »
  • Very nicely laid out, giving out good information to tourist and residents alike. Tells history of mining in the small community. 
  • This place is a little gem. We've been on mine tours before, but our guide was a retired miner and a wonderful storyteller. He gave the tour a personal touch, and so much information. The museum secti...  read more »
  • 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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