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Museums reopening across the Upper Peninsula

Sites in Iron and Marquette counties holding in-person visits once again
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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CASPIAN, Mich. (WLUC) - As the country continues to live through historical times, museums are slowly welcoming the public back to share stories. One site is the Iron County Historical Museum in Caspian, where director Erika Sauter says last summer was rough despite the pandemic beginning during the offseason.

“We weren’t able to open until later in the summer last year,” said Sauter. “And, it was really slow attendance-wise. A huge percentage of our attendance was lost last summer. It was hard.”

During the pandemic, the museum had worked on projects such as repairs and improvements. Fast forward to now, it is starting to get back to regular routines, which include teaching kids.

“We were able to welcome back students from both school districts in Iron County for school visits,” Sauter said. “We’re looking forward to some summer events after a year of nothing. It’s really exciting.”

Unlike the Iron County Historical Museum, the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee Township had been closed since March 13th of last year. On Wednesday, its doors finally reopened, and historian Troy Henderson was excited.

“I’ve been wanting to get back to work for a while now,” Henderson stated. “When we were starting to plan the museum and pick dates, it was on my radar. I’m very happy we’re open.”

Henderson says the museum will once again hold a Tuesday afternoon series virtually and have bike tours along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. He also says the public will finally get a glimpse of a new temporary exhibit titled “Uneartheing Fayette’s Stories.”

“That was installed just before the pandemic,” Henderson explained. “Hardly anybody got to see it. So, that is now a new attraction, even though it has been here for a year.”

One thing is for certain: the history each museum possesses lives on.

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Wednesdays to Sundays. As for the Iron County Historical Museum, it is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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