Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum hosts inaugural Iron Ore Heritage Celebration

ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - The Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum hosted the inaugural Iron Ore Heritage Celebration Saturday

Several guest speakers looked back on historical significance of the mining industry.

Blacksmiths were on hand, demonstrating how they shape iron into various artifacts.

There were also numerous food vendors, artisans and live music.

Mine officials even offered one-of-a-kind tours of the property and equipment. It all amounted to a full day of educational family fun.

Several important mile stones were also observed, according to Mike Ilmonen, Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum Tour Guide.

"175 years ago on September 19th iron ore was discovered about three miles as the crow flies from here in Negaunee. 100 years ago these iconic head frames that you see here the A and the B head frames were constructed and completed in December of 1919. So they will be 100 years old shortly," Ilmonen declared.

Ilmonen also says the last underground mine in the Marquette Iron range, The Mather B Mine in Negaunee closed 40 years ago in July of 1979.

Be sure to stop by the museum before it closes for the winter season on the last Saturday of September.

Ilmonen and some of the other guest speakers also offered a glimpse into the future of the industry.

"Sarah Cambensy passed her bill in the House earlier this year to form a mining committee to make sure that we continue on the right path with our mines. Of course, we've only got the Tilden Mine open right now. So where do we go from here? And how to we sustain that?” Ilmonen concluded.

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