Republic Bank Building being restored for a new use
A historic building in Republic is being restored in an effort to promote recreation in the area.
The Republic Bank Building will become a welcome center at the start Iron Ore Heritage Trail. It was built in 1912, and some of its exterior is being refurbished as part of the project.
Exhibits from the Republic Historical Society will be included in the display, giving visitors a look into what the city once looked like. When mining production was booming, Republic was home to nearly 20,000 people. Now that population has decreased, the city is looking for new ways to attract people to the area.
“We’re trying to promote our town into a recreational area now. We have a campground. We have the Iron Ore Heritage Trail that comes in next to the campground. We have a beach. We have plenty of hunting and fishing year round here,” said Jim Brennan, Chairperson of the Republic Recreation Committee.
Funding for the project came from three different groups; the Michigan Department of Rural Development, the Michigan DNR Trust Fund and the Iron Ore Heritage Trail.