Post-War Iron Mining

Post-War Iron Mining

  • In 1870, there were 10 operational iron mines in the Upper Peninsula.

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Table showing the number of mines in Michigan in 1870 (19)

  • In 1874, there were 41 known mines in the Upper Peninsula.

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Table showing the number of mines in Michigan in 1874 (20)

  • After the war, the development of the Gogebic and Menominee Ranges expanded Michigan’s iron mining industry to great extents.
  • In 1880, according to the mining industries census Michigan mined the second highest amount of iron ore in tons. Pennsylvania was the only state that mined more iron ore for the census year. (Michigan: 1,837,712 tons; Pennsylvania: 2,185,675 tons) (21)

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Iron Ore Mine in the Census Year By States

  • Although, according to the 1880 mining industries census, the value of the ore mined was greater in Michigan than it was in Pennsylvania for that census year. (Michigan: $6,034,648; Pennsylvania: $5,517,079) (22)

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Value of Iron Ore Mined in the Census Year By States

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Above is a table displaying the amount of iron ore produced by state from 1879 to 1920 (23)

  • The peak of the Upper Peninsula’s iron mining industry came around the 1920s, before the Great Depression had the chance to take its toll on the¬†industry. The 1920 Census of Population: Mines and Quarries states, “The leading mining industry in Michigan in 1919 was the production of iron ore.” (24)
  • According to the 1920 Census of Population: Mines and Quarries, in 1919, “The state ranked eighth in the total number of persons engaged in the mining industries and in the average number of wage earners employed.” The state also, “ranked ninth in the value of mineral products in 1919,” according to the census. (25)

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The table above shows the tons of iron ore shipped from each state in 1919 (26)