Pre-War Iron Mining

Pre-War Iron Mining

  • From 1847 to 1858 there were only three iron mines in operation in the Upper Peninsula. Two of these mines were located in Ishpeming (the Cleveland Mine and the Lake Superior Mine) and the third in Negaunee (the Jackson Mine). (13)
  • Before the War, the Marquette Iron Range was the major producer of iron due to the many mines operating in this region.
  • Taken from the 1860 United States Census of Manufactures:

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This chart shows data on the manufactures in Marquette County in 1860 (14)

  • Also taken from the 1860 United Staes Census of Manufactures:

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Statistics of pig iron produced in the United States during the year ending June 1, 1860 (15)

  • In 1864, the Michigan Department of State Census stated, “Legislative wisdom, stimulating and aiding private skill and enterprise, has developed our mining and saline interests, and placed us on the high road to untold wealth and prosperity; thus bringing into our State thousands who would otherwise have passed us by, or had never turned their thoughts hither.” (16)
    • The demand for iron ore from the Upper Peninsula brought many people to the area in hopes of getting into the prosperous opportunities the mining industry had to offer.
  • According to the 1864 Michigan Department of State Census stated, “there are 6 mines in Marquette County, employing 562 persons. But from other authentic sources it is ascertained that 248,000 tons of iron ore were shipped form Marquette the past year, and 25,000 tons retained for the use of furnaces located in that region, making a total production of 273,000 tons of ore.” This amount was only exceeded by Pennsylvania in 1860. (17)
  • On page LII of the 1864 Michigan Department of State Census it says, “Michigan now ranks as the second State in the Union in the quantity of iron ore mined, and the first in purity and strength of material.” (18)
    • It was the purity of the ore found in the Upper Peninsula that made the interest in that specific region even greater. The iron from the Upper Peninsula was perfect for making Bessemer steel which would be the next great industry in the United States.